Schizophrenia

What are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

     Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30. In rare cases, children have schizophrenia too. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.

 
Positive symptoms:

     “Positive” symptoms are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality. Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Thought disorders (unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking)
  • Movement disorders (agitated body movements)
Negative symptoms: 

     “Negative” symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. Symptoms include:

  • “Flat affect” (reduced expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone)
  • Reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life
  • Difficulty beginning and sustaining activities
  • Reduced speaking
 
Cognitive symptoms: 

     For some patients, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle, but for others, they are more severe, and patients may notice changes in their memory or other aspects of thinking. Symptoms include:

  • Poor “executive functioning” (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention
  • Problems with “working memory” (the ability to use the information immediately after learning it)

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

Schizophrenia

     Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

 

     Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30. In rare cases, children have schizophrenia too. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.

What are the Recommended Treatments for Schizophrenia?

     Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease.

 

Treatments include:

 

     Antipsychotic medications are taken daily in pill or liquid form. Some antipsychotics are injections given once or twice a month.

 

     Psychotherapy treatments are helpful after patients, and their doctor finds a medication that works. Learning and using coping skills to address the everyday challenges of schizophrenia helps people to pursue their life goals, such as attending school or work. Individuals who participate in regular psychosocial treatment are less likely to have relapsed or be hospitalized.

 

     Coordinated specialty care (CSC) treatment model integrates medication, psychosocial therapies, case management, family involvement, and supported education and employment services, all aimed at reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.

 

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml

Woman with split personality suffers from schizophrenia - schizophrenia disease concept

What are the Risk Factors in Developing Schizophrenia?

     Scientists have long known that schizophrenia sometimes runs in families; however, many people who have the condition have no prior family history.

     Scientists believe that many different genes may increase the risk of schizophrenia, but that no single gene causes the disorder by itself.

     Scientists believe that interactions between genes and the individual’s environment interact to trigger the development of schizophrenia. Environmental factors may involve:

  • Exposure to viruses
  • Malnutrition before birth
  • Problems during birth
  • Psychosocial factors
Different brain chemistry and structure:

 

     Scientists think that an imbalance in the complex, chemical reactions of the brain involving the neurotransmitters, dopamine, and glutamate, and possibly others, plays a role in schizophrenia.

     Some experts also think problems during brain development before birth may lead to faulty connections. The brain also undergoes significant changes during puberty, and these changes could trigger psychotic symptoms in people who are vulnerable due to genetics or brain differences.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml