Schizophrenia as a disorder signifies a diverse set of symptoms expressed differently across patients and also differs over the course of illness. A new study published in the Schizophrenia Research journal states that the suicide rate is higher among those afflicted by schizophrenic. The study, believed to be the largest ever on the subject, examined data from 75,000 patients for 20 years. The suicide rate for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD) is 170 times higher than the general population, the study stated.
According to ANI reports, lead author Dr Juveria Zaheer, Clinician Scientist at the CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research said, “What this study teaches us is that although people with SSD are at higher risk for suicide, we can target those at the highest risk with changes in policy and treatment.”
“In the past, clinicians have focused on treating the psychosis itself when it first appears. This study shows that treatment has to include suicide prevention safety planning as well from the very beginning,” remarked senior author Dr Paul Kurdyak, Director, Health Outcomes and Performance Evaluation, CAMH Institute for Mental Health Policy Research and Clinician Scientist at ICES.
The most common symptoms of schizophrenia:
* Remaining aloof, loss of interest, aimlessness and social withdrawal.
* Muttering and smiling to oneself.
* Disturbance in thinking and perception in the form of delusions, hallucinations and unusual bodily sensations.
* They may also have persistent delusions that are culturally inappropriate and implausible, such as religious or political identity or superhuman powers and abilities, or that they are being talked about, stalked and followed, spied by some agencies.
* They may hear voices or see images, which in reality may not exist.
* Irrelevant or incoherent speech.
Talking about the next step for this study, Dr Zaheer commented, “Now that we know what is happening, we need to better understand why. Our next step will be to study the lived experience of people with SSD who have had suicidal ideation.”
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