Suicidal tendencies and schizophrenia




Schizophrenia is a very serious mental condition which is characterized by delusions and hallucinations. This is a mental disorder that can affect every part of a person’s life. Schizophrenia risk factors run in families because this condition is genetic.

When the condition becomes severe, the patient could also develop suicidal tendencies.

 

Often, when treatment is delayed, the patient may become a danger to themselves or to others around them. If you feel that you know someone with schizophrenia, who has been taking about suicide, or has been considering it for themselves, it is important to notify the authorities and get help for them immediately.

Suicide is more common among young schizophrenic patients than anyone else. Unfortunately, both schizophrenia and suicide are not predicted very easily. Mental illness and suicidal tendencies are often seen together in people. However, in case of schizophrenia, the patient often develops garbled speech, because of which it is difficult to understand what they are saying.

Since their thoughts and speech are often incoherent, people around the schizophrenic may not know that the patient has been contemplating suicide. On the other hand, in case the patient has been getting regular treatment and is undergoing psychotherapy, or the patient has been interacting with a social worker or a clinician on a regular basis, they are more likely to get immediate help.

 

As discussed above, schizophrenia affects all parts of a person’s life – their social and personal relationships, their work and their other activities. This is one of the reasons that schizophrenia and depression often go hand in hand. While more schizophrenics have a high tendency to develop depression, most patients in depression do not develop schizophrenia.

 

The everyday struggles in the life of a schizophrenic causes anxiety and schizophrenia, when coupled with these conditions, often leads to suicidal tendencies. The recurrent hallucinations that the patient has, could lead them to believe that committing suicide is the only way to protect themselves from harm’s way. Since these patients are usually delusional, they could also often feel that killing themselves would spare their families from the perceived threat to their lives.

 

Since thoughts of suicide and schizophrenia are often closely associated, a huge part of psychotherapy is to engage the patient in meaningful dialogue and thought so that the self esteem is raised and the perceived threat to themselves and the families could be mitigated. Patients, who have an idea of their disease are usually at a greater risk of developing schizophrenia.

 

Most schizophrenics develop suicidal tendencies, which their condition takes a turn for the better. When the most severe of symptoms begin to subside, and the patient begins to get some clarity of their own disease and the situation that the disease has created in their intimate environment, it is then that depression usually sinks in and the patient contemplates suicide.

 

For most patients, this situation comes when they are just discharged from the hospital and the responsibility of the patient’s care and well being is given over to their family. If the patient does not receive proper support and care at this crucial juncture in their life, the factors of suicide begin to set in, and the patient begins to feel the need to end their own life. Suicide in schizophrenia is extremely common and therefore, the consulting doctors and psychologists discuss the possibilities of developing these tendencies with the family.

 

Usually, the patients would not discuss their thoughts of suicide with anyone, so it becomes the responsibility of the doctor and the family members to keep a sharp watch on the everyday behavior of the patient so that attempts at taking their own life could be stopped.


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