My Writings. My Thoughts.

Sachin and the 'dog' mentality

At » 11:24:00 PM // 4 Comments »


A very common notion that the entire 1.2 billion population of India shares with pride is 
"Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my GOD" 
Suddenly some chap in the southern most tip of Africa shows his dyslexic skill when he appears before the media and says, "Sachin is my DOG!" 

(Courtesy: Internet)
The South African Cricket team Bowling coach Vincent Barnes, has reportedly admitted before the media that he's missing Sachin - his dog that is, and not the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, after whom he named the canine. Barnes also made it clear that he is one of the most ardent fan of Sachin (Tendulkar). He has held the post of a bowling coach for half a decade now. The most funny thing about this news, according to me, is the question, whether this is even a news in the first place. A major Indian daily put it on their front page and the whimsical media, both electronic and print, followed suit. As expected, the Indians were hurt. Some call it as a sheer disrespect, some even point a racist angle to it and many feel that its a mind game to pluck the master blasters wicket in the coming  India-SA world cup match.

Relax guys! One thing that makes me happy about this 'news' is the fact that these westerners do love their pets more than their wives sometimes. They will invest huge amount of money for maintaining their pets especially dogs. In West, pets have their own rights just like we humans do. We, as Indians, can only think of a stray who gets kicked and stoned every other day, when the word 'dog' comes in our mind and understandably so many felt that this was a matter of abuse and disrespect for the little master. But as a die-hard Sachin fan myself, I am pretty much sure that Sachin, himself would have just laughed over this and took it sportingly. 

(Courtesy: Hindustan times)
Pets are a symbol of love, comfort and compassion. People need to understand that it should be a matter of pride for us when Sachin gets symbolised for love. There is no need to get cynical over this. Sadly so, the Indian press and media are the ones who have gone to the 'dogs'. They are just there to build a mountain out of a molehill. They cash in on our Indian mindset which is always hungry for some spicy news. Journalism has surely gone for a toss. The electronic media has become a joke and now the print media is following suit. They are responsible for instigating a negative mindset in the people. The fact that the guy is himself admitting this in front of the so-called media and that too in India, certainly points to the fact that he has no malice against Sachin. Its just another case of 'Cultural difference.' We as Indians need to be more mature and see through these gimmicks and think rationally before coming to a hasty conclusion.

So lets put this aside. Let us not behave like immatures and just accept the idea that Vincent must have named his DOG as Sachin, so that he could feel even more closer to our GOD!

Should Doctors go on strike?

At » 9:24:00 AM // 0 Comments »

My younger brother called up today evening to let me know that he was participating in a debate in his medical school. The topic was "Should doctors be allowed to go on strike?" I asked him whether he was talking from the pro or the against side? Being in the first year of medical school, not yet exposed to the clinical environment and the set-up, it was understandable when he said that he was going to talk from the 'no-strike' point of view. So that tempted me to open my lappie and post about the topic here.


(Courtesy: Internet)
Every month or so, people in India are used to reading the 'Breaking News' that says - "Doctors in so-and-so state have called for an indefinite strike." I believe, 'strike' is a legitimate form to protest in a democracy like India. But with the principle behind medicine rests in alleviation of suffering, the issue about doctors using that form of protest is slightly questionable. But I feel even before asking the question as to 'Should Doctors go on strike', the first question should be, 'What are the reasons behind these strikes?' And hence this question needs to be answered so that the media and indirectly the general public gets to know the real facts for the doctors to step against their Hippocratic Oath.

What leads to strike?
In India, the medical system is not an autonomous organisation. The government controls a major part of it. The medical community is too small as compared to the vast patient load that it has to face in the public as well as the private sector. In India a student has to undergo a total of five and a half years of continuous academic training that also includes the compulsory one year rotatory internship. Some states even have a bond to complete one more year of exclusive rural hospital training before assigning the graduation hat to the candidate. Once MBBS is over, the chap has to go through yet another rigorous phase of life for his/her post-graduation studies and then when he/she gets that seat after many attempts (which is usually the scenario), the real struggle starts.

The resident doctors are the core of any public hospital. They are the ones who are present 24/7 in the hospital campus. A HSC passed science student has many aspirations and a noble thought of selfless service to the community, when he clears the CET and steps into a medical school. Yes later as he matures, he does think about earning money, which I feel is completely justified. But unfortunately, the conditions in which the resident doctors work in, make them feel hopeless about their future and the spark of the noble cause gradually dwindles along the way. Despite being the crème of the society, when they feel that their grievances for even their basic needs are not heard, the only step that remains is to resort to strike so that their apathy is somehow brought to notice.

