Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder that impacts a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Although schizophrenia is not as popular as other mental disorders (the lifetime prevalence of the disorder is estimated to be between 0.3% and 0.7%), it can have a significant impact on professional and social performance.
Although schizophrenia is not as frequent as other mental illnesses (a lifetime prevalence of 0.3% to 0.7%), it can have a significant impact on professional and social performance.
Schizophrenia’s psychotic features are most common between the late teens and the mid-30s, with the first psychotic episode peaking between the early and mid-20s.
Positive indicators include psychotic actions, which can lead to people with the disorder losing contact with reality.
- Mental disorders
Emotions and behavior are affected by negative symptoms.
- Reduced emotional expression
- The flat affect
- Disinterest in items and social interactions
Cognitive symptoms are frequent and are linked to occupational and social impairment.
- Memory problems
- Executive dysfunction (difficulty understanding information and using it to make decisions)
- Processing time is slow.
- Trouble inferring other people’s intentions (theory of mind)
- Language function deficiencies
Schizophrenia Quiz (Self-Assessment)
Do I have schizophrenia? Take this schizophrenia quiz to discover whether you could benefit from a mental health professional’s diagnosis and treatment.
The Relation Between Schizophrenia and Depression
Around 25% of persons with schizophrenia fulfill the criteria for depression. Depressive symptoms can occur at any stage of the illness, including psychotic episodes, and are often accompanied by themes of loss and hopelessness.
The prevalence of major depressive illness is around 7%, with significant disparities by age and gender. The prevalence for 18- to 29-year-olds is triple that of 60-year-olds, and women have a 1.5- to 3-fold higher prevalence than men.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) can strike at any age, but the peak onset is in the twenties. The basic component of major depressive illness is at least two weeks of loss of interest or depressed mood, which implies a change in functioning as indicated by five (or more) of the following:
- Depressed mood most of the day
- Reduced interest in all, or virtually all, activities for the majority of the day, practically every day
- To make the diagnosis, one of the first two symptoms must be present.
- Almost every day, there is a significant weight loss or gain, as well as a shift in hunger (reduction or rise).
- Sleep disturbance (insomnia or hypersomnia)
- Every day, you get psychomotor agitation (restlessness) or retardation (slowing down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
- Almost every day, diminished your ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions.
- Suicidal ideation that continues, a suicide attempt, or a definite plan to commit suicide.
To meet the criteria for major depressive disorder, the symptoms must cause severe impairment in occupational, social, or other areas of functioning, and they cannot be caused by any medical disease, including substance misuse.
Depression symptoms associated with schizophrenia aggravate deficiencies in psychosocial functioning and raise the risk of suicide. Suicide kills 5%-6% of people with schizophrenia and 20% attempt suicide; the risk of suicidal conduct exists at all times during significant depressive episodes.
Major Depression with Psychotic Aspects
In some people, MDD coexists with psychosis, a temporary mental state characterized by aberrant perceptions such as delusions and hallucinations. When psychosis occurs alongside significant depression, the condition is known as psychotic depression or depression with psychosis. Psychotic depression is thought to affect 0.4% of people, with as much as 3% of those over 60 suffering from it.
Psychosis is not an illness in and of itself, and it does not imply that the person experiencing it has schizophrenia. Hallucinations and delusions are common in schizophrenia and can occur whether or not a person is sad. Depression is the prevalent component in MDD with psychotic characteristics.
Finally, a person with psychotic symptoms of MDD is likely to have a depressed “theme,” such as guilt, poverty, or sickness beliefs.
Therapy is typically ongoing and may include a combination of medication management, psychotherapy, and support services.
Medication is essential for effective schizophrenia treatment. Antidepressants used in conjunction with antipsychotics can help manage depression symptoms in people with schizophrenia.
Individual treatment helps patients with schizophrenia and major depressive illness normalize their cognitive patterns and learn to cope with stress. It also aids in the prevention of recurrence.
Family therapy offers assistance and education to family members who care for schizophrenic people.
Group therapy can aid in stigma reduction and social support. This can help to alleviate loneliness.
The majority of people with schizophrenia require daily living assistance.
Social skills training enhances communication and helps people work on participation in daily activities, whereas vocational training helps people prepare for, find, and keep jobs.
During times of crisis, particularly during depressive episodes, hospitalization may be required to guarantee safety and proper self-care.