Monday , April 19 2021

Schizophrenia, the most disabling mental illness

O schizophrenia It is a complex brain disease that affects some of the functions that govern thinking, emotions, behavior, and perception. Although its prevalence is low (one percent of the world population), it is one of the more disabling conditions, because it usually appears during adolescence, one of the most productive stages of life, said UNAM Raúl Escamilla.

The head of Sub-specialties of the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente indicated that "schizophrenia or psychosis is commonly associated with violent patients, but if they are controlled and medicated, they do not need to be; In addition, those who suffer from other disorders may be more violent, "said Ramón de la Fuente, of the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the Faculty of Medicine (FM) in the auditorium.

Those who suffer schizophrenia They lose touch with reality. This disorder is inherent in mental problems and some medical conditions, and the best way to help is to inform the population about this condition in order to avoid their stigma.

Escamilla explained that the loss of contact with reality may involve alterations in sensoperception, more known hallucinations or distortions.

The most common are auditory: voices, murmurs or sporadic sounds (most disqualify the patient), but there may also be visual, olfactory, tactile or somatic hallucinations.

In addition to distortion through perceptions, the affected person has hallucinations that he holds tenaciously, such as the delusions of persecution and greatness. In addition, he suffers from cellotipia, bipolar disorder, psychotic or somatic symptoms (when he is thought to suffer from a health problem that does not exist), "it is a degree of extreme hypochondria."

When a person realizes that there is something wrong with his mental health, he goes initially with a general practitioner or psychologist, even looking for explanations of a spiritual or supernatural kind, because "delusions are subtle according to the cultural context and personality of the patient ". , the specialist said.


O schizophrenia is accompanied by "negative symptoms" such as general disinterest, which can be mistaken for depression; loss of ability to enjoy things; lack of initiative; little socialization and isolation.

Other symptoms that have been characterized more recently are those related to cognition, with higher mental functions such as attention, concentration, abstraction, planning, and memory. These, together with the "negative symptoms", make treatment difficult; Consequently, patients have a low level of functioning, said Raúl Escamilla.

Commonly schizophrenia It appears during adolescence and has to do with a change in the process of maturation of the central nervous system. In relation to risk factors, one of the best known is the genetic, although having a relative with psychopathology or schizophrenia is not determinant for the development of these conditions, he said.

Some causes are still unknown, since many patients who have not been exposed to substances, who do not live in a stressful environment or who do not have a triggering factor, develop this condition without any apparent cause; however, the more risk factors there are, the probability increases.

Finally, he indicated that the earlier the disease began, the more difficult the prognosis and the more complicated the treatment, resulting in deterioration of the patient.

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