Understanding Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Understanding Schizophrenia

Do you know someone with schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects 1.2% of the population in the United States. While it cannot be cured, it can be managed with proper treatment. In this article, we will look at the symptoms, causes and treatments of schizophrenia and how it affects physical health.

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The symptoms of schizophrenia can vary from person to person. Some common symptoms are the following:

  • Hallucinations: Seeing or hearing things that aren’t there.
  • Delusions: False and often bizarre beliefs that don’t change even when presented with facts.
  • Speech difficulties: Unusual or exaggerated use of words, such as using made-up words.
  • Cognitive problems: Difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
  • Social withdrawal: Not wanting to socialize or being unresponsive.

Causes of Schizophrenia

The exact causes of schizophrenia are not known, but the condition is likely due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and physiological factors. Some common contributing causes may include:

  • Genetics: People who have a family history of schizophrenia are more likely to be diagnosed.
  • Brain chemistry: Existing imbalances in neurotransmitter levels in the brain can increase the risk of schizophrenia.
  • Stressful life events: Severe, prolonged stress can increase one’s chances of developing schizophrenia.
  • Substance use: Use of hallucinogenic drugs such as marijuana and amphetamines has been linked to schizophrenia.

Treatments for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is usually managed with a combination of medication, therapy and lifestyle modifications. Common treatments include:

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