A dangerous person? Split personality? A violent person? All of these are misconceptions about a person with schizophrenia. It is a growing problem that people who suffer from schizophrenia receive poor representation by society or even in the media. We need to take the time to understand them.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that results in the abnormally interpretation of reality and requires lifelong treatment. “Paranoid Schizophrenia” is the most common type, causing a person to have auditory hallucinations and paranoid delusions. People who have schizophrenia are often afraid and worried to ask for help, not only because of the stigma attached to the condition, but also due to the condition itself. People living with schizophrenia often disagree with other people, and they quickly get upset or confused with strangers or people with authority.
Each type of schizophrenia has different symptoms that can be used to determine if what kind of schizophrenia they have. With paranoid schizophrenia a person will often present these symptoms:
A person who has paranoid schizophrenia often suffers from hallucinations. They tend to hear or see things that have a full impact on their sensory system, making it hard for them to differentiate reality from the hallucination. An auditory hallucination is the most common type of hallucination that can be experienced by a person with paranoid schizophrenia.
Another symptom that you can experience if you have paranoid schizophrenia is delusions. People who suffer from delusions may, for example have delusions of grandeur, and they have false beliefs thinking they are a genius, incredibly rich or even delusions that they are the most famous person in the world. They literally can’t differentiate delusions to reality. The more you tell them that it is all a delusion, the more they will insist on saying it is real that may lead to a sudden violent reaction.
A person with schizophrenia suffers from a disorganized way of thinking and speaking. They tend to add meaningless words into the way they talk, and their actions may be confusing to others. In some cases a person with schizophrenia tends to have childlike silliness that can be considered abnormal for their age. A schizophrenic person may also become unpredictably agitated.
Real treatment for paranoid schizophrenia is still unknown mainly because there are some cases that people that suffer from schizophrenia can suffer again from it in the future. There are some ways to control schizophrenia:
Neuroleptic medications are anti-psychotic drugs used mainly for mental illnesses causing a state of apathy. It also produces a lack of initiative and limits the emotion of the user. It reduces the levels of confusion and agitation a schizophrenic experience and normalizes psychomotor activities.
Psychotherapy is well-known for treating mental troubles such as trauma caused by a loss of loved ones, depression and even anxiety. Psychotherapy is the treatment of several medical cases through psychological means. Talk therapy can eliminate or suppress troubling symptoms for mental diseases and emotional problems.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a type of treatment that, under general anesthesia, uses small electric currents through the brain. During electroconvulsive therapy, a brief seizure is intentionally triggered that aims to cause changes in the brain chemistry. Mostly this therapy is done when other treatments fail, and it often works when a full course of treatment was completed. The ECT provides much more rapid and outstanding improvements for people suffering from depression, schizophrenia, and severe mania.
A cannabis plant is well-known for its psychoactive effect in our brains, due to its component called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. The THC is the component of marijuana that gives us the feeling of being “high.”
Another compound was found in cannabis called “CBD,” which unlike THC, has antipsychotic effects. It can excite the CB2 receptors of our endocannabinoid system to produce more natural cannabinoids. CBD modulates the immune system and reduces psychotic symptoms. Just like other medications used for treating psychological diseases, the CBD can also reduce the abnormal motor behaviors and reduces confusion and agitation.
However, unlike some other medications that have nasty side effects, medical cannabis has very few side effects. Some minor side effects that can be experienced by using marijuana are dry mouth, a small drop in blood pressure, lightheadedness and drowsiness that can be quickly resolved by drinking a cup of coffee or tea. There are no cases of addiction caused by CBD, unlike the THC, and CBD can also be extracted from hemp.
While not entirely able to treat paranoid schizophrenia, medical cannabis can lessen the sudden dramatic change a person with schizophrenia can experience. Being an excellent medication for treating schizophrenia, it is still best to consult a doctor before rushing into medical cannabis use. In some states and countries marijuana is still illegal, and it can result in a lot of trouble if using it without checking for legality and getting a prescription.
With all the misconceptions attached to a schizophrenic people, we need to try to understand and support them with tolerance when we can. They are likely just too afraid to seek support because they will think that they’ll be misunderstood or judged by the people around them. In some cases, having schizophrenia can lead to suicidal thoughts due to the delusions and hallucinations experienced.
Even a small amount of understanding and motivation may help a person with paranoid schizophrenia.