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What You Should Know When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Schizophrenia

When you are the parent of a child who seems to be struggling a great deal with their life due to unknown causes, you may find yourself feeling some semblance of relief when you finally have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, the problem may then be that you do not fully understand schizophrenia or the ways that it can be treated to help your child overcome their mental health issues and resume their normal daily activities. Get to know more about schizophrenia and its treatments so that you and your child can work together to overcome this mental health disorder.

Understanding What Is Meant By Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a form of mental health disorder that affects virtually every mental process a person has, including their thinking and emotions. It is often characterized by an inability to grasp reality and discern what is in their mind from what is actually around them in the real world. This, of course, also affects their behavior as well.

The Causes Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that has traditionally been difficult to pinpoint. It has a genetic component; a person who has a close family member who suffers from schizophrenia may be more likely to develop this mental health disorder than another person who does not.

However, until recently, the exact genetic factors that could be responsible for schizophrenia have been something of a mystery. A new study has shown that a gene known as the complement component 4 (C4) is active in brain development and has a major impact upon a person's risk for developing schizophrenia. Specifically, C4 plays a role in the maturation of the brain, which also happens to be the time that schizophrenia often begins to develop. This discovery can have major implications in future treatments and research.

Treating Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is generally treated through mental health counseling and therapy as well as psychiatric medications.  The main focus of therapy or mental health counseling for schizophrenia is to help the patient develop coping strategies for daily life so that they can better tell the difference between what is real and what is in their mind.

It is a goal-based form of therapy and a social one so that the schizophrenic person can go to work and school and engage with the rest of the world. Family therapy can also help to get the whole family involved as a support system.

Medications are antipsychotics such as clozepine and risperdone. These medications must be taken on a daily basis for the rest of a person's life to remain effective. However, the recent study that discovered the role of C4 in the development of schizophrenia could also create earlier treatment interventions and more effective ones that treat the causes rather than symptoms of schizophrenia.

Now that you know more about schizophrenia and how it can be treated, you can be there to support your child and engage with them in their treatment program to help ensure that they get their schizophrenia under control. 

For more information, contact a professional, like those from Comprehensive Behavioral Health Associates Inc.