Patients suffering from schizophrenia require a lot of care, it is a mental disorder diagnosed when a person is between the late childhood to early adolescent phase. The symptoms are delusions, hallucinations leading to loss of touch with reality. In order to understand the condition clearly these are the phases.
Hallucination occurs when a person hears voices that don’t exist, it can be hard on the affected person and family member. The voices occur like two people are talking to each other, or there is a voice telling the affected person to do something.
The person will believe things that are not true, to an extent of being determined to do unrealistic extraordinary things. There is even a perception of being controlled, and they feel other people are controlling their life.
You will notice disordered thinking, when a topic emerges, the mind of a person with Schizophrenia will wander to another topic that is probably irrelevant or not connected.
There are certain behavioral patterns that could indicate schizophrenia
Reduced social involvement- The patient feels that mingling might result in someone to cause harm.
No interest in regular daily activities such as cooking, washing, arranging utensils and so on.
Lack of expression- The patient is unable to rationalize and differentiate between events that are thrilling or depressing.
The patient is unable to engage in organized thought process about planning their work, home and what to do during the week.
What causes a person to suffer from schizophrenia, there are many factors that cause it
Chemical imbalance is a primary cause, there is an imbalance in the level of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.
It can be genetic- If a parent is diagnosed than the chances of the child having it is ten percent. If it is not in the family then the risk is one percent.
Experts have not been able to come to a conclusion about environment causing the disease. However experts say obstetric complications and prenatal infections can trigger the condition.
Tension in the family:
There are a few patients who have stated that stress in the family has triggered relapse. However scientists have not been able to derive a scientific reason behind this fact.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disease, characterized by symptoms such as paranoia, delusion, hallucination that affect the mental state and quality of life. The main concern for caretakers and friends would be a diet plan for people with Schizophrenia. There are dietary modifications that need to be implemented, but it is also important to discuss the condition with a doctor.
Diet plan for patients with Schizophrenia:
Consume good amount of antioxidant foods:
Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals that can cause cancer, and foods rich in antioxidants is good for schizophrenia patients and the good sources are plums, apples, berries and beans.
Eat foods with essential fatty acids:
Patients with Schizophrenia suffer a deficiency of essential fatty acids like omega-3 fats in the brain, and hence regular intake of foods such as olive oil, nuts, fish and flax seed, can help in managing symptoms. Patients suffer from severe body inflammation and omega-3 fatty acids is known to fight inflammation.
Eliminate gluten from diet:
Gluten does not agree with patients suffering from schizophrenia and other mental diseases. Caretakers should understand that gluten should be eliminated from the diet for better management of symptoms. Avoid these foods, baked goods, soy sauce, cereals, crackers, bread and alcoholic drinks that have gluten like beer.
Decrease sugar consumption:
Sugar worsens symptoms, it induces series of chemical reactions resulting in chronic inflammation. Sugar inhibits activity of BDNF Brain Derived Neurotrophic factor a growth hormone, the level of this hormone is extremely low in patients with schizophrenia and depression. A low carbohydrate diet is essential packed with fiber, and avoid foods such as coffee, crackers, bread, candy, soda. It is important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and hence opt for low Glycemic load (GL) foods, and the good sources are apple, watermelon and carrots.
A combination of diet, psychotherapy and anti-psychotic medication will help patients live the best quality life they can. It is important for family and friends to show concern and offer a source of strength and positive energy to the patient.