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What is Schizophrenia?

September 23rd, 2014  |  Published in Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a chronic and often debilitating brain disease, which is an impairment of thinking in which the interpretation of realitz is abnormal.

 

It affects approximately 1% of the population worldwide. Schizophrenia has a genetic component. Environmental factors such as stress may also play a role in its development.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia does not suddenly develop overnight. Symptoms can take months to years to develop. Early signs and symptoms such as changes in social behavior, sleep or eating patterns, self-care, school/work performance or emotional relationships can occur before the onset of full-blown Schizophrenia. The symptoms of Schizophrenia consist of two groups: “positive” and “negative” symptoms.

 

“Positive” Symptoms

  • False belief (Delusion) – Thinking thoughts (often paranoid) that are strange, false or out of touch with reality eg, believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them.
  • Hallucinations – eg. hearing voices not heard by others.
  • Thought disorder – Disorganized patterns of thought and speech that does not make sense.

 

“Negative” Symptoms

  • Difficulty in feeling and expressing emotions.
  • Lack of motivation or energy.
  • Lack of pleasure or interest in things.

Treatment of Schizophrenia

Although there is no known cure, prompt and effective treatment can be of great benefit in the treatment of Schizophrenia. In general, the shorter the time period that a person has had symptoms before receiving the first treatment, the better the outcome. You should never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor. The risk of relapse increases by five times when a person with Schizophrenia stops drug theraphy.

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