Even having a genetic basis, multiple factors influence the appearance of schizophrenia, such as biological ones, and those of a psychosocial and environmental nature.
Its symptoms range from thought disorders to perception disorders, through emotional disturbances, delusions, and even violent behavior. The present work addresses the etiopathogenesis, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia, a disease that affects 1% of the world population.
Relation of schizophrenia and Depression
The brain and the mind are so fundamental to the activity of man that his diseases have preoccupied mankind for millennia. The disease that we now call “schizophrenia” was first described in a widely accepted way in the late 90th century under the name “dementia precox” in the writings of Emil Kraepelin. His formulation distinguished it from manic-depressive illness and dementia in the elderly, which he later called Alzheimer’s disease after the neuropathology of the disorder was described by his close friend and colleague, Alois Alzheimer.
Manic depression could start at a young age but had an intermittent course, while Alzheimer’s dementia was also characterized by chronic cognitive and social decline but began later in life.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Bleuler disagreed with Kraepelin’s emphasis on the chronicity of the disorder and renamed it ‘schizophrenia’ to highlight the fact that this disease produced severe fragmentation of thought and personality.
Schizophrenia has a vital prevalence of approximately 1% and it is thought that its genesis, starting from genetic vulnerability, is influenced by biological factors and other factors of a psychosocial and environmental nature.
Emotional changes (affects)
The most characteristic emotional changes are flattening and inappropriateness (incongruity) of affects, which are obvious and cannot be easily overlooked in severe cases. Mild flattening and inconsistency can be difficult to assess as their assessment is subjective and consequently unreliable. Any alteration of the mood (depression, excitement, anxiety, or exaltation) can occur, and in acute schizophrenia perplexity is frequent.
Persecution delusions are common, as well as those involving hypochondriacal or religious ideas, jealousy, and sexual identity (particularly homosexuality).
Delusions of grandeur are common, often also present in other illnesses such as the manic phase of manic-depressive psychosis. Delusional interpretations of strange experiences, such as thought blocking or emission and depersonalization, may lead the patient to believe that telepathy is taking place, that a type of mechanical device is recording their thoughts or conversations. Or that it is under the control of an external agent.
The patient may suddenly develop a delusional system that explains in a burst the whole sequence of confusing preceding events that he viewed with ill-defined suspicion, perplexity, or an inexplicable sense of threat.
This type of delusion, almost invariably diagnosed with schizophrenia, can convince the patient of his special significance, that he is an innocent victim at the center of the conspiracy, or provide solid and immovable explanations for his previous experiences. . The delusional system may seem illuminating to the patient, but it is puzzling and incomprehensible to others.