Psychiatry
The Department of Psychiatry at the Meitra Hospital offers complete diagnostic and medical management of mental health problems. Our vision is to provide mental healthcare across all ages and to focus on promoting positive mental health, early detection, treatment and rehabilitation of various mental health and related issues. Our services caters to child and adolescent behavioural problems, geriatric mental health issues, maternal and re productive mental health, general adult psychiatry, de-addiction services, stress management. We also provide behavioural and psychotherapeutic management of mental health issues across all ages.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious, long term mental illness in which people interpret reality abnormally or they may not be able to differentiate between their own thoughts from reality. It affects how a person thinks, feels and behaves which can cause distress to themselves, their families or friends.

Causes

The exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown. A combination of the following factors may lead to the condition:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors
  • Differences in brain structure and function
  • Stressful or emotional life event
Symptoms

Symptoms of schizophrenia vary depending on the type and severity. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Confused thoughts
  • Reduced motivation
  • Reduced or disorganised speech
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Social withdrawal
  • Aggressiveness
  • Difficulty to focus on or do tasks
  • Lack of response
  • Thought disorder
  • Diminished feelings of pleasure
  • Difficulty in planning
  • Difficulty in decision making
  • Flat affect (not showing the usual signs of emotion such as smiling, frowning, raising voice etc)
  • Problems in attention, concentration, memory
Diagnosis

Diagnosis of schizophrenia involves:

  • Review of signs and symptoms
  • Medical history
  • Physical examination
  • Tests to rule out other health conditions
  • Psychiatric evaluation
  • DSM-5 (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – fifth edition) criteria for schizophrenia may be used by a psychologist or your mental health professional.
Prevention

There is no exact way to prevent schizophrenia. Steps that help in preventing relapse or keeping the condition from worsening are:

  • Follow treatment plans strictly
  • Avoid caffeines, alcohols and drugs
  • Have a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress
  • Join a support group
  • Stay active.
Treatment

Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment. Treatment measures include:

  • Medication: antipsychotic drugs are used in the treatment.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: a type of psychotherapy used in the treatment of mental illnesses which helps to turn your negative thoughts to positive ones.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy: a procedure used in the treatment of psychiatric conditions which involves passing small electric currents through the brain
  • Psychosocial interventions such as social skill training and family therapy are being widely used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

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