- Symptoms & Signs
- More Info
What is schizophrenia?
Sometimes colloquially but inaccurately referred to as split personality disorder, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness. It affects about 1% of the general population, corresponding to more than 2 million people in the United States alone. Other statistics about schizophrenia include that it affects men about one and a half times more commonly than women.
While the first episode of schizophrenia tends to occur from 18-25 years of age for men, the age of onset for women peaks initially from 25-30 years of age and again at about 40 years of age. People who experience the first episode of this mental illness after the age of 40 years are considered to have late-onset schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is one of the psychotic mental disorders and is characterized by symptoms of thought, behavior, and social problems. The thought problems associated with schizophrenia are described as psychosis, in that the person's thinking is completely out of touch with reality at times. For example, the sufferer may hear voices, smell odors, detect tastes, see people that are in no way present, or feel like bugs are crawling on their skin when there are none.
Given that an individual can have various predominant symptoms of schizophrenia at different times as well as at the same time, the most recent Diagnostic Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has done away with what used to be described as five types of schizophrenia.
What are schizophrenia symptoms and signs?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), symptoms of schizophrenia include the following:
Positive, more overtly psychotic symptoms
- Delusions are beliefs that have no basis in reality. Types of delusions include erotic, grandiose (for example, religious or false belief or superiority), jealous, persecutory, physical (somatic), mixed, and nonspecific.
- Hallucinations: hearing (for example, hearing voices), seeing, feeling (for example, feeling like bugs are crawling on the skin), smelling, or tasting things that have no basis in reality
- Disorganized speech: incoherent or often grossly off-topic (derailed) speech
- Disorganized behaviors
Negative symptoms, potentially less overtly psychotic
- Inhibition of facial expressions and/or a lack of emotional responsiveness
- Catatonic behaviors: difficulty moving, resistance to moving, hyperactivity, repetitive or otherwise abnormal movements, and/or nonsense word repetition or of what others say or do
- Self-neglect, poor grooming, and lack of good hygiene
- Lack of speech
- Apathy/lack of motivation
Prior to the development of the full-blown disorder, people who go on to develop schizophrenia often exhibit subtler and/or less specific symptoms, also called prodromal symptoms. Some characteristics of prodromal schizophrenia are thought to include
- slowness in activity and thought, lower cognitive functioning, including memory loss, disorientation, and mental confusion;
- abnormal speech, including circumstantial, vague, or stereotyped speech;
- odd ideas that have not reached the level of being delusions, like feeling detached from themselves, having beliefs that an ordinary event has special and personal meaning, or a belief that their thoughts aren't their own;
- mood problems, like general discontent, inappropriate emotional responses, fear, mistrust, hostility, anger, aggression, excitability, agitation, and inability to feel pleasure in activities they used to enjoy; and
- social isolation, the self-centeredness that borders on narcissism, and other problems socializing.
What causes schizophrenia?
A frequently asked question about schizophrenia is if it is hereditary. As with most other mental disorders, schizophrenia is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically, and there is no single specific cause for this illness. Rather, it is the result of a complex group of genetic and other biological vulnerabilities, as well as psychological and environmental risk factors. The causes of schizophrenia are believed to be
- Biological: It is thought that people who have abnormalities in the brain's neurochemical dopamine and lower brain matter in some areas of the brain are at higher risk for developing the condition. Other brain issues that are thought to predispose people to develop schizophrenia include
- abnormalities in the connections between different areas of the brain and
- potential abnormalities in the transmission of the brain neurochemical glutamate.
- Genetic: Schizophrenia is thought to have a significant but not solely genetic component. People who have immediate family members (first-degree relatives) with psychosis are more vulnerable to developing schizophrenia compared to people who do not have such a family history.
- Environmental: The risks of developing schizophrenia can even occur before birth. For example, the risk of schizophrenia is increased in individuals whose father is of advanced age or whose mother was malnourished or had one of the certain infections during pregnancy. Difficult life circumstances during childhood, like
- the early loss of a parent, parental poverty, bullying, witnessing domestic violence;
- being the victim of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse or of physical or emotional neglect; and
- insecure attachment have been associated with increased risks of developing this illness.
