All You Need to Know About Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can make people experience hallucinations and delusions. It can also make people antisocial and extremely paranoid.

According to a research, nearly 1% of the world’s population suffers from this disorder. This mental disorder is mostly developed in the early 20s. There are several subtypes of schizophrenia such as paranoid, catatonic, disorganized and undifferentiated.

Schizophrenia is categorized as undifferentiated when the symptoms are not specific enough to classify schizophrenia as any other subtype. A person suffering from undifferentiated schizophrenia exhibits symptoms that fluctuate between different subtypes and therefore the diagnosis becomes difficult. This article will give you an in depth information about the symptoms, causes and the treatment for undifferentiated schizophrenia.

Symptoms

As mentioned earlier, the symptoms of undifferentiated schizophrenia may fluctuate, but some of the common symptom are:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoid behavior
  • Disordered thinking
  • Confused speech and body language
  • Loss of motivation and sense of purpose
  • Withdrawal from social circles
  • Negligence of personal hygiene

 

Causes

There can be several contributing factors in the development of undifferentiated schizophrenia. These factors include genetics, chemical imbalance and the environment.

Genetics

People that have a close relative such as parent of sibling suffering from schizophrenia are at a much higher risk of developing this mental disorder. Chances of identical twins developing this disorder are even greater if one of them is already suffering from schizophrenia.

Chemical Imbalance and other Medical Factors

Under certain medical conditions, a person becomes more susceptible to undifferentiated schizophrenia such as:

  • Chemical imbalance in the brain created by certain drugs and illnesses such as malaria.
  • Increased production of cortisol (stress related hormone) in the brain due to extreme stress.
  • Complications during pregnancy such as premature birth.
  • Viral infections during infancy and tumors.
  • Low volumes of brain tissue and abnormal brain structure.

Environmental Factors

Child’s brought up and the type of environment he / she lives in is also one of the major causes of undifferentiated schizophrenia such as:

  • Trauma from the loss of a loved one
  • Early parents separation
  • Financial problems
  • Domestic violence and sexual abuse during childhood

Treatment

There is a common misconception that people suffering from undifferentiated schizophrenia can not be treated, but the reality is exactly the opposite. Studies have shown that early diagnosis and treatment can drastically improve the condition of patient. The signs and symptoms of this disorder can be managed through a combination of medication and therapy. Moreover, it is very important that you have a good support system that can help you get over difficult times.

Medication

Mental health professionals prescribe anti-psychotic medications for the treatment of schizophrenia and its subtypes. The medication for schizophrenia can be divided in to 2 phases:

  1. Acute phase
  2. Maintenance phase

In the acute phase, higher doses are required to treat the psychotic symptoms whereas the maintenance phases is life long intake of anti-psychotics in very small quantities.

It is extremely important that you and your doctor closely monitor the effects and side effects of these medications in order to alter the dosage as per the requirement. Remember that medication alone is not enough for the treatment of undifferentiated schizophrenia as the medicines will only eliminate the “positive” symptoms of this disorder such as hallucinations, delusions and violent behavior.

Therapy

One on one sessions with a professional therapist have proven to be very effective in coping with the “negative” symptoms of undifferentiated schizophrenia such as loss of motivation and withdrawal from social activities. These sessions can help you identify the causes and symptoms of this disorder and put you in a better position to cope with these problems. Having awareness of this disorder and its effects on you will help you live a better life.

Support Groups

Having close friends and family members that really care about you can make the recovery from undifferentiated schizophrenia smoother. It is imperative that people closed to schizophrenia patients are also educated about this mental condition so that they can create an environment which is suitable for recovery.

Conclusion

if left untreated, undifferentiated schizophrenia can be life threatening. However, the good news is that this mental disorder is manageable and a person suffering from it can still live a healthy and prosperous life with appropriate medical and social help.

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