Roughly 24 million people globally struggle with schizophrenia. A lot of unknowns have surrounded this mental health disorder for decades, but experts are constantly realizing new things about this condition and how it develops. Learn more about the factors that contribute to the development of schizophrenia and how to get help if you or a loved one have this condition.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia impacts a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and leads to difficulties in distinguishing between what is real and what is not. People with schizophrenia might experience hallucinations and delusions, and their thinking also might be disorganized. The exact causes of schizophrenia remain uncertain, but researchers believe that it’s related to a combination of genetics and brain structure. It’s likely that environmental factors also contribute to its development.
The symptoms of schizophrenia can be categorized into three main groups. These groups are positive, negative, and cognitive.
- Positive symptoms refer to experiences that are added to a person’s normal perception and include hallucinations and delusions.
- Negative symptoms involve a reduction in everyday functioning. People often lack motivation, and they also struggle to express their emotions.
- Cognitive symptoms affect a person’s thinking, including difficulties with attention, memory, and problem-solving.
When to Seek Help
Early schizophrenia treatment can reduce the severity of symptoms. A healthcare professional can assess the symptoms, provide a diagnosis and recommend treatment options. This might include medication, therapy, and support services.
Prevention is not entirely possible. Some factors are beyond our control; however, awareness of common triggers can reduce the risk. You can also maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage stress, and avoid substance abuse which will contribute to overall mental well-being.
Is Schizophrenia Genetic?
The short answer is yes, but the complete picture is more complicated. Research shows that there is a genetic component to this condition. If you have a family member with the condition, your chances of developing schizophrenia are higher than someone without a family history. However, this does not mean that you will develop schizophrenia.
Experts believe that multiple genes must interact with one another, and environmental factors increase the risk of the disorder. There are several theories about the genetic causes of schizophrenia. One theory suggests that it may be linked to a disruption in the normal functioning of certain brain chemicals. These neurotransmitters help transmit messages in the brain, and when the balance of these chemicals is disturbed, it can lead to the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia and Brain Structure
People who have schizophrenia have unique brain structures. These differences can affect how the brain processes information and might contribute to the development of symptoms.
The Role of the Devault Mode Network
The Default Mode Network (DMN) is a group of interconnected brain regions and is particularly interesting to researchers. The DMN is active when a person is not focused on the outside world.
This network has been linked to self-referential thoughts and introspection. The DMN is hyperactive in people with schizophrenia, which might be why people struggle to distinguish between their beliefs and external reality. While this is a fascinating insight, more studies are needed to understand the DMN’s role fully.
Environmental factors also play a significant role in the onset of this condition. Some common schizophrenia triggers include stress, substance abuse, and trauma. These factors can increase the risk of developing the disorder. The precise combination of factors that cause schizophrenia remains unclear, but understanding the potential triggers can help its prevention and treatment.
There are benefits to being aware of the common schizophrenia triggers. Understanding triggers can help people minimize their exposure to these factors. Early intervention and treatment, such as an inpatient program, can improve the prognosis. This type of program can help address the root causes of schizophrenia and teach patients how to manage their symptoms and prevent relapse. Inpatient programs often include a combination of medication and therapy. Treatment also offers support services tailored to the individual’s needs.
How Schizophrenia Develops
It can be difficult to understand how schizophrenia develops. If you worry that you or a loved one have this condition, you should schedule an appointment with a trained medical professional. By taking early action, you might be able to prevent the severity of symptoms. Are you searching for schizophrenia treatment options for yourself or a loved one? If so, Comprehensive Wellness Centers is here to help you. Don’t hesitate to visit our admissions page to learn more about our mental health and substance abuse rehab programs.