Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood, with a global lifetime prevalence of about 0.3–0.7%. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior and the patient's reported experiences.
Genetics, early environment, neurobiology, and psychological and social processes appear to be important contributory factors; some recreational and prescription drugs appear to cause or worsen symptoms. Current research is focused on the role of neurobiology, although no single isolated organic cause has been found. The many possible combinations of symptoms have triggered debate about whether the diagnosis represents a single disorder or a number of discrete syndromes. Despite the etymology of the term from the Greek roots skhizein (σχίζειν, "to split") and phrēn, phren- (φρήν, φρεν-; "mind"), schizophrenia does not imply a "split mind" and it is not the same as dissociative identity disorder—also known as "multiple personality disorder" or "split personality"—a condition with which it is often confused in public perception.
The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication, which primarily suppresses dopamine (and sometimes serotonin) receptor activity. Psychotherapy and vocational and social rehabilitation are also important in treatment. In more serious cases—where there is risk to self and others—involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are now shorter and less frequent than they once were.
The disorder is thought mainly to affect cognition, but it also usually contributes to chronic problems with behavior and emotion. People with schizophrenia are likely to have additional (comorbid) conditions, including major depression and anxiety disorders; the lifetime occurrence of substance abuse is almost 50%. Social problems, such as long-term unemployment, poverty and homelessness, are common. The average life expectancy of people with the disorder is 12 to 15 years less than those without, the result of increased physical health problems and a higher suicide rate (about 5%)
This was stated by health experts while addressing concluding session of a training work for the prevention and treatment of schizophrenia here under the auspices of a non-governmental organization Horizon in the auditorium of Ibadat Hospital.
The four-day training workshop was participated by 50 doctors and psychiatrist from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Lahore and Islamabad and shared their expertise with the participants.
The purpose of the workshop was the creation of awareness amongst the people regarding awareness for the prevention and treatment of schizophrenia.
Principal, Rehman Medical College, Professor Dr. Tariq Mufti was chief guest in the opening session.
Addressing the participants of the workshop, former principal Khyber Medical College (KMC) and chairman Horizon, Psychiatrist, Professor Dr. Khalid Mufti said that the severity of the disease is affecting one percent population of the world and the numbers of its victims in Pakistan are 1.4 million.
He said that during last 30 years Ibadat Hospital has provided treatment to 24000 schizophrenia patients and provided free medical counseling and medicines to 600 patients.
The patients are also provided training in diagnostic and treatment of the disease.
Dr. Khalid Mufti explained that the disease is diagnose in the age between 15 to 35 years in which about 6 per cent have courage to bear the severity and long duration of the disease and they used to make suicide attempt due to higher depression.
He said that situation in developing countries is worse where over 90 per cent schizophrenia patients start the use of narcotics (hashish) due to lack of access to treatment, which turns their lives more vulnerable.
The psychiatrist said that the patients of disease usually go for traditional means, particularly non-medical means of treatment, which increase their miseries.
He urged the participants for creating awareness at their own level in this regard and encourage them toward treatment through qualified doctors.
The representative of World Health Organization (WHO), Professor Dr. Farid Minhas and Professor Dr. Saeed Farooq gave detailed briefing regarding the disease.
They said that hardwork and domestic problems further increases the miseries of the patients of disease.
They said that schizophrenia affect the patient mentally and break their spirit.
The disease, they said could be prevented through counseling with a qualified doctor and use of effective medicines, saying that with the passage of time 50 per cent patients recover of the disease.
In the concluding ceremony, the chief guest, Professor Dr, Farid Minhas distributed certificates and shields amongst the participants of the workshop.