Schizophrenia

October 21, 2015 / Behavioral Wellness Center / 0 Comments /

Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. People with schizophrenia — the most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses — often have problems functioning in society, at work, at school, and in relationships. Schizophrenia can leave its sufferer frightened and withdrawn. It is a life-long disease that cannot be cured but can be controlled with proper treatment.

SCHIZOPHRENIA TYPES AND SYMPTOMS

Usually with schizophrenia, the person’s inner world and behavior change notably. Behavior changes might include the following:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Depersonalization (a sense of being unreal, hazy and in a dreamlike state), sometimes accompanied by intense anxiety
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of hygiene
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
  • The sense of being controlled by outside forces
  • Disorganized speech

In order to better understand schizophrenia, the concept of clusters of symptoms is often used. Thus, people with schizophrenia can experience symptoms that may be grouped under the following categories:

  • Positive symptoms: Hearing voices, suspiciousness, feeling as though they are under constant surveillance, delusions, or making up words without a meaning (neologisms).
  • Negative (or deficit) symptoms: Social withdrawal, difficulty in expressing emotions (in extreme cases called a flat affect), difficulty in taking care of themselves, inability to feel pleasure. These symptoms cause severe impairment and are often mistaken for laziness.
  • Cognitive symptoms: Difficulties attending to and processing of information, understanding the environment, and remembering simple tasks.
  • Affective (or mood) symptoms: Most notably depression, accounting for a very high rate of attempted suicide in people suffering from schizophrenia. Anxiety can also be present and may be a direct result of the psychosis or come and go during a psychotic episode.
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren’t there)
  • The sense of being controlled by outside forces
  • Disorganized speech

SOURCE: Webmd – Schizophrenia Health Center