- Drug use: Use of marijuana (cannabis), amphetamines, and hallucinogens have been found to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.
How common is schizophrenia in children?
Although there have been fewer studies on schizophrenia in children compared to adults, researchers are finding that children as young as 6 years of age can be found to have all the symptoms of their adult counterparts and continue to have those symptoms into adulthood.
How is schizophrenia diagnosed?
As is true with virtually any mental health diagnosis, there is no one test that definitively indicates that someone has schizophrenia. Therefore, healthcare professionals diagnose this illness by gathering comprehensive medical, family, and mental health information.
Patients tend to benefit when the practitioner performs a systematic review of their client's entire life and background. Examples of this include the person's gender, sexual orientation, cultural, religious, and ethnic background, socioeconomic status, family, and other social relationships. The symptom sufferer might be asked to fill out a self-test that the professional will review if the person being evaluated is able to complete it.
The practitioner will also either perform a physical examination or request that the individual's primary care doctor perform one. The medical assessment will usually include lab tests to evaluate the person's general health and to explore whether or not the individual has a medical condition or has been exposed to certain medications that might produce psychological symptoms.
In asking questions about mental health symptoms, mental health professionals are often exploring if the individual suffers from hallucinations or delusions, depression and/or mania (for example, excessive anger or elevated mood, inappropriate emotional responses, rapid, pressured, and/or frenzied speaking, a lack of behavioral restraint, overexcitement, decreased need for sleep) symptoms as occurs in bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder, anxiety, substance abuse, as well as some personality disorders (like schizotypal personality disorder) and developmental disorders (for example, autism spectrum disorders including the condition that was formerly called Asperger disorder).
How long symptoms occur is a factor in determining a diagnosis. For example, psychosis sufferers whose symptoms resolve in no more than a month may qualify for the diagnosis of the schizophreniform disorder rather than schizophrenia. Since some of the symptoms of schizophrenia can also occur in other psychiatric illnesses, the mental health screening is to assess if the individual suffers from schizoaffective disorder or other psychotic disorder, depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, a personality disorder, or a substance-abuse/drug-induced psychosis (for example, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, or psychedelic drugs).
Any disorder that is associated with bizarre behavior, mood, or thinking, like another psychotic disorder, borderline personality disorder, or dissociative identity disorder (DID), previously called multiple personality disorder (MPD), may be particularly challenging to distinguish from schizophrenia. However, people with DID often suffer from feeling detached from themselves, as well as what looks like amnesia for their dissociative episodes, which does not tend to be a characteristic of schizophrenia. In order to assess the person's current emotional state, healthcare professionals perform a mental status examination, as well.
- CDC Warns of Potentially Fatal Bacterial Illness on U.S. Gulf Coast
- Helping Others as Volunteers Helps Kids 'Flourish': Study
- FDA Approves Pfizer's RSV Shot for Older Adults
- What to Do When Tough-to-Treat Lymphoma Strikes During Pregnancy
- Rate of Pregnant U.S. Women Who Have Diabetes Keeps Rising
- More Health News »
What are the treatments for schizophrenia?
Medications for schizophrenia
Given the seriousness and chronic nature of schizophrenia, self-care without also getting treatment by a professional or home remedies are not deemed appropriate treatment for this illness. There is currently no cure for schizophrenia, but there are a number of helpful treatments available, of which medication remains the cornerstone of treatment for people with this condition. These medications are often referred to as antipsychotics since they help decrease the intensity of psychotic symptoms. Many health care professionals prescribe one of these medications, sometimes in combination with one or more other psychiatric medications, in order to maximize the benefit for the person with schizophrenia.
Mood-stabilizer medications can be useful in treating mood swings that sometimes occur in individuals who have diagnosable mood disorder in addition to psychotic symptoms. These medications may take a bit longer to work compared to antipsychotic medications.
Antidepressant medications are the primary medical treatment for depression that can often accompany schizophrenia . Examples of antidepressants that are commonly prescribed for that purpose include serotonergic (SSRI) medications that affect levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin and combination serotonergic/adrenergic medications (SNRIs).
Despite its stigmatized history, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) can be a viable treatment for people whose schizophrenia has inadequately responded to a number of medication trials and psychosocial interventions.
