What is Schizophrenia? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Tanuja Bisht

, Health A2Z

Schizophrenia is a disease that disrupts the functioning of the human mind. It causes intense episodes of psychosis involving hallucinations and illusions as well as prolonged periods of expression, motivation and altered functioning. The disease is treatable.


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What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is defined as a serious disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and acts. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty differentiating between what is real and what is imaginary; the person may be insensitive or withdrawn and have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations.


Schizophrenia disorder is not a split personality or multiple personalities. The vast majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent as well as pose no danger to others. The disorder does not cause by childhood experiences, lack of parents, and symptoms are not identical for every person.




What are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

Its symptoms may vary from person to person including distorted thoughts, hallucinations, paranoia, and anxiety.


After seeing all these symptoms psychiatrists evaluate tests and prescribe medication and psychotherapy for its treatment.




What are the Warning Signs of Schizophrenia?

There are several warning signs of the disease, including:

  • Listen or see something that is not there
  • A constant feeling of being watched
  • The strange or absurd way of speaking or writing
  • Strange position of the body
  • Indifferent to very important situations
  • Impairment in academic or professional performance
  • A change in personal hygiene and appearance
  • A change of personality
  • Increased withdrawal of social situations
  • Irrational, angry or anxious reaction to loved ones
  • Inability to sleep or concentrate
  • Inappropriate or strange behavior
  • Extreme concern for religion or occultism


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What are the Causes of Schizophrenia?

The cause of the disease is not yet clear. Some studies about the cause of the disorder include genetics (heredity), biology (abnormalities in brain chemistry or structure), viral infections and immune disorders.


1. Genetics (Heritage)

Scientists acknowledge that the disorder occurs in families and that a person inherits a tendency to develop the disease. As is the case with other genetic diseases, schizophrenia can occur when the body is exposed to hormonal and physical changes (such as those occurring in adolescence in adolescents and young adults) or after very stressful.


2. Biology

Chemistry: Specialists believe that people with the disorder have an imbalance of neurotransmitters or chemicals including dopamine, glutamate, and serotonin in the brain. These neurotransmitters allow nerve cells in the brain to send messages. The imbalance of these neurotransmitters affects how a person’s brain responds which is why a person with the disorder can be overwhelmed by sensory information that other people can easily manage.


Structure: Some research suggests that problems of development of connections and pathways in the brain in the uterus can lead to the disease.



3. Viral Infections and Immune Disorders:

The disorder can also be triggered by environmental events like immune disorders or viral infections. For example, infants whose mothers develop influenza during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing schizophrenia later in life. People hospitalized for serious infections are also at higher risk.




What are the Treatments for Schizophrenia?

The disorder requires treatment for life, even if the symptoms have disappeared. Medications and psychosocial therapy can help control the disease. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.


An experienced psychiatrist treats the disorder with the help of a team which includes a psychologist, a social worker, a psychiatric nurse and possibly a case manager to coordinate care.


Several drugs are also used to treat schizophrenia.


Electroconvulsive Therapy: Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered in adults with schizophrenia who do not respond to drug therapy. ECT can be helpful for someone who also has depression.





Schizophrenia is a disease which is related to the human mind having intense episodes of psychosis of hallucinations and illusions. But not to worry the disease is treatable.


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