Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that is characterized by a disintegration of thought processes, and of emotional responsiveness. Most people with schizophrenia are disabled by their symptoms, which can include auditory hallucinations, paranoia and other bizarre delusions.

People with schizophrenia may hear voices others don’t hear. They may believe other people are trying to hurt them. Sometimes they do not make sense when they talk. This mental health disorder makes it difficult for them to keep a job or take care of themselves.

Anyone can develop schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia usually begin between the ages of 19 and 30. It affects men and women in all ethnic groups, however, men often experience symptoms at a younger age than women. In men, symptoms tend to start in their late teens and early 20’s. Symptoms may include hallucinations and delusions, such as hearing voices. For women, they start in the mid-20’s to early 30s. People rarely get schizophrenia after age 45.

What causes schizophrenia?

Several factors may contribute to schizophrenia, including:

  • Genetics
  • The environment, such as viruses and nourishment problems before birth
  • Unique brain structure and brain chemistry

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia symptoms vary from mild to severe, and may include:

  • Hallucinations: Disturbances in the senses
  • Delusions: False beliefs
  • Thought disorders: People with thought disorders may have difficulty organizing their thoughts
  • Movement disorders: This may appear as restless body movements. A person with a movement disorder may continually repeat certain motions. In extreme cases, a person may discontinue moving or talking for a while, a rare condition called “catatonia.”

Additional symptoms may include:

  • Talking in a monotone voice
  • Showing no facial expression
  • Difficulty enjoying themselves
  • Struggling with planning and sticking with an activity
  • Little communication with others
  • Trouble using information to make choices
  • Problems using information right after learning it
  • Trouble paying attention

Is there help?

Medicines can alleviate many of the symptoms of schizophrenia, but it may take the physician several attempts before finding the right medication for you. You can decrease relapses by staying on your medicine for as long as your doctor suggests. With treatment, many people improve enough to lead satisfying lives. Pride Institute has been helping LGBT people recover from schizophrenia since 1986. Call us today and learn how you can get back to living a normal and complete life.

Information provided by the National Institutes of Health

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