Psychosocial interventions for schizophrenia
- Family psycho-education and support: In addition to educating family members about the symptoms, course, and treatment of schizophrenia, this form of treatment consists of providing the family with supportive therapy, problem-solving skills, and access to ongoing community support, including care providers during times of crises. When this intervention is consistently provided for at least several months, it has been found to decrease the relapse rate for a person with schizophrenia and improve social and emotional outcomes.
- Assertive community treatment (ACT): This intervention consists of members of the person's treatment team meeting with that individual on a daily basis, in community settings (for example, at home, work, or other places the person with schizophrenia frequents) rather than in an office or hospital setting. The treatment team is made up of a variety of professionals. For example, a psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, employment counselor, and substance-abuse counselor often make up an ACT team. Over the long term, ACT tends to be successful in reducing how often people with schizophrenia are psychiatrically hospitalized or become homeless.
- Substance abuse treatment: Providing medical and psychosocial interventions that address substance abuse should be an integral part of treatment as about 50% of individuals with schizophrenia suffer from some kind of substance abuse or dependence.
- Social skills training: Also called illness management and recovery programming, social-skills training involves teaching clients ways to handle social situations appropriately. It may be conducted as part of individual or group psychotherapy and often involves the person scripting (thinking through or role-playing) situations that occur in social settings in order to prepare for those situations when they actually occur.
- Supported employment: This intervention provides support like a job coach (someone who periodically or consistently counsels the client in the workplace), as well as instruction on constructing a résumé, interviewing for jobs, and education and support for employers to hire individuals with chronic mental illness. Supported employment has been found to help schizophrenia sufferers secure and maintain employment, earn more money, and increase the number of hours they are able to work.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a reality-based intervention that focuses on helping a client understand and change patterns that tend to interfere with his or her ability to interact with others and otherwise function. Except for people who are actively psychotic, CBT has been found to help individuals with schizophrenia decrease symptoms and improve their ability to function socially. This intervention can be done either individually or in group therapy.
- Group therapy: Group therapy is usually supportive and expressive, in that participants are encouraged in their efforts to care for themselves and otherwise engage in healthy, appropriate behaviors in the community.
- Weight management: Educating people with schizophrenia about weight gain and related health problems that can be a side effect of some antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications has been found to be helpful in resulting in modest weight loss. That is also true when schizophrenia sufferers are provided with behavioral interventions to help with weight loss.
What is the prognosis for schizophrenia?
Possible complications for schizophrenia range from more medical conditions (morbidity) or shortened life span (mortality) to negative impacts on their family members as well. For example, people with schizophrenia who continue to suffer from residual symptoms have more trouble thinking than those whose negative symptoms are adequately managed with treatment.
Individuals with schizophrenia have more than twice the rate of death than those without the disorder. Almost half of people with schizophrenia will suffer from a drug-use disorder (for example, alcohol, marijuana, or other drug) during their lifetime. Research shows that people with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have a better quality of life when their family members tend to be more supportive and less critical of them.
Is it possible to prevent schizophrenia?
Prevention of schizophrenia for individuals who have yet to develop even the early symptoms of the disorder focuses on decreasing many of the environmental insults that increase the likelihood of developing the disorder. Therefore, improving prenatal care, ameliorating poverty, bullying, child abuse, and neglect, as well as protecting people from family and community violence are important aspects of preventing schizophrenia.
For people who show early signs of schizophrenia, some clinical trial research is exploring the potential use of medications to prevent full-blown schizophrenia.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Where can people get more information about schizophrenia?
1600 South Avenue, Suite 230
Rochester, NY 14620-3924
Phone: 1-800-836-0475 (toll free)
National Institute of Mental Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
Mental Health Resources
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2013.
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
Ashok, A.H., J. Baugh, and V.K. Yeragani. "Paul Eugen Bleuler and the origin of the term schizophrenia." Indian Journal of Psychiatry 54(1) Jan.-Mar. 2012: 95-96.
Baker, F.M., and C.C. Bell. "Issues in the psychiatric treatment of African Americans." Psychiatric Services 50 Mar. 1999: 362-368.
