What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to:

  • Tell the difference between what is real and not real
  • Think clearly
  • Have normal emotional responses
  • Act normally in social situations

What are the sign and symptoms of schizophrenia
A person who is suffering from schizophrenia may present positive and/or negative symptoms. Positive symptoms reflect a distortion or exaggeration of functions that are normally present, whereas negative symptoms reflect a deficiency of a mental function that is normally present.

Positive symptoms

  • Hallucinations (hearing voices)
  • Delusions (suspicions)
  • Bizarre or disorganized behaviour(self-muttering, laughing to self, violent behaviour etc.)

Negative symptoms

  • Not talking
  • Social withdrawal
  • Emotional blunting (i.e. not displaying any emotion whether positive or negative)
  • Apathy
  • Attention impairment
  • Lack of motivation and drive

What are the causes of Schizophrenia
The causes of schizophrenia are not fully known. However, it appears that schizophrenia usually results from a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors.

Can schizophrenia be treated?
Response to treatment is usually very good. Properly treated patients can live a very healthy social life however untreated psychosis can cause a considerable amount of suffering, distress and bafflement to the person who has the condition and to those around him. In addition, persons with untreated psychosis are at a higher risk of suicide, aggression and drug abuse. Seeking professional help early is important.

Medications are the main stay of treatment.

Besides medication, another effective form of treatment is psychotherapy. Psychotherapy helps the person make sense of his illness, can take various forms and can be conducted on a one-to-one basis or in a group setting. Issues that may need to be dealt with include: the person’s feelings about the illness, his / her experience of medication, denying the illness, the impact that the illness has on the person’s self-esteem, interpersonal relations and other aspects of his / her life.
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