For Nidhi and Mr. Anand and their son manoj, the nightmare began around the time when Mr. Anand got transferred from Amritsar to Delhi. Manoj around twenty year, first year college student became withdrawn, hostile suspicious, after the move. He blamed Mr. Anand of deliberately shifting to Delhi to persecute him and he dropped out of college. He was diagnosed as to be suffering with schizophrenia and was started on medicines. He did not show any response initially so had to be changed on newer medicines and then he responded. In between there were periods of agitation and violence which were required to be controlled with the help of electro convulsive therapy.
Mr. Kapoor’s daughter was in third Year Engineering college when she stopped attending college ,complaining that every one in college talks about her, “they say dirty things about me”, she use to mutter to herself , fighting with other family members, getting violent, her grooming started deteriorating like not bathing for weeks together ,she did not change clothes. She was admitted in Tulasi Health Care for three weeks, she got better in few weeks. She has completed her college and is holding a job.
Most of such cases surprise family, they get completely clueless about the problem and visit psychiatrist on advice of their family doctor. They are shocked when diagnosis of schizophrenia is made. patient presents with helplessness but ultimately requires treatment for life ,sometimes with treatment also symptoms persists. Schizophrenia is a common mental disorder that affects one in hundred.
Today, there are an estimated nine million sufferers in India. It strikes across all section of society, at all levels of intelligence, commonly occurring between age of 15 to 30 years and presenting little later in women than in men.
The word Schizophrenia derives from the Greek for split mind but sufferers do not in fact have a split personality rather they undergo a gradual or sudden break down of the barrier between fantasy and reality. They are caught in strange and frightening world. Sufferer often withdraws from personal contact and loose normal emotions. They have mood swings without warning (lethargy to high excitement), many suffers from sleep disturbance, neglect their appearance and show despondency-sometimes leading to suicide is common.
Onset of illness is slow over the months or years. The starting symptoms such as headache backache or muscle pain weakness or stomach problem. These are initially diagnosed as psychosomatic illness or functional disorders. There is gradually more notable change in scholastic, social or personal activities, like functional or performance deterioration in school. Generally the affected person feels more anxious or perplexed during early stage of illness. Interest in abstract ideas, philosophy or religious matter may also increases
Schizophrenia is a biochemical disorder involving over activity in brain’s chemical messenger system. Medicines as anti-psychotics drugs which relieve the most dramatic symptoms are known to block Dopamine and Serotonin. The response of these medicines takes three to six weeks time.
on the basis of possible side effects, medicines are selected; newer medicines that cause less side effects are more commonly used now.
No one knows what causes schizophrenia. Those with a family history of schizophrenia are most susceptible to it; if one identical twin has it the other has 50% chances of having it.
One third of sufferers recover fully, another third are able to lead near independent life with the help of regular medication, but rest require more aggressive treatment like hospitalization, electro convulsive therapy etc.
For those who are difficult to manage likes the once who are violent, or do not agree to take medication these patients and their family require long term support and counseling. Tulasi health care , Delhi India works with such patients and offer day care facility, long and short rehabilitation programs etc. to help them come back to normalcy and lead a functional life. Early diagnosis and regular medication under supervision is the key to best outcome.