Beresford, C., S. Hepburn, and R.G. Ross. "Follow-up for 6 and 8 years." Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10 (2005): 429-439.
Berman, I. "Obsessive-compulsive symptoms in schizophrenia." Psychiatric Times Nov. 2001.
Brisch, R., A. Saniotis, R. Wolf, et al. "The role of dopamine in schizophrenia from a neurobiological and evolutionary perspective: old fashioned, but still in vogue." Frontiers in Psychiatry May 2014.
Bond, G. "Assertive community treatment for people with severe mental illness." Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Mar. 2002. Indianapolis, Indiana.
Cascade, E.F., A.H. Kalali, and P.F. Buckley. "Current management of schizophrenia: Antipsychotic monotherapy versus combination therapy." Psychiatry 5.5 May 2008: 28-30.
Chanpattanaa, W., and M.L.S. Chakrabhandb. "Combined ECT and neuroleptic therapy in treatment-refractory schizophrenia: prediction of outcome." Psychiatry Research 105.1 Dec. 2001: 107-115.
Chobanian, A.V., G.L. Bakris, H.R. Black, et al. "The seventh report of the Joint National Committee on prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure: the JNC 7 report." Journal of the American Medical Association 289.19 (2003): 2560-2572.
Davies, E.J. "Developmental aspects of schizophrenia and related disorders: possible implications for treatment strategies." British Journal of Psychiatry Aug. 2007.
DeVylder, J.E. "Prevention of schizophrenia and severe mental illness." American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare 2015: 1-29.
Dixon, L., D. Perkins, and C. Calmes. "Guideline Watch: Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Schizophrenia." PsychiatryOnline.com. Sept. 2009. <http://www.psychiatryonline.com/content.aspx?aid=501001>.
European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. "Scientists discover brain area which can be targeted for treatment in patients with schizophrenia who 'hear voices'." Science Daily 2017.
Fitzgerald, M. "Schizophrenia and autism/Asperser's syndrome: overlap and difference." Clinical Neuropsychiatry 9.4 (2012): 171-176.
Fleischhacker, W.W., and A.M. Simma. "Managing the prodrome of schizophrenia." Current Antipsychotics, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Vol. 212. Ed. G. Gross and M.A. Geyer. Berlin: Springer, 2012. 125-134.
Friedman, J.I., T. Vrijenhoek, S. Markx, et al. "CNTNAP2 gene dosage variation is associated with schizophrenia and epilepsy." Molecular Psychiatry 13 Mar. 2008: 261-266.
Gabrovsek, V.P. "Inpatient group therapy of patients with schizophrenia." Psychiatria Danubina 21.1 (2009): 67-72.
Gentile, S. "Antipsychotic therapy during early and late pregnancy. A systemic review." Oxford University Press, 2008.
Gourzis, P., A. Katrivanou, and S. Beratis. "Symptomatology of the initial prodromal phase in schizophrenia." Schizophrenia Bulletin 28.3 (2002): 415-429.
Gregory, A., P. Mallikarjun, and R. Upthegrove. "Treatment of depression in schizophrenia: systematic review and meta-analysis." British Journal of Psychiatry 2017.
Hadlich, S.J., A. Kirov, and T. Lampinen. "What causes schizophrenia?" Science Nov. 2010: 1-16.
Hedgecoe, A. "Schizophrenia and the narrative of enlightened geneticazation." Social Studies of Science 31 (2001): 875.
Hollis, C. "Developmental precursors of child- and adolescent-onset schizophrenia and affective psychoses: diagnostic specificity and continuity with symptom dimensions." The British Journal of Psychiatry 182 (2003): 37-44.
Howard, R., P.V. Rabins, and M.V. Seeman, et al. "Late-onset schizophrenia and very-late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis: an international consensus." American Journal of Psychiatry 157 (2000): 172-178.
Husseini, A., and D. Gianakos. "The 15-minute visit." Patient Care 40 (2006): 9-10.
Jablensky, A.V., V. Morgan, S.R. Zubrick, C. Bower, et al. "Pregnancy, delivery and neonatal complications in a population cohort of women with schizophrenia and major affective disorders." Am J Psychiatry 162.1 Jan. 2005: 79-91.
