Schizophrenia is the most disabling mental illness.
Schizophrenia is an incurable, severe, and lifelong disease that is the most disabling of all mental illnesses. Treatments for schizophrenia focus on controlling the symptoms.
There are 50 million people with schizophrenia in America.
About 1% of people in the U.S. have schizophrenia, which is about 2 million people.
Schizophrenia is often called "split personality disorder."
Schizophrenia is sometimes confused with other mental illnesses and may be mistakenly referred to as "split personality disorder." While "schizo" does mean "split," patients with schizophrenia do not have split personalities. They do have psychosis, which is a distorted perception of reality.
Psychosis means that a person...
Experts don't know what causes schizophrenia. In some people, brain chemistry and brain structure are not normal. Family history may be a factor. Schizophrenia is not caused by anything a person did, or by personal weakness, bad choices, or a person's upbringing.
The most common hallucination in schizophrenia is...
Auditory hallucinations, or "hearing voices" is the most common hallucination in schizophrenia. Voices can seem to be coming from within one's own mind, or externally and seem as if a person is talking to them. These voices may tell the person with schizophrenia to do things or comment on their behavior. The voices may even talk with one another. It is common for people with schizophrenia to hear voices for a long time before anyone else notices the problem. Other kinds of hallucinations experienced by people with schizophrenia include seeing people or objects that are not there, feeling as if they are being touched by invisible fingers, or smelling odors no one else can smell.
The first symptoms of schizophrenia can include:
There are numerous early symptoms of schizophrenia. In some cases, family and friends may notice a shift in behavior or sense something is "off" about the person who is schizophrenic. Early signs and symptoms of schizophrenia may include irrational statements, excessive crying or inability to cry, outbursts of anger, social withdrawal, and extreme reactions.
Who has more severe symptoms at the onset of schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia affects men and women at equal rates and symptoms may start suddenly or occur gradually. Men tend to develop schizophrenia slightly earlier, between 16 and 25 years old, while women develop symptoms several years later, in the late 20s to 30s. Schizophrenia symptoms tend to be more severe in men, while women with schizophrenia may have more depressive symptoms and paranoia.
Many schizophrenics believe that ____________ eases their symptoms.
Many schizophrenics believe smoking cigarettes eases their symptoms, and up to three times more schizophrenics smoke than in the general population. It is thought that smoking may be a kind of self-medication. The nicotine seems to help with some of the cognitive and sensory symptoms experienced by schizophrenics, and it can ease some of the side effects of medications commonly prescribed. However, smoking still causes cancer, lung disease, and heart disease.
Images provided by:
NIMH: What is schizophrenia?
PsychCentral. The Differences Between Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI). Early Psychosis and Psychosis.
NIMH: What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
Medscape. Psychopharmacology of Aggression in Schizophrenia.
British Columbia Schizophrenia Society. Schizophrenia/Psychosis Early Warning Signs.
Schizophrenia.com. Schizophrenia Facts and Statistics.
Schizophrenia.com. Smoking and Schizophrenia.
Brainfacts.org. Smoking and Schizophrenia.
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