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Early warning signs, myths and treatment of Schizophrenia

People usually misunderstand Schizophrenia as a rare and dangerous mental disorder. However, it is not the case.

A challenging disorder, Schizophrenia, often makes it difficult to distinguish between real and unreal, think clearly, relate to others and manage emotions. Suspecting that someone you love or yourself has schizophrenia can be stressful. However, that does not mean that there is no hope.

To start with you should be aware of the early symptoms of Schizophrenia. In teenagers, the symptoms of Schizophrenia are similar to those in adults but to recognize whether these are signs of Schizophrenia can be difficult, as many of these symptoms of Schizophrenia are common for typical development in teen years. Few of them are:

  • Withdrawal from family and friends
  • A sudden drop in school performance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depressed mood and irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Weird or strange behaviour

Teens are less likely to have delusions and more likely to have hallucinations, as compared to adults.

Here are a few common myths about Schizophrenia:

Myth: Schizophrenia is a “split personality” or multiple personalities disorder.

Fact: Multiple personality disorder is much less common than schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia are “split off” from reality, they do not have split personalities.

Myth: Schizophrenia is an uncommon condition.

Fact: Schizophrenia is not uncommon. The lifetime risk of developing schizophrenia is widely accepted to be around 1 in 100.

Myth: People having schizophrenia are dangerous.

Fact: Although the delusional thoughts and hallucinations of schizophrenia sometimes lead to violent behaviour, most people with schizophrenia are neither violent nor a danger to others.

Myth: People with schizophrenia can’t be helped.

Fact: While long-term treatment may be required, the outlook for schizophrenia is far from hopeless. When treated properly, many people with schizophrenia are able to enjoy fulfilling, productive lives.

Treatment of Schizophrenia

Most effective treatment of Schizophrenia involves a combination of therapy, medication, social support and lifestyle changes. There are, however, few self-care tips also which have proven to be effective.

  • Seek social support from friends and family
  • Manage stress
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and drugs
  • Eat nutritious meals regularly

Remember that Schizophrenia requires treatment for a long-term, so one has to be patient to see positive results.

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Panic disorder in Teens

panic disorder usually starts during late teens or early adulthood. It's better to know its signs and be alert at an early age

Around one out of every 75 people might experience panic disorder as a serious condition. Usually, it appears during the teenage years or early adulthood. However, it is unclear as to what could be the reasons for it, there seems a prominent connection between panic disorder and major life transitions that are potentially stressful. There are also shreds of evidence that panic disorder may be due to genetics, so if someone in your family has suffered panic disorder, you have an increased risk of suffering from it, especially during a time in life that is more stressful.

A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming fear that comes without warning and without any obvious reason. It is more intense than feeling ‘stressed out’. Some signs of a panic attack are:

  • Racing heartbeat
  • Difficulty in breathing, feeling that you can’t get enough air
  • Paralyzing sort of terror
  • Nausea, light-headedness, or dizziness
  • Trembling, sweating, shaking
  • Choking, chest pains
  • Hot flashes or sudden chills
  • Tingling in fingers or toes
  • Fear that you are going to get crazy or are about to die

Remember, that a panic attack includes four or more of the above-mentioned symptoms which come on rapidly and shoot up within 10 minutes.

But a panic attack can continue to affect us long after it has ended; causing heightened nervousness and anxiety hours after the attack has subsided. Experiencing a panic attack can be a frightening experience especially for a teenager.

If left untreated, panic disorder can negatively affect our life and potentially lead to problems with school, relationships, and self-esteem. Only a doctor or qualified professional can diagnose a teen with panic disorder. A doctor can also rule out possible medical causes for the panic attacks and determine if any co-occurring conditions exist, such as depression.

Panic disorder is treatable with a variety of effective therapies available. Once treated, the panic disorder does not lead to any permanent complications. So, if you feel you have any of the above symptoms get it professionally diagnosed and treated. You can also speak to our experts through chat or email at [email protected]

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Disclaimer: TeentalkIndia does not offer emergency services and is not a crisis intervention centre, if you or someone you know is experiencing acute distress or is suicidal/self harming, please contact the nearest hospital or emergency/crisis management services or helplines.