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Schizophrenia

Affecting thousands of individuals worldwide, and existing in some form or the other in roughly one out of every hundred of the human population, the psychological condition known as schizophrenia is truly widespread as an illness. Nonetheless there has been a widespread and improper usage of the clinical term "schizophrenia" and this has led to it been misidentified with a lot of unrelated psychological conditions. Schizophrenia is not akin to a multiple personality disorder and it does not resemble any states of other psychological illnesses such as manic depression and other manias. Schizophrenia can be defined as the condition where the mind splits and properly it can be regarded in literal translation as Ďa splitting of the mind' from all bounds of reality and normal perception. It is more accurately a condition where the mind disconnects or severs itself from the real world and a splitting of the mind does not really define it fully as a condition. Personality is the first major part of an individual that takes a hit, as perception and behavior start diverging very far from reality due to the disconnect between the mind and real world, the person withdraws himself from the world around him and isolates himself or herself from the world.

Beginning in early adulthood or during the adolescent period, the onset is not dramatic and sudden, rather the establishment of the condition of schizophrenia is a gradual process, affecting the individual and settling in on the person over a period of months and years until it matures usually in the adult individual. The afflicted individual begins to notice some peculiar features of changed mental and emotional states and very characteristic patterns appear in the process of concentration and attention, thought processes undergo changes and perception is shifted to a large degree that even others being to notice problems with the individual. The person withdraws more into himself or herself as communicating coherently with people and society becomes more and more difficult for the individual. Complete and full rehabilitation from the condition is quite possible and severity if not the same in all individuals who suffer from it, it can be markedly different in the types of behavior or symptoms it elicits from different people. Psychiatric attention is required and therapy plays an important role in the restoration of patients to normality and due to such treatments the vast majority of patients improve with time, however where post therapeutic counseling is missing or is deficient, the incidences of disturbed mental states inherent in full blown schizophrenia can come back and relapses are common in such instances.

The condition itself falls into different levels of intensities and is thus classifiable into different forms of the same schizophrenic disorder usually dictated by the form of behavior displayed by the patient. Thus people who make sudden and bizarre comments at inappropriate situations and places and who display improper and surprising behavior at odd times can be classed generally as suffering from or afflicted with borderline schizophrenia. In this type of mild form or moderate type of schizophrenic behavior, the person's speech pattern strays and is hard to follow, the person is also confused and finds it hard to concentrate on things and activities that he or she is normally involved with as apart of his or her life. Dealing with such people becomes problematic because the comments and speeches they give or make will make no sense and have very little bearing on the circumstances or situation at hand, besides also being completely illogical in scope and form. Physical symptoms in such patients are manifested in the person rocking back and forth in a slow manner and evidently finding peace in this activity. The physical and facial expression of such individuals tends to be confused and they are given to messiness and appear haggard and unkempt at most times.

Paranoid delusions and severe forms of extreme mental states can generate hallucinations in the mind of the sufferer in the case of severe or serious forms of schizophrenia. Paranoia in affected patients can include thoughts that they are being stalked or followed by someone or something; patients are also given to hearing voices and evil beings plotting against them or trying to kill them. Other delusions can include paranoia about a group of people apparently controlling them through some form of mental link up and the patient may be scared of losing control over his or her own thought processes. Suicide is very usually attempted and suicidal thoughts are always evident in such patients, these can often be preceded by bouts of profound anguish and long periods of deep and lasting depression.

Feelings of guilt can be overwhelming and fright or extreme fear are common experiences of individuals with paranoid schizophrenia, these emotions often come out in sudden bouts or in brief periods and episodes of elevated mental states in the person. Intelligent and creative individuals as well as highly impressionable people tend to be affected with this form of paranoid schizophrenia.

The most uncommon and most severe form of schizophrenia is the type known in medical circles as catatonic schizophrenia. The loss of all psychological control the person has over himself or herself is complete and unequivocal as extreme metal states bring on an irrational fear of losing all mental faculties in the person. The individual can assume various unnatural and strange poses for hours on end and even days on end, sitting stock still and immobile and showing an almost statue like impassiveness, these events can follow or alternate and precede boisterous shouting and excitement including activities that border on hyperactivity and manic states. The most serious forms of such catatonic schizophrenia are unlikely to cause any dangerous or suicidal tendencies even if as a condition and during its sudden appearance angry outbursts and threats emanating from the patient is not uncommon. The patient may concentrate on venting his or her spleen on some personality or individual figure that she or he blames for the occurrence of the disorder and the confusion that it has wrought in the patient's life.

