Cannabis and schizophrenia

The relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia is much more complex than we imagine. This is because a number of factors are involved, such as the age at which marijuana is first used. The amount and frequency of cannabis use also play an important role. Even genetic vulnerabilities.

In fact, the general consensus is that cannabis use increases the risk of psychosis, although in all users the effect is significantly small. However, the effect appears to be much stronger in individuals who are already at risk for schizophrenia.

People with a family history of psychotic disorders, or those who have suffered child abuse, are also at high risk of developing psychotic disorders if they use cannabis.

What You Need to Know About Cannabis and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses are major sources of mortality worldwide. They also represent a significant financial burden on health care systems. This has led many people to wonder whether psychosis can be cured or what is the most effective treatment.

What is certain is that risk factors need to be identified to improve global public health in this particular case. Experts agree that schizophrenia is caused by a combination of biological and environmental variables, and cannabis use has long been suspected to play a role.

Cannabis was known to cause short-term acute psychotic states. However, there were insufficient data to indicate a real link between cannabis and chronic psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia.

cannabis schizophrenia

Long-term effects (schizophrenia risk factors)

Dr. Stan Zammit, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, and colleagues assessed the complex relationship between cannabis use and its long-term effects on mental health. The research focused in particular on the impact of cannabis on the risk of schizophrenia.

The study found that people who regularly used cannabis had a significantly higher risk of schizophrenia than those who did not. Importantly, the evidence points to cannabis use having a causal influence on psychosis. Such an effect persists even after taking into account the effects of other medications and other putative risk factors.

Meanwhile, research from Tel Aviv University in Israel revealed that genetically susceptible mice developed changes related to schizophrenia after being exposed to marijuana.

In other words, the study indicates that cannabis is more likely to produce long-term psychiatric effects in more susceptible individuals. Research also shows that marijuana has a differential risk between susceptible and non-susceptible people.

Therefore, young people with a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia, as well as those with a history of psychiatric disorders in their families, are more likely to develop schizophrenia if they use cannabis during adolescence.

What is schizophrenia?

Before we talk about the schizophrenia cure, it is essential to first understand what schizophrenia is. Schizophrenia is a mental condition that makes it difficult to think clearly. Symptoms can have an impact on your ability to cope with everyday life.

As such, it is considered a serious brain disease that makes it difficult to know what is real and what is not. It also prevents you from thinking effectively, dealing with emotions, relating to people and leading your life regularly. It has an impact on the way a person acts, thinks and perceives the world.

The most common type is paranoid schizophrenia, sometimes known as schizophrenia with paranoia. People with paranoid schizophrenia have a distorted view of reality. They may see or hear things that aren’t there, talk in a confusing way, believe that others mean them harm, or feel that they are constantly being watched.

All of the above can cause problems in relationships, interfere with performing daily tasks, including bathing, or eating. It can even cause people to self-medicate with alcohol and drugs.

During psychotic episodes, periods of depression, and the first six months after starting treatment, many people with schizophrenia withdraw from the outside world, acting confused and terrified. They also have an elevated risk of suicide.

knowing if I have schizophrenia

How Do I Know if I Have Schizophrenia?

Although schizophrenia is a chronic illness, many of the anxieties people feel about it are unfounded. That is the case with schizophrenia hallucinations. Most people with schizophrenia improve rather than deteriorate over time. Treatment options are always increasing and there are numerous ways to treat the disease. A psychotic break from reefer is not a good treatment of course.

Because schizophrenia is often episodic, periods of remission are opportune for implementing self-help methods aimed at reducing the duration and frequency of future episodes.

Many people can control their mild schizophrenia symptoms by operating independently. In fact, they can live full and rewarding lives with the right care, medicine and therapy.

At what age does schizophrenia appear?

Schizophrenia affects some people quickly and without warning. However, in the vast majority of cases, paranoid schizophrenia cure develops gradually. Subtle warning signs appear, and the person shows a progressive reduction in functioning long before the first severe episode.

Friends or family members will often notice something is wrong from the start, even if they don’t know what it is. Others may perceive the person as strange, unmotivated, unemotional, and isolated, especially during the early stages of schizophrenia.

Whether it is schizophrenic psychosis or mild schizophrenia, the individual may begin to isolate themselves, ignoring their appearance. You may also begin to say strange things, as well as show a general lack of interest in life.

In many cases there is a possibility that the person may give up favorite hobbies and activities. Because of this, your work or school performance will suffer. Although schizophrenia can appear at any age, the average age of onset for men is late teens to early twenties. In women, schizophrenia appears between the ages of twenty and thirty.