Media and the Doctors:
Unlike what is portrayed in the electronic media (which has become a real farce in today's society), Doctors do think a lot before going on strike. They are completely aware of the repercussions that may follow in form of canceling of their registration, delay in their completion of studies and needless to mention, their image in the society. Nevertheless, the trust between the doctor and patient is not as strong as it was a few decades ago. All that the lay man today cribs about the doctor is that they are money-minting machines! But no one gives a thought to the tough and an impatient journey which the doctors go through in their early life to be called one later. It is certainly not like Dr. Armaan and Dr. Riddhima who are shown to attend patients in between their romantic and fun filled lifestyle rather than what it should be, the other way round.

Today doctors are beaten up like dogs by hooligans, not to mention, right in front of the security. We doctors certainly don't expect people to worship us like God. All we want from them is to understand that the person behind that white coat is a human being, no different than them. I am not amongst those who completely blame the relatives for such outbursts. Somewhere the communication gap between the doctor and the patient is increasingly widening leading to such shameful incidents. Both the sides should equally give efforts to understand each others point.

These strikes have become a daily affair since last few years. During my undergraduate days, I had been a part of three major strikes over a period of 3 years, everytime the cause was a different one but the pattern used to be the same. After all the means of protest proved fruitless, a strike used to become inevitable, media would spice up the stories at their own will, after 7-10 days or so, the government would wake up and do bla-bla in front of the camera without giving any written assurances and finally the strike used to get called off just to be repeated after few months as the demands used to get thrown away of the window with some or the other excuses.

Why doctors strikes are often failures?
(Courtesy: The Hindu)
The problem for all these 'strikes' remaining unsuccessful lies in the fact that the resident doctors come and go every 3 years unlike the politicians which are glued to their seats for eternity. And this is also one of the many reasons that the media openly seems biased towards the government during such confrontations. Today's media is more like that small kid desperate for attention of his friends for all the silly and stupid reasons that he has. They will loop a clip of a patient being turned away from a hospital n number of times but will not bother to step into the pathetic hostel room of a resident doctor just a few blocks away.

Another big reason for resident doctors pushed away in the corner is the lack of unity and support by their own seniors, the lecturers and the professors. Instead of increasing the medical seats for both post-graduates and the professors, the government is still hell bent on increasing the age of retirement, thereby increasing the stagnating gap between the PGs and the teachers. This is serving absolutely no purpose for those lecturers who are waiting for more than 10 years to get promoted to a professors job.

The most important reason for strike now-a-days was the decrease in the number of post-graduates seats in the government hospitals as compared to the surprisingly increase in the same in the private medical colleges, especially in Maharashtra, where almost all of them have some or the other politician heading the university they are affliated to. Talk of the pathetic political will to implement a central common entrance on merit for all the medical seats which also would include the private ones.

So all these frustrating scenarios make a doctor shed his white coat and resort to a democratic way to show his protest to the tyrannical political way of working that has infested the medical education system in India. If doctors wouldnt have gone on strike, this minutely noticeable population would have deteriorated even further. This strikes don't happen only for increase in wages as the media always focuses on. There are lot many issues that the Resident doctors associations come up with, selflessly putting the welfare of the society ahead of everything. But still there is so much indifference and insensitivity that people show towards doctors. The media shows the doctors as evil since no one would like to see a channel that supports the doctors. The media industry just cashes in on the ongoing mood, which is usually a common man's hatred and disgust towards a doctor leaving his OPD and coming on to the roads and polishing shoes in front of cameras to show their pathetic state of living.

Despite this the question still remains debatable. As long as the root of this problem is not addressed with unbiased approach by the authorities, the media and the government, these strikes will continue, irrespective of the fact that a doctor never willingly thinks about hurting his patients by holding up his services temporarily...


(The recent strike going on by the Interns in Maharashtra can be followed here... 
ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING by fellow blogger Karan Choudhary)

Are you really depressed?

At » 6:20:00 PM // 4 Comments »
Most of us feel sad in our daily life. Its not unusual for someone to feel the 'blues' now and then. But then what exactly falls in the criteria of being 'depressed'? Let me put up a few points for you to help you identify the signs and symptoms of Depression. Do NOT stop reading further! Even if you feel you are strong enough mentally to not 'encounter depression at any point ever', I insist you to go through this once, as it might help you help your dear ones or friends in their low times. I would specifically write focusing on the younger teen-agers who I feel are the most vulnerable lot during this exam season.

