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Being diagnosed with a psychotic condition can make someone feel worthless. That is especially the case if the victim is aware of the illness. Some people with psychotic disorders will never admit to themselves that they have a problem. In many instances, that’s easier for loved ones because you can avoid the issue as much as possible. However, there are still lots of things you could get wrong. The last thing you want to do is make the situation worse, and so we’ve published some tips here today. Use them to ensure you always take the right approach when your partner or a family member becomes unwell.
Don’t encourage their fantasies
While you don’t want to spend all day reminding your spouse they’re ill; it’s also sensible to refrain from taking part in their delusions. Playing along might seem like a harmless move, but it could make their condition worse. At the end of the day, you will effectively validate their fantasies and make it even harder for them to admit their problem. At the same time, you don’t want to push the issue too much either. Just change the subject if they start talking about something that doesn’t make sense.
Don’t stop telling them to get help
It’s important that you remind your loved one they need to get help every day. That is of particular importance if they don’t have an official diagnosis. It can take a long time for someone to notice they’re acting in a strange manner. In many situations, they will feel like it’s the rest of the world that’s gone mad. Gentle reminders from people who care about them could go a long way towards making them understand their issue. That could be enough to encourage them to get the medication they require to improve. So, make sure you make a conscious effort to highlight their illness in a calm and collected way.
Don’t add to their stresses
The last thing you want to do is add to the stresses of your spouse’s mental health problem. You could make the condition worse if you’re not careful. For example, people who have schizophrenia often deteriorate when they feel under too much pressure. Indeed, it can push them into a state where their body functions stop working. You might have heard the term before, but what is catatonic schizophrenia? Well, it’s a stage of the illness that can have drastic effects on someone’s ability to live a normal life. There’s lots of information online you should read if that applies to your situation.
You should now have a good idea about the things you shouldn’t do when dealing with a psychotic loved one. So, what about the things you SHOULD do? Well, in most instances it’s sensible for you to ensure they attend medical appointments. You could go along with them to provide support if they’re nervous. You also need to make sure they always take any prescribed medication. At the end of the day, it will help to balance their mood and remove all those delusions. You could also encourage them to get out of the house as much as possible. Many people with mental health issues shut themselves off from the world, and that just makes things worse.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge have developed a brain-training game that could improve the daily lives of people with schizophrenia.
They tested the computer-based game on a small number of patients who played the game over four weeks found improvements in memory and learning.
This could help people to get back to work or studying after a diagnosis.
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that causes a range of psychological symptoms, from behavior changes to hallucinations.
Many patients also experience cognition problems, which affect their memory and ability to function independently.
The memory game has a wizard theme with various levels of difficulty.
It asks players to enter rooms, find items in boxes and remember where they put them, testing their so-called episodic memory.
Prof. Barbara Sahakian, from the department of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and who researched the impact of the game, said patients who played it made significantly fewer errors in tests afterwards on their memory and brain functioning.
She said this was an indication that they were better prepared to function in the real world.
Prof. Barbara Sahakian said treating the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia was important, but slow progress was being made towards developing a drug treatment.
She added that the memory game could help where drugs had so far failed – with no side-effects.
The game is available as an app that anyone can play.
Although the results are promising, the research team said more research was needed on larger groups of patients to confirm the findings.
The researchers added that any memory training games had to be used in conjunction with medication and psychological therapies.
British researchers have identified a weak spot in the brain which is responsible for developing Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia.
According to the scientists who have pinpointed the region using scans, the brain area involved develops late in adolescence and degenerates early during ageing.
At the moment, it is difficult for doctors to predict which people might develop either condition.
The findings, in the journal PNAS, hint at a potential way to diagnose those at risk earlier, experts say.
Although they caution that “much more research is needed into how to bring these exciting discoveries into the clinic”.
The Medical Research Council (MRC) team who carried out the study did MRI brain scans on 484 healthy volunteers aged between 8 and 85 years.
The researchers, led by Dr. Gwenaëlle Douaud of Oxford University, looked at how the brain naturally changes as people age.
The images revealed a common pattern – the parts of the brain that were the last to develop were also the first to show signs of age-related decline.
These brain regions – a network of nerve cells or grey matter – co-ordinate “high order” information coming from the different senses, such as sight and sound.
When the researchers looked at scans of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and scans of patients with schizophrenia they found the same brain regions were affected.
The findings fit with what other experts have suspected – that although distinct, Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia are linked.
Prof. Hugh Perry of the MRC said: “Early doctors called schizophrenia <<premature dementia>> but until now we had no clear evidence that the same parts of the brain might be associated with two such different diseases. This large-scale and detailed study provides an important, and previously missing, link between development, ageing and disease processes in the brain.
“It raises important issues about possible genetic and environmental factors that may occur in early life and then have lifelong consequences. The more we can find out about these very difficult disorders, the closer we will come to helping sufferers and their families.”
According to Amanda Bynes’ lawyer, the former actress is still going for treatment in a California hospital and will need 18 months to complete that treatment.
Amanda Bynes was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents were attempting to gain a conservatorship, so they could look after her well being.
According to TMZ, Amanda Bynes is far worse off than it initially appeared. She could be detained in a mental health facility for a year and a half receiving said psychiatric treatment.
Her latest court appearance was delayed due to her mental instability.
Amanda Bynes is still going for treatment in a California hospital and will need 18 months to complete that treatment
TMZ has reported that the case will be a plea bargain, according to sources close to the case, and that there’s a major weakness in the prosecutor’s end. The case is in connection with the incident that started Amanda Bynes’ spiral, when the actress threw a b**g out of her apartment window in New York City.