However, schizophrenia is rarely diagnosed in children under the age of 12 or in people over the age of 40.

paranoid schizophrenia

Symptoms of Paranoid Schizophrenia

Early warning signs of schizophrenia include:

  • Social isolation and depression.
  • Flat, expressionless look.
  • Mistrust, hostility, as well as extreme reactions to criticism.
  • Inability to cry, or express joy.
  • Lack of personal hygiene.
  • Claiming strange or irrational things, using strange words.
  • Oversleeping, inability to concentrate.

These warning signs can be due to a variety of problems, not just schizophrenia, and should be taken seriously. It is recommended that you seek medical help if unusual behavior is causing problems in your life or the life of a loved one. If schizophrenia or another mental illness is the cause, it will be beneficial to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Now, five symptoms of schizophrenia have been identified. However, the pattern and intensity of symptoms differ dramatically from person to person. In addition, not all people with schizophrenia experience all symptoms, and even these symptoms may change over time.

Delusions

Before knowing whether or not schizophrenia is cured, it is important to understand one of its main symptoms: delusions. Basically, they are persistent beliefs that a person holds despite clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

Such delusions are particularly common in people with schizophrenia and affect more than 90% of those diagnosed. These illusions are often accompanied by irrational or bizarre beliefs or fantasies, such as:

  • Delusions of persecution
  • Delusions of reference
  • Delusions of grandeur
  • Delusions of control

Hallucinations

Sounds or other experiences that are considered real but are simply in your head are known as hallucinations. While hallucinations can affect any of the five senses, auditory hallucinations – hearing voices or hearing something else – are the most common type of hallucination.

This usually occurs when you perceive your own internal dialogue as emanating from somewhere else. The meaning of paranoid ideas or schizophrenic hallucinations is usually personal to the person experiencing them.

In addition, the voices are often those of someone familiar, and are often negative, profane or aggressive. Visual hallucinations are also common, although all types of hallucinations are worse when the person is alone.

Disorganized way of speaking

Schizophrenia can make it difficult to concentrate and maintain a train of thought, which may show up in the way you speak. A person with schizophrenia may respond to questions with an unrelated answer, beginning sentences with one topic and ending with another. He may even speak incoherently or make illogical statements.

Disorganized behavior

Schizophrenia affects your ability to care for yourself, work, and communicate with others by disrupting goal-directed activity. The following are examples of disorganized behavior:

  • Lack of inhibition and inability to control impulses
  • Unpredictable, or inappropriate emotional responses
  • Decrease in overall daily performance
  • Behaviors that seem strange and purposeless

Absence of normal behaviors

The absence of typical activities present in healthy people is known as “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia. The following stand out:

  • Lack of emotional expression: The individual exhibits a flat voice, lack of eye contact, and blank or restricted facial emotions and expressionless face.
  • Lack of interest or enthusiasm: This translates into motivation problems; as well as poor self-care.
  • Apparent lack of interest in the world. The person has an apparent unfamiliarity with the environment, and avoids social interaction.
  • Speech problems and abnormalities. They include the inability to carry on a conversation, giving brief and often unrelated answers to questions. It is also common for a monotone to be used.
schizophrenia treatment

Treatment for schizophrenia - is schizophrenia cured?

As distressing as a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. It is critical to begin treatment as soon as possible with a competent mental health expert.

At the same time, it’s very important not to buy into the stigma surrounding schizophrenia or the idea that it’s impossible to recover. A diagnosis of schizophrenia does not mean that you will have to live with increasingly severe symptoms and recurrent hospitalizations for the rest of your life.

Many people with schizophrenia can regain normal functioning and even stop having symptoms with the right treatment and self-help. It is worth noting that the medical treatment of schizophrenia consists primarily of antipsychotic medications.

While they are effective in reducing the symptoms of schizophrenia, they often have adverse effects on the patient. This has led in recent years to the study of the endogenous cannabinoid system as a potential therapeutic treatment for schizophrenia.

The possibility that the antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol may benefit people suffering from schizophrenia is now being evaluated. Unfortunately, the positive relationship between marijuana and schizophrenia has not been fully established.

However, early research has revealed that CBD may alleviate the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, without generating adverse side effects.

cbd schizophrenia

Medication and therapy

A combination of medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and social support is the most successful treatment strategy for schizophrenia. In other words, schizophrenia is a chronic illness that requires long-term therapy.

People who wonder if schizophrenia can be cured must understand that to avoid new episodes and remain symptom-free, it is necessary to continue treatment, even when they feel better. However, treatment may change over time. Your doctor may be able to reduce the amount or adjust the medicines when your symptoms improve.

Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disorganized thinking are reduced with medication for schizophrenia. However, none of this is a cure for schizophrenia.

Therapy can help in the development of coping and life skills. Also in stress management, interpersonal problem solving and communication improvement.

Group therapy can even be used to meet others who are in a similar circumstance. This can be ideal for useful tips on how to overcome obstacles.

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