(Courtesy: Internet)
Being sad is not unusual but being sad most of the time is. The phrase 'most of the time' medically suggests a period of at least 2 weeks of sustained sadness of mood. If this sadness is often giving you problems with your studies or your performance in schools/colleges, your behavior at home or with friends or getting addictions like alcohol, smoking or problems during sex, then most probably you are going through DEPRESSION. To put it in a simpler way to help you identify I am putting down a check list below with criteria for depression. Remember that the following symptoms should not be secondary to any other medical condition.
1.You feel depressed most of the day, nearly every day like feeling empty or feeling sad. In younger age and children this may rather manifest as irritable mood. 
2. a significant decrease in interest in activities which used to be pleasurable before. 
3. a marked decrease or increase in weight or appetite. (>/= 5% of baseline body weight) 
4. inability to sleep or excessive sleep pattern 
5. feeling tired/lethargic most of the day, almost everyday. 
6. often feeling 'I am worthless' or excessive or inappropriate guilt about something. 
7. psycho-motor agitation/retardation : restlessness or slowing down while performing activities or doing mental work. 
8. inability to think rationally or finding it difficult to take any decision on your own. 
9. Lastly... recurrent thoughts about death and not just fear of dying, thinking about suicide with or without  a plan ready.
So if you check at least 5 out of the above 9 criterias, you are just one of the ten people in this world who are going through Depression. But as you can see, by that statistics, Depression is really common in todays world. At least 4 percent of adolescents get teen depression each year. But the good news is that you have treatment  ready and if you take early interventions, you need not worry much about the duration of the treatment or relapses.

(Courtesy: Aasra)
If you are depressed, please TALK to someone! It is very important to talk and ventilate yourself. There are many people out there waiting to LISTEN to you. The sooner you do this, the better. You can yourself visit some mental health professional or take someone's help, someone whom you trust the most, your family member, your friends, your teacher. Remember there is always some help around you. You need not feel ashamed of what you are going through, however down your life takes you. They say, "If you are going through hell... still Keep going!"

Having depression doesn't mean you are mentally 'weak', its just another ailment which needs 'treatment'. Some may require psychotherapy, some may need medicine and some need both. Your Psychiatrist, unlike few years ago, has many choices to choose the right medicines today with minimal side-effects. Anti-depressants are no longer always 'sedatives'. Psychopharmacology is an upcoming trend today. Needless to say, if you know someone who might be going through depression, please step forward and offer help. If directly helping doesn't work, talk to an adult related to that person whom you can trust. 

Why do people get depressed? The answer is a huge one. There are many causes for depression just like any other medical disease like diabetes, heart disease or say liver disease. Mental disorders are different only in the aspect that they affect your day to day activities and their management requires a psycho-socio-behavioral approach and not just an individualistic one.

I hope this article helps those who need help and also for those who are willing to help... Remember,

"We cannot help everyone, but Everyone can certainly help someone."

What is Cord Blood Banking?

At » 2:08:00 PM // 0 Comments »

Stem cell research is a relatively new technology and it primarily deals with working with the most primitive human cells (stem cells) and developing them into any of the 220 variants of cells in the human body. Where do we find these stem cells? When a baby is born, the cord blood is a rich source for these stem cells. The cord blood is nothing but the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and the placenta once the baby is born.

(Courtesy: Internet)
These stem cells are a very rich source of the blood cells in the human body. Till now bone marrow was seen as a good source of stem cells and bone marrow transplant was 'the' treatment in many blood disorders in the younger population. But due to the recent advances in clinical research revolving around cord blood stem cell research it is proved that cord blood is the most important source for blood stem cells as far as the quality and the therapeutic approach is considered. This blood can be easily retrieved from the umbilical cord without causing any harm to the child. Later it can be stored in approved bank centres and can be used at any point of time to replenish the stem cells in various medical disorders.

Thus cord blood banking is just like an insurance by saving it for the future, if need arises. It is a one in a lifetime opportunity as the blood has to be collected and processed within 10 minutes of the child-birth. It is much advisable for those parents who themselves have the disorder or have a family history of the blood disorders. It has nothing to do with the mode of delivery, whether normal or cesarean. 

