“Schizophrenia can be cured”
World Schizophrenia Day is being observed on May 24 every year to create awareness among the people about this “chronic mental illness.”
According to Dr V.Ponni Muralidharan, Consultant Psychiatrist of Happiness Department, KG Hospital, those afflicted with schizophrenia would be mostly out of touch with reality, as they will remain withdrawn, moody and prone to peculiar gestures.
They will be in the grip of delusions and hallucination as they might “start hearing voices from obscurity.” Those with schizophrenia would have low appetite and show least interest in mundane activities, including their personal upkeep.
Though it is the tendency of schizophrenic to stay aloof, there are chances that they would fly into rage whenever anybody contradicts them or argues with them. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to handle the schizophrenic patients with care and understanding.
Dr Ponni Muralidharan says that schizophrenia manifests due to various factors such as:
- Genetic disorder (it might run in the family)
- Excessive stress in working or social environment
- Viral infection during pregnancy or pregnancy related complications
- Drug abuse
She asserts that through regular treatment 30% of schizophrenia patients could be completely cured. Medication is the mainstay of the treatment for schizophrenic patients, combined with psychiatric counseling.
Anti-psychotic drugs are administered to such patients with good outcomes, and in certain cases there may be a need for giving Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). If the disease acquires severe dimension, in the interest of safeguarding the health of the patients, hospitalization might be required.
The caregivers ought to handle such patients with utmost care, and on no account they should either get angry with their behavior or threaten them. Dr Ponni Muralidharan cautions that if the medication or treatment is discontinued midway the chances of relapse are high.