Pointing out the importance of early diagnosis in schizophrenia, experts point out that if the disease is treated at an early stage, it can be controlled more easily. Experts underline that the biggest problem faced by patients is social stigma.
Every year, April 11 is commemorated as the Day of Struggle Against Schizophrenia. On this special day, it is aimed to draw attention to schizophrenia, a psychiatric illness, and to raise awareness.
Üsküdar University NP Feneryolu Medical Center Psychiatrist Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı made evaluations about schizophrenia in his statement on the occasion of the Day of Struggle Against Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a chronic condition
Defining schizophrenia as “a psychiatric disease that begins at a young age, can be seen in every society and sociocultural level, and can significantly impair the functionality of the individual”, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı stated that the disease progresses with impaired thoughts and emotional, behavioral and cognitive changes.
Stating that the onset and course of the disease may vary in each patient, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said, “Blood pressure, which goes with exacerbation periods in between, has a chronic course like diabetes. While its onset can last for many years with silent symptoms such as introversion and depression, it may also start suddenly with symptoms such as suspicion, hearing voices, and insomnia within days after a stressful period. said.
There are three main symptom groups in schizophrenia
Mentioning that the disease has three main symptom groups, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said that the first group, "positive symptoms", are delusions (unreal thoughts) and hallucinations (such as hearing non-existent sounds, seeing images, bad smell or touching).
Positive symptoms can be seen during the exacerbation period
Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said, “It is common to hear the voices of people or religious entities who think that they are followed through positive symptoms, believe that they will be harmed by a person or a group, delusions as their thoughts can be read and directed, and people who comment or speak badly about themselves. It is not necessary for every patient to have all these symptoms at the same time, besides, these symptoms may not persist during the disease, and the disease may occur during the periods we call exacerbation and can be alleviated with treatments. " said.
Negative symptoms look like depression
Noting that the second group of symptoms are “negative symptoms”, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said, “Negative symptoms are similar to depression. They are symptoms such as decreased gestures and facial expressions, dullness in facial expression, low motivation, indifference to social activities, inability to start a job, reluctance, inability to enjoy, decrease in speech, distance from people. said.
Messy speech is another symptom
Noting that the third symptom group in schizophrenia is the third group of symptoms called "disorganization" in Turkish, also called "disorganized speech, behavior", Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said, "There are symptoms in the group, such as passing from topic to topic, giving inappropriate answers, wearing weird, decreasing self-care, yelling, cursing or not acting at all, not speaking, not reacting, which we call catatonia." said.
Social stigma is the biggest problem faced by patients
Stating that schizophrenia is classified into various types according to the presence of symptoms and the course of the disease, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said that the patient can apply to the doctor with very different symptoms.
Stating that the response to treatment can also vary greatly from person to person, with the patient's social, occupational, familial functionality, and prognosis. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı made the following warnings: “Schizophrenia is a chronic disease, it means the need for long years of medication use and follow-up like any chronic disease. People may have difficulties in working, socializing, and getting married, as it causes cognitive breakdown and general impairment in functionality. And again, when we compare it with other diseases in schizophrenia, the most important problem is social stigma. Stigmatizing and discriminatory attitudes of the media, employers and social environment make life difficult for patients. "
If there is a family, the incidence increases 7-10 times.
Stating that it is thought that biochemical changes in the brain, genetic factors and psychosocial causes may be factors in the development of schizophrenia, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı underlined that studies on this issue emphasize the disorder in substances such as dopamine and serotonin, which are also prominent in drug treatments for the disease.
Stating that the disease is not inherited, if there is a similar disease in the family, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı gave the following information: “Also, being born in the winter months, being born and living in cities can be considered as risk factors. Schizophrenia is a disease with a similar rate all over the world and can occur in anyone and its prevalence is around 7%. Women and men are equally affected, on the contrary, women have a better prognosis. Substance abuse and traumatic experiences such as cannabis in people with disease susceptibility facilitate the emergence of the disease. "
Early treatment and family support are very important
Underlining that having risk factors in schizophrenia does not necessarily mean that a person will get sick, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said that it is not possible to detect the disease in advance and that a treatment that prevents it is still not proven.
Emphasizing the importance of early treatment when the symptoms of the disease begin, Asst. Assoc. Dr. Emre Tolun Arıcı said, “The most important ingredient that has not changed in treatment is still drugs. Schizophrenia is a disease known to have a biological aspect, even though gene studies conducted in this area and genes thought to cause susceptibility are thought to be susceptible, there is still no gene study to be used in treatment. Our recommendation for those with schizophrenia or similar diseases in the family; family and social support at a sufficient level, activities for stress management, and receiving psychiatry and psychotherapy support when necessary. " said.