By: Lyrics Moore & Anna Marcotte
What is Schizophrenia?
a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Behavioral: disorganized behavior, agitation, lack of restraint, social isolation, repetitive movements, aggression, excitability, self-harm, compulsive behavior
Cognitive: mental confusion, belief that thoughts aren't one's own, disorientation, belief that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, false belief of superiority, delusion, amnesia, thought disorder, making things up, memory loss, or slowness in activity and thought
Psychological: persecutory delusion, hallucination, religious delusion, anxiety, fear, mistrust, depression, paranoia, or hearing voices
Mood: excitement, anger, inappropriate emotional response, elevated mood, general discontent, inability to feel pleasure, apathy, or feeling detached from self
Speech: rapid and frenzied speaking, speech impairment, incoherent speech, or circumstantial speech
Complicating diagnosis further is that the symptoms of schizophrenia also resemble those of other mental and physical health problems, such as bipolar disorder and brain tumors. Schizophrenia symptoms can also be mimicked in the effects of illicit drugs, including the use of methamphetamines.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
Medications are the cornerstone of schizophrenia treatment. However, because medications for schizophrenia can cause serious but rare side effects, people with schizophrenia may be reluctant to take them.
Antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat schizophrenia. They're thought to control symptoms by affecting the brain neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
What it's like living with Schizophrenia
More facts about Schizophrenia
- Positive symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations and catatonia, which is when a person stays in a single position for a long period of time.
- Negative symptoms is defined as the absence of normal behaviors. This includes reduced speech and energy, lack of motivation, lack of emotion, and withdrawal from family and friends.
- Although the cause is unknown, this mental illness can be developed through factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, brain abnormality and environmental factors.
- Schizophrenia typically appears when a person is in his or her teens to early 20s.
- About 10% of people with schizophrenia commit suicide and are more likely to have a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
- Most people prefer to be left alone and are not violent.
- African Americans are three times more likely to be diagnose with schizophrenia than white people.
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