Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, disabling brain disease that affects approximately one percent of the population. Many psychiatrists believe that it is related to genetic predisposition and environmental factors as well as emotional and physical abuse. Though there is no proven cause of schizophrenia, it is a very treatable disease. Those afflicted with schizophrenia usually respond to drug therapy and are able to lead productive fulfilling lives.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia.
Generally, schizophrenia's onset is in adolescence or young adulthood. Schizophrenia affects young men just as much as young women. The symptoms often appear gradually. At onset of schizophrenia the patient may feel tense, be unable to sleep and can not concentrate. They may also have a change in work performance and appearance and social relationships will begin to deteriorate.
The illness often progresses to have peculiar behavior; the patient begins talking nonsense, and has unusual perceptions. This is the beginning of psychosis. People with schizophrenia often experience symptoms of delusions, hallucinations and disordered thinking and speech. Someone with schizophrenia may go through periods with no symptoms called remission.
When people have thought disorder they have a diminished ability to think clearly and logically. This is often manifested by disconnected and nonsensical language that renders the person with schizophrenia incapable of participating in conversations, contributing to the alienation from the family, friends and society. Delusions are also common in those with schizophrenia. They may believe that they are being conspired against. A person with this illness may believe that his/her thoughts are being heard by others. The illness often presents hallucinations that can be heard, seen, or even felt. Most often the person hears voices. The afflicted person may hear voices telling them of danger or telling them what to do.