However, Amanda Bynes’ mother is actually dropping her bid to gain a permanent conservatorship. According to sources, it’s not because Amanda Bynes is doing well, or that her mother is turning her back on her daughter, but her mom is already protecting her to the best of her ability without the conservatorship.
It’s believed that Amanda Bynes is also on something called an LPS hold, which means that her doctors have control over the former child star, more so than what her mother would have if she had a conservatorship.
So far her mother has exercised her right and has admitted AmandaBynes to a long-term stay at UCLA Medical Center to get prolonged treatment.
According to a study of more than a million people, creativity is often part of a mental illness, with writers particularly susceptible.
Writers had a higher risk of anxiety and bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, unipolar depression, and substance abuse, the Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute found.
They were almost twice as likely as the general population to kill themselves.
The dancers and photographers were also more likely to have bipolar disorder.
As a group, those in the creative professions were no more likely to suffer from psychiatric disorders than other people.
But they were more likely to have a close relative with a disorder, including anorexia and, to some extent, autism, the Journal of Psychiatric Research reports.
Lead researcher Dr. Simon Kyaga said the findings suggested disorders should be viewed in a new light and that certain traits might be beneficial or desirable.
For example, the restrictive and intense interests of someone with autism and the manic drive of a person with bipolar disorder might provide the necessary focus and determination for genius and creativity.
Similarly, the disordered thoughts associated with schizophrenia might spark the all-important originality element of a masterpiece.
Dr. Simon Kyaga said: “If one takes the view that certain phenomena associated with the patient’s illness are beneficial, it opens the way for a new approach to treatment.
“In that case, the doctor and patient must come to an agreement on what is to be treated, and at what cost.
“In psychiatry and medicine generally there has been a tradition to see the disease in black-and-white terms and to endeavour to treat the patient by removing everything regarded as morbid.”
Beth Murphy, head of information at Mind, said bipolar disorder personality traits could be beneficial to those in creative professions, but it may also be that people with bipolar disorder are more attracted to professions where they can use their creative skills.
“It is important that we do not romanticize people with mental health problems, who are too often portrayed as struggling creative geniuses.
“We know that one in four people will be diagnosed with a mental health problem this year and that these individuals will come from a range of different backgrounds, professions and walks of live. Our main concern is that they get the information and support that they need and deserve.”
• Novelist Virginia Woolf, who wrote A Room of One’s Own and To the Lighthouse, had depression and drowned herself
• Fairytale author Hans Christian Andersen, who wrote The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid, had depression
• US author and journalist Ernest Hemingway, who wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls, had depression and killed himself with a shotgun
• Author and playwright Graham Greene, who wrote the novel Brighton Rock, had bipolar disorder
A new genetic study in Iceland has added to evidence that the increase in some mental disorders may be due to men having children later in life.
An Icelandic company found the number of genetic mutations in children was directly related to the age of their father when they were conceived.
One prominent researcher suggested young men should consider freezing their sperm if they wanted to have a family in later life.
The research is published in Nature.
According to Dr. Kari Stefansson, of Decode Genetics, who led the research, the results show it is the age of men, rather than women, that is likely to have an effect on the health of the child.
“Society has been very focused on the age of the mother. But apart from [Down’s Syndrome] it seems that disorders such as schizophrenia and autism are influenced by the age of the father and not the mother.”
The increase in some mental disorders may be due to men having children later in life
Dr. Kari Stefansson’s team sequenced the DNA of 78 parents and their children.
This revealed a direct correlation between the number of mutations or slight alterations to the DNA, of the child and the age of their father.
The results indicate that a father aged 20 passes, on average, approximately 25 mutations, while a 40-year-old father passes on about 65. The study suggests that for every year a man delays fatherhood, they risk passing two more mutations on to their child.
What this means in terms of the impact on the health of the child is unclear. But it does back studies that also show fathers are responsible for mutations and that these mutations increase with age.
And, for the first time, these results have been quantified and they show that 97% of all mutations passed on to children are from older fathers.
“No other factor is involved which for those of us working in the field is very surprising,” said Dr Stefansson.
He added that the work backed other studies that have found links between older fathers and some mental disorders.
“The average age of fathers has been steeply rising [in industrialized countries] since 1970. Over the same period there has been an increase in autism and it is very likely that part of that rise is accounted for by the increasing age of the father,” he said.
The findings should not alarm older fathers. The occurrence of many of these disorders in the population is very low and so the possible doubling in risk by having a child later in life will still be a very low risk.
Nearly all children born to older fathers will be healthy. But across the population the number of children born with disorders is likely to increase if this theory holds true.
Older fathers and therefore genetic mutations have been linked with neurological conditions because the brain depends on more genes for its development and regulation.
So mutations in genes are more likely to show up as problems in the brain than in any other organ. But it is unclear whether the age of fathers has an effect on any other organ or system. The research has not yet been done.
The reason that men rather than women drive the mutation rate is that women are born with all their eggs whereas men produce new sperm throughout their adult life. It is during sperm production that genetic errors creep in, especially as men get older.
Writing a commentary in the Journal Nature, Prof. Alexey Kondrashov, of University of Michigan, said young men might wish to consider freezing their sperm if future studies showed there were other negative effects on a child’s health.
“Collecting the sperm of young adult men and cold storing it for later use could be a wise individual decision. It might also be a valuable for public health, as such action could reduce the deterioration of the gene pool of human populations,” he said.
Dr. Kari Stefansson, however, said that from a long-term perspective the decision by some men to have children later in life might well be speeding up the evolution of our species.
“The high rate of mutations is dangerous for the next generation but is generating diversity from which nature can select and further refine this product we call man,” he said.
“So what is bad for the next generation may be good for our species in general.”