The process:
1. The medical staff usually has a specialised kit for collecting the cord blood.  Once the baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and the blood from the cord is collected in a bag that comes along with the kit. Some doctors advise to do this before the placenta is delivered where as some think its insignificant.

2.  The mother's blood is also collected and lab tested for any infectious diseases.

3. The baby's and  the mother's blood are then labeled and transferred to the processing unit. Part of the umbilical cord is also collected (10-25 cms) in the cord tissue collection containers which is usually done by the obstetrician.

4. Then all the samples are kept in the kit box along with the frozen gel packs and sent to the lab.

5. An array of tests are conducted on the fetal blood, the mother's blood and the cord tissue. There are certain eligibility criteria to which the samples have to go through and accordingly the samples are accepted, rejected or quarantined.

6. The accepted samples are harvested using a red cell depletion method aided by a chemical called 'HESPAN' which facilitates the separation of red cells from the white cells. This is further subjected to centrifugation for more accurate results. The cord tissue is washed, minced and put into tissue culture for extracting a pure mesenchymal stem cell population.

7. Once this is done, the processed sample is mixed with a cryo-preservation solvent (Dimethyl sulphoxide) which prevents the crystallization of the cells which could lead to cell membrane damage. Later the sample is preserved in a very low temperature freezer (-196 degrees centigrade). These preserved samples remain viable for decades as the recent researches have concluded.

Cord blood stem cells can be used for transplant as well as regenerative medicine. In transplant medicine, patient undergoes through chemotherapy to receive cord blood stem cells to regenerate healthy immune and blood system. In transplant medicine, availability of more cells helps the patient to recover faster reducing chances of complications considerably.

Regenerative cord blood stem cells applications are used to repair damaged organs or tissues. In regenerative treatments, availability of more cells makes multiple treatments at a time possible. Today, cord blood stem cells are being used widely to treat hearing loss, brain injury, Cerebral palsy, heart disease, congenital heart defects, Juvenile diabetes, liver disease, orthopedic injury and spinal cord injury etc.

(Disclaimer: The above post was written only from informative point of view. Kindly do not take this as an advice or a consultation. Do consult your physician for more detailed information and the pros and cons related to cord blood stem cell banking)

A man with a mission

At » 4:19:00 AM // 0 Comments »

     It was this rainy day in the last week of September. Morning breeze, cup of coffee and Times of India... Front page news... 'Generous commuters put prof's school for poor kids on track'. Some professor was collecting money from the commuters in local trains for funding a school. 'Bravo!'... I muttered and flipped the page right to the last page for the sports section. It wasn't a good sports day, Indian teams not doing well in the Champions League and the shameless stories about the corruption and scams in the buildup of the Commonwealth Games made the matter even worse. In no time the paper was back on the table and me back to work. The 'man with a mission' was forgotten right then and there...

(Courtesy: Rediff.com)
      February 14th 2011... Bright sunny day outside. Had boarded an evening local from Virar. As the train passed Vasai, the cool breeze from the window tempted my brain to shutdown and off I went to sleep. Somewhere close to Andheri, suddenly I woke up. There was this man in his late thirties, with a black rucksack, very decently dressed standing in the aisle, holding a few placards in his hand with some news articles bearing his photos and a donation box in his other hand. 'Ok one more guy with 'charity' on his mind.' I grinned as I closed my eyes again trying to complete my sleep. But I woke up again when he said in fluent English, "Namaskar, I am Professor Sandeep Desai... and I am asking for your help to run a school in Ratnagiri." And then he started showing all the placards with national dailies mentioning him with his unique way of collecting charity. He didn't take long, may be 2-3 minutes and he explained everything how he and his organisation 'Shloka missionaries' have already started a school in Goregaon and now are building a new one in Ratnagiri with the help of the donations that Professor Desai collects from his train travels. 

    "Vidya Daan, Shreshtha Daan" he says... and ends his speech with a strong message. "If you feed a hungry man, you feed him for a day, but if you educate him, you help him out of that life forever." That really moved me. Soon as he finished his short speech, collections started pouring in as he walked down the aisle holding the donation box in front. Some gave 10 Rs, some 100 and some even put only a few coins. But that man accepted each donation with equal humility and a smiling face as he bowed down everytime saying, "Thank you for your kind help, Sir". I recollected reading about him that day in September. I had donated but I still felt that it was not enough. Bandra was nearing... I got up, went to him, he was standing there near the door, holding the rail. 
I greeted him, "Hello Sir!".
 "Hello", he replied with the same smile.
 "Sir I really want to congratulate you for whatever you are doing and I wish you accomplish the goal soon." 
He replied back, "Thank you son, thank you for your kind words. They will go a long way". 
And he got down at Bandra and boarded yet another train on the down track continuing his mission.

