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Is Schizophrenia Preventable?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder, which can affect one’s ability to think, feel, and behave normally and is known to affect more than 21 million people worldwide. While its causes are yet to be fully identified, a combination of genetic, physical, psychological, and environmental factors are linked to the development of this disorder. 

While Schizophrenia can be treated in order to help you lead a normal life. Is the disorder also preventable? Here's what you need to know about the early signs and changes you can make to lower your chances of having this mental disorder. 


When Do the Signs of Schizophrenia Start to Show?

According to studies, men are known to develop schizophrenia between 16 and 25 years of age whereas women might become ill several years later. It can be tricky to understand because you could mistake symptoms of this disease as signs of depression or other bipolar disorders, like stress or tiredness.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Since, thinking, feeling and behavioural patterns of a person are affected, the symptoms would be linked to:

  • Hallucinating and delusions
  • Wandering aimlessly
  • Self-neglect or keeping oneself unruly dressed
  • Mumbling or disorganised speech
  • Showcasing disturbed emotions

This disorder is treatable with medicines and psychosocial support. As mentioned earlier, it is possible to be more prone to schizophrenia if it runs in the family but this too is preventable.

Six Preventable Measures for Schizophrenia

  1. Seek Therapy for Traumatic Events 

    During childhood, this can range from a physical brain injury to the mental agony of sexual abuse and other traumatic occurrences. Seeking therapy for this can help prevent potential disorders. As an adult, if you have been in an abusive relationship, getting help to eliminate this situation from your life is the first priority. Thereafter, seeking therapy to move on from the experience should be your next step.

  2. Eliminate Drug Abuse

    This includes alcohol. Drug abuse by children and teenagers can have a long-term detrimental effect on their health. Their brains at a young age are still developing. Therefore, this makes them prone to develop schizophrenia. Keep a close watch on your child’s behaviour or the kinds of friends they meet after school or college.

  3. Socialise Often


    Connecting with and meeting new people, making friends and taking part in fun gatherings does help in reducing your sense of loneliness and improving your self-esteem. This helps prevent self-isolation which is a huge cause of depression, a trigger for schizophrenia.

  4. Learn How to Manage Stress

    Stress is known to cause a multitude of illnesses and disorders. Make sure to enlist ways that can make you happy and bring you out of a stressful situation.
  5. Add Omega-3 to Your Diet
    Although not certain, Omega-3 fatty acids could help in preventing psychotic disorders from getting worse. Avoid sources like fish oil and opt for plant-based sources like nuts and seeds for optimum benefit.
  6. Keep Yourself Fit and Active
    This includes keeping yourself safe from head injuries. In addition to this, good nutrition and exercise for the mind and body will prove beneficial in more ways than one.

Looking for the signs and being mindful about your behavioural and thinking patterns can help in taking the right step towards self-care. Also, seeing a psychiatrist help you combat stress in your life can certainly go a long way.

Medanta Medical Team
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