Khorrami, S. "Genius, madness, and masculinity: A beautiful mind examined through a men's issue model." Men and Masculinities 5 (2002): 116.
Kraam, A., and P. Phillips. "Hebephrenia: a conceptual history." History of Psychiatry November 2012.
Krishnadas, R., S. Ramanatha, E. Wong, et al. "Residual negative symptoms differentiate cognitive performance in clinically stable patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder." Schizophrenia Research Treatment June 2014.
Kyziridis, T.C. "Notes on the history of schizophrenia." German Journal of Psychiatry 8 (2005): 42-48.
Leucht, S., C. Corves, D. Arbter, et al. "Second-generation versus first-generation antipsychotic drugs for schizophrenia: a meta-analysis." Lancet 373 (2009): 31-41.
Lin, K.M, and F. Cheung. "Mental health issues for Asian Americans." Psychiatric Services 50 June 1999: 774-780.
Marin, H. "Hispanics and psychiatric medications: An overview." Psychiatric Times 20.10 Oct. 2003.
Mattai, A.K., J.L. Hill, and R.K. Lenroot. "Treatment of early onset schizophrenia." Current Opinion in Psychiatry 23 July 2010.
McGrath, J., S. Saha, D. Chant, and J. Welham. "Schizophrenia: A concise overview of incidence, prevalence and mortality." Epidemiologic Reviews 30.1 (2008): 67-76.
McGurk, S.R., K.T. Mueser, P.D. Harvey, et al. "Cognitive and symptom predictors of work outcomes for clients with schizophrenia in supported employment." Psychiatric Services 54 Aug. 2003: 1129-1135.
Meador-Woodruff, J.H., and J.E. Kleinman. "Neurochemistry of Schizophrenia: Glutamatergic Abnormalities." Neuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress, Fifth Ed. Ed. Kenneth L. Davis, Dennis Charney, Joseph T. Coyle, and Charles Nemeroff. Philadelphia, Pa.: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2002: 717-728.
Meltzer, H.Y. "Clozapine: balancing safety with superior antipsychotic efficacy." Clinical Schizophrenia and Related Psychoses Oct. 2012: 134-144.
Meyer, I.H. "Prejudice, social stress and mental health in lesbian, gay and bisexual populations: conceptual issues and research evidence." Psychological Bulletin 129.5 (2003): 674-697.
Mingoia, G., G. Wagner, K. Langbein, et al. "Default mode network activity in schizophrenia studied at resting state using probabilistic ICA." Schizophrenia Research 2012: 1-7.
Nemade, R., and M. Dombeck. "Schizophrenia symptoms, patterns and statistics and patterns." Aug. 2009. <www.mentalhelp.net>.
Newcomer, J.W. "Metabolic risk during antipsychotic treatment." Clinical Therapeutics 26.12 Dec. 2004: 1936-1946.
Pfister, R.D. "Teenagers' media consumption and perception of mental illness." American University, Washington, D.C. 2014.
President and Fellows of Harvard College. "Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder May Share Genetic Origins." Harvard Mental Health Lett 25.12 June 2009: 7.
Read, J., and R. Bentall. "Schizophrenia and childhood adversity." American Journal of Psychiatry 167 June 2010: 717-718.
Ross, R.G. "Psychotic and manic-like symptoms during stimulant treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder." American Journal of Psychiatry 163.7 (2006): 1149-1152.
Schultze-Lutter, F. "Subjective symptoms of schizophrenia in research and the clinic: The basic symptom concept." Schizophrenia Bulletin 35.1 Jan. 2009: 5-8.
Semple, D.M., A.N. McIntosh, and S.M. Lawrie. "Cannabis as a risk factor for psychosis: systemic review." Journal of Psychopharmacology 19 (2005): 187.
Sorensen, H.J., E.L. Mortensen, J.M. Reinisch, and S.A. Mednick. "Association between prenatal exposure to bacterial infection and risk of schizophrenia." Schizophrenia Bulletin 35.3 May 2009: 631-637.
Veling, W., E. Susser, J. van Os, J.P. Mackenbach, et al. "Ethnic density of neighborhoods and incidence of psychotic disorders among immigrants." American Journal of Psychiatry Dec. 2007: 1-8.