     I returned home. I googled his name and foundation, and was awed with the information I got. Professor Desai, on an average collects around Rs 5000 a day. He also got the attention of many national dailies and has been even mentioned in a magazine. His unique efforts also caught the eye of Salman Khan who tweeted about him and called up to congratulate him one day when Desai was in the middle of his mission, collecting funds in the train. Salman has reportedly agreed to fund him Rs 20 lakhs every year for whichever school he opens in any part of India.
     
       Professor Desai is a former engineer who used to teach at the S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. But he quit his job in 1997 to teach the children in the Goregaon slums. He usually starts his mission in late noons and ends up at 6 p.m. It was his mother's dream too, he says, to open a school for the slum children. He is not only looking for money but is also in need of volunteers or 'Vidyasevaks' as he calls it, who may be willing to teach for at least 10 hours a month or participate in any other activities for his Shloka foundation. Here are his details:

Name: Sandeep Desai
B.E., MBA from NMIMs
Ex-professor of S. P. Jain Institute of Management & Research
Organisation: Shloka Missionaries, A-6, Ujval, Road no. 6, Pandurangwadi, Goregaon (East)- 400063
Schools: 
1. Shloka Public school, Lucky apartments, Building No. 9C, 1st floor, Iraniwadi, Goregaon (E)
2. Sudha-Manohar National School, 55, Thiba Palace Road, Zadgaon, Ratnagiri- 415612
Contact details: Tel: +9122-28740859, (+91) 9322757030, (+91) 9820366127

    Its difficult to believe that in such a fast, selfish lifestyle of Mumbai, there are people like Professor Desai who are giving their everything for the betterment of the society. All I can say is "Thank you Professor for 'waking' me up that day!

    His foundation's website welcomes you with a message from Mahatma Gandhi saying, 
"Strength does not come from physical capacity, but from an indomitable will.
So true...

(Inputs from TimesofIndia.com, The Telegraph, Rediff.com)

What is Schizophrenia?

At » 3:59:00 PM // 0 Comments »

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which the patient finds it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations. There are various symptoms, the combination of which establishes the type of Schizophrenia the person may be suffering from. Despite many researches and studies, there is still no concrete evidence as to what exactly causes Schizophrenia. 

CAUSES:  
(Courtesy: Internet)
1. Genetic factors play a major role. People with family history of schizophrenia may be more likely to get the illness themselves.

2. Environmental events may trigger schizophrenia in people with genetic background. For example, infection during intranatall development or stressful psychological experiences may increase the risk for developing schizophrenia later in life. Social and family support  plays a vital role in the improvement of the illness.

PREVALENCE:
Schizophrenia affects about approximately 1% of the people worldwide. However, it occurs equally among men and women. In women it is seen to begin later and is milder in intensity. Although schizophrenia usually begins in young adulthood, there are cases in which the disorder begins later (over age 45). Childhood-onset schizophrenia is the one which starts after age 5. 