If patients have a history of abusing drugs or alcohol and other addictive substances during young adulthood, the symptoms of schizophrenia is very difficult to detect and identify as they can be masked by the effects of addictive substances and they can also be hidden with the many character changes during puberty if the condition sets in during adolescence or young adulthood. Schizophrenia by definition is gradual in appearing though sometimes, emotional trauma or grief resulting from a stressful experience can trigger it. Schizophrenia as a condition remains a mystery to the scientific community, and the origin or particular causes is not fully understood even now, even though symptomatic treatments have been developed that are generally effective in combating the illness. The role of psychological stresses present as a part and parcel in the immediate environment of the individual added to vulnerabilities engendered by genetic factors or genes may possibly be causes, along with these factors vulnerability may be increased when children faced painful or extremely stressful situations as children, which has affected them badly.

Schizophrenia as a condition is brought on through the agency of fluctuations in the levels of histamine in the brain, which in its turn causes chemical imbalances to appear in the brain. Schizophrenic attacks can also be due to the presence of heavy metal poisoning from the diet. Nutritional deficiencies in the prenatal stage probably plays a role in the onset of the disorder, as does allergies reactions and allergies to substances found in milk, carbohydrates like sugar and substances like gluten which is a wheat protein abundant in other types of grains. An unseen and underlying originator for the disease can be deficient intake levels of the essential fatty acid omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid could or impaired usage of this substance in the body.

Supplements and herbs

Symptoms and episodes of the disorder can be worsened and aggravated in scope or level of intensity by the absence of essential nutritional substances in proper amounts in the body. All the B vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine or B6 and vitamin B3 or niacin are depleted in the body, in addition deficiencies exist in the levels of ascorbic acid or vitamin C which is a very important vitamin, certain essential fatty acids and some necessary minerals like manganese and zinc are also below normal levels in the body. Some minerals are correspondingly present in excess amounts, for example there is a high level of copper in the body, though at times it may be low, it is important to ascertain the levels of the mineral in an individual. Supplements such as the vitamin E, essential compounds and enzyme factors like coenzyme Q10, trace minerals like selenium and magnesium, compounds like lecithin, vitamin like choline and amino acids like serine can all be used in massive dosage levels to counter the worst effects of schizophrenia.

The most desirable results are observed when using supplements of the vitamin C in optimum amounts. By reducing anxiety, the vitamin plays a very important role in minimizing the elevated mental states that suddenly strikes the patient periodically. Optimum performance of the vitamin C is assured when combined with supplements of plant based natural substances called the bioflavonoid, which include a compound like quercetin, these compounds improve the absorption rate of vitamin C and boost its performance in the body. Problems in the nervous system are often due to the absence of many essential fatty acids or rather to their being at very low levels in the tissues, this is particularly true of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is abundant in the oil of the evening primrose herb, and supplements can be taken using this oil as the basis. Nervous system functions and emotional and mental equilibrium are promoted in the person by the B complex vitamins and supplements must always include these vitamins. Niacin is the main nutrient used to treat schizophrenia.

Dysfunctional renal systems and kidneys with slight impairments can often be underlying factors in the cause of the disease and some of the herbs given below can help in detoxification and in cleansing the kidneys. Symptoms of this condition can also be removed by calming nerves and by purifying the blood using herbal remedies.

The levels of oxygen reaching the brain is increased by the use of the ginkgo biloba herb in a schizophrenic and this can greatly calm him or her down, the circulation of blood is another important function that this herb promotes and it helps the schizophrenic overcome symptoms of the disease. The patient must use this herb in a tea form and can drink three cups of the tea every day as an herbal remedy. The excitement and tension accumulated in the patient can be calmed and relaxed by using a tbsp of the juice of the St. John's wort herb as an herbal remedy. The body can be cleansed of various accumulated toxins and substances by drinking a combinations tea made form the lobelia and mullein in a combined herbal form. To prepare this tea boil a tsp. of this herb in a cup of boiling water, let the herbal mixture steep into the water, the resulting tea can be strained and used thrice a day as a herbal drink and remedy.

Usual dosage

  • Oil of evening primrose, 2x500 mg capsules thrice a day
  • Vitamin C (with bioflavonoids) 1,000 mg
  • Vitamin E (with tocopherols) 400 IU
  • Vitamin B complex, 50 mg thrice a day
  • Niacin, 3,000 mg
  • Magnesium, 500 mg
  • Selenium, 100 mcg
  • Zinc, 15 mg, with 3 mg of copper
  • Phosphatidylserine, six capsules
  • Phosphatidylcholine, six capsules

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