Velligan, D.I., and L.D. Alphs. "Negative symptoms in schizophrenia: the importance of identification and treatment." Psychiatric Times 25.3 Mar. 2008.
Volkow, N.D. "Substance use disorders in schizophrenia: Clinical implications of comorbidity." Schizophrenia Bulletin 35.3 May 2009: 469-472.
Wasserman, S., A. Weisman de Mamani, and P. Mundy. "Parents' criticisms and attributions about their adult children with high functioning autism or schizophrenia." Autism 14 (2010): 127-138.
Woodberry, K.A., A.J. Giuliano, and L.J. Seidman. "Premorbid IQ in schizophrenia: a meta-analytic review." American Journal of Psychiatry 165 (2008): 579-587.
Top Schizophrenia Related Articles
Alcoholism and Alcohol AbuseAlcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Autism Spectrum DisorderAutism in children and adults is a developmental disorder, characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Autism is classified as a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), which is part of a broad spectrum of developmental disorders affecting young children and adults. There are numerous theories and studies about the cause of autism. The treatment model for autism is an educational program that is suitable to an individual's developmental level of performance. There is no "cure" for autism.
Bipolar DisorderBipolar disorder (or manic depression) is a mental illness characterized by depression, mania, and severe mood swings. Treatment may incorporate mood-stabilizer medications, antidepressants, and psychotherapy.
DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Drug Abuse and AddictionDrug abuse and addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) involves passing an electrical current through the brain to produce controlled seizures. ECT is useful for patients with severe depression and for those who are suicidal. ECT is administered in a hospital setting under anesthesia. A common side effect is short-term memory loss.
Marijuana (Cannabis)Get the latest marijuana statistics and information. Learn its side effects and how this drug, also known as pot, affects the brain. Also, learn about medical marijuana for cancer patients and its indications.
Most Expensive Medical ConditionsWhat are the most expensive medical conditions? Learn about heart conditions, brain disorders, back pain and many more expensive health conditions. Discover the tips that can prevent serious medical problems and protect your financial well-being.
Mental Illness in ChildrenAbout 5 million children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from a serious mental illness such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, pervasive development disorders, elimination disorders, learning disorders, schizophrenia, tic disorders, and mood disorders. Symptoms of mental illness include frequent outbursts of anger, hyperactivity, fear of gaining weight, excessive worrying, frequent temper tantrums, and hearing voices that aren't there. Treatment may involve medication, psychotherapy, and creative therapies.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)MRI (or magnetic resonance imaging) scan is a radiology technique which uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer to produce images of body structures. MRI scanning is painless and does not involve X-ray radiation. Patients with heart pacemakers, metal implants, or metal chips or clips in or around the eyes cannot be scanned with MRI because of the effect of the magnet.
What's Schizophrenia? Symptoms, Types, Causes, TreatmentWhat is the definition of schizophrenia? What is paranoid schizophrenia? Read about schizophrenia types and learn about schizophrenia symptoms, signs, and treatment options.
Schizophrenia QuizSchizophrenia is a complex psychiatric disorder. Learn more about the challenges of mental illness with the Schizophrenia Quiz.
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health ProblemsLearn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough, headache, chest pain, nausea, stool color or consistency changes, heartburn, skin moles, anxiety, nightmares, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, delusions, lightheadedness, night sweats, eye problems, confusion, depression, severe pelvic or abdominal pain, unusual vaginal discharge, and nipple changes.
The symptoms and signs of serious health problems can be caused by strokes, heart attacks, cancers, reproductive problems in females (for example, cancers, fibroids, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, and sexually transmitted diseases or STDs), breast problems (for example, breast cancer and non-cancer related diseases), lung diseases (for example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, lung cancer, emphysema, and asthma), stomach or digestive diseases (for example, cancers, gallbladder, liver, and pancreatic diseases, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn's disease), bladder problems (for example, urinary incontinence, and kidney infections), skin cancer, muscle and joint problems, emotional problems or mental illness (for example, postpartum depression, major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mania, and schizophrenia), and headache disorders (for example, migraines, or "the worst headache of your life), and eating disorders and weight problems (for example, anorexia or bulimia).