SYMPTOMS:
Schizophrenia develops slowly over months or years. Like other chronic illnesses, it cycles between periods of fewer symptoms and periods of more symptoms. At first, you may feel tense, or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You can become isolated and withdrawn, and have trouble making or keeping friends. As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
  • Appearance or mood that shows no emotion (flat affect)
  • Bizarre movements that show less of a reaction to the environment (catatonic behavior)
  • False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)
Problems with thinking often occur:
  • Problems paying attention
  • Thoughts "jump" between unrelated topics (disordered thinking)
Symptoms can be different depending on the type of schizophrenia:
  • Paranoid types often feel anxious, are more often angry or argumentative, and falsely believe that others are trying to harm them or their loved ones.
  • Disorganized types have problems thinking and expressing their ideas clearly, often exhibit childlike behavior, and frequently show little emotion.
  • Catatonic types may be in a constant state of unrest, or they may not move or be underactive. Their muscles and posture may be rigid. They may grimace or have other odd facial expressions, and they may be less responsive to others.
  • Undifferentiated types may have symptoms of more than one other type of schizophrenia.
  • Residual types experience some symptoms, but not as many as those who are in a full-blown episode of schizophrenia.
People with any type of schizophrenia may have difficulty keeping friends and working. They may also have problems with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
SIGNS AND TESTS:
A psychiatrist should perform an evaluation to make the diagnosis. The diagnosis is made based on a thorough interview of the person and family members. No medical tests for schizophrenia exist. The following factors may suggest a schizophrenia diagnosis, but do not confirm it:
  • Course of illness and how long symptoms have lasted
  • Changes from level of function before illness
  • Developmental background
  • Genetic and family history
  • Response to medication
CT scans of the head and other imaging techniques may find some changes that occur with schizophrenia and may rule out other disorders.
TREATMENT:
During an episode of schizophrenia, you may need to stay in the hospital for safety reasons, and to receive basic needs such as food, rest, and hygiene.
MEDICATIONS:
Antipsychotic medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. They change the balance of chemicals in the brain and can help control the symptoms of the illness.
These medications are helpful, but they can have side effects. However, many of these side effects can be addressed, and should not prevent people from seeking treatment for this serious condition.
Common side effects from antipsychotics may include:
  • Sleepiness (sedation) or dizziness
  • Weight gain and increased chance of diabetes and high cholesterol
Less common side effects include:
  • Feelings of restlessness or "jitters"
  • Problems of movement and gait
  • Muscle contractions or spasms
  • Tremor
Long-term risks of antipsychotic medications include a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. In this condition, people develop movements that they cannot control, especially around the mouth. Anyone who believes they are having this problem should check with their doctor right away.
For people who try and do not improve with several antipsychotics, the medication clozapine can be helpful. Clozapine is the most effective medication for reducing schizophrenia symptoms, but it also tends to cause more side effects than other antipsychotics.
Because schizophrenia is a chronic illness, most people with this condition need to stay on antipsychotic medication for life.
SUPPORT PROGRAMS AND THERAPIES:
Supportive and problem-focused forms of therapy may be helpful for many people. Behavioral techniques, such as social skills training, can be used during therapy or at home to improve function socially and at work.
Family treatments that combine support and education about schizophrenia (psychoeducation) appear to help families cope and reduce the odds of symptoms returning. Programs that emphasize outreach and community support services can help people who lack family and social support.
Important skills for a person with schizophrenia include:
  • Learning to take medications correctly and how to manage side effects
  • Learning to watch for early signs of a relapse and knowing how to react when they occur
  • Coping with symptoms that are present even while taking medications. A therapist can help persons with schizophrenia test the reality of thoughts and perceptions.
  • Learning life skills, such as job training, money management, use of public transportation, relationship building, and practical communication
Family members and caregivers are often encouraged to help people with schizophrenia stick to their treatment.
PROGNOSIS:
The outlook for a person with schizophrenia is difficult to predict. Most people with schizophrenia find that their symptoms improve with medication, and some can get good control of their symptoms over time. However, others have functional disability and are at risk for repeated episodes, especially during the early stages of the illness.
To live in the community, people with schizophrenia may need supported housing, work rehabilitation, and other community support programs. People with the most severe forms of this disorder may be too disabled to live alone, and may need group homes or other long-term, structured places to live. Some people with milder forms of schizophrenia are able to have satisfying relationships and work experiences.
COMPLICATIONS:
  • People with schizophrenia have a high risk of developing a substance abuse problem. Use of alcohol or other drugs increases the risk of relapse, and should be treated by a professional.
  • Physical illness is common among people with schizophrenia due to an inactive lifestyle and side effects from medication. Physical illness may not be detected because of poor access to medical care and difficulties talking to health care providers.
  • Not taking medication will often cause symptoms to return.
CALLING FOR HELP:
Call your health care provider if:
  • Voices are telling you to hurt yourself or others.
  • You feel the urge to hurt yourself or others.
  • You are feeling hopeless and overwhelmed.
  • You are seeing things that aren't really there.
  • You feel like you cannot leave the house.
  • You are unable to care for yourself.
PREVENTION:
There is no known way to prevent schizophrenia. If you do have the condition, the best ways to prevent symptoms from coming back are to take the medication your doctor prescribed, and see your doctor or therapist regularly. Always talk to your doctor if you are thinking about changing or stopping your medications
(Disclaimer: The above post has inputs from the PUBMED Health articles. It is written only from an informative point of view. It should not be taken as a consultation. Kindly discuss with your physician regarding the details about Schizophrenia.) 

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