Schizophrenia Disorder

Schizophrenia Disorder

Schizophrenia Disorder

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental illness characterized by relapsing episodes of psychosis which involve significant alterations in perception, thoughts, mood, and behavior.

Prevalence

Approximately 0.3 to 0.7% of the general population is affected by schizophrenia. The onset of this condition is often gradual, and it typically occurs in the early to mid-twenties in males and in the late twenties in females. Schizophrenia is more common in males than it is in females.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia Disorder:

The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.

  • 1 – Positive symptoms include delusions which are often paranoid and persecutory in nature, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts and speech. Schizophrenic hallucinations are usually in the form of defamatory auditory voices and refer to the patient in the third person — like “Look at him,” “Isn’t he a fool,” etc. Thought disorder is also a positive symptom of schizophrenia and includes:

    • The passivity phenomena of thought withdrawal – “Thoughts are being taken out of my head.”
    • Insertion – “Someone is putting thoughts into my head.”
    • Broadcasting – “People are overhearing my thoughts.”
  • 2 – Negative symptoms include:

    • Emotional blunting – limited range and expression of emotions
    • Alogia – poverty of speech
    • Anhedonia – an inability to experience pleasure
    • Avolition – lack of motivation
    • Apathy
    • Self-neglect
    • Social withdrawal
  • 3 – Cognitive symptoms may be social or non-social.

    • Social cognition involves the mental processes needed to interpret and understand the self and others in the social world, which is often impaired in people with schizophrenia.
    • Non-social cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include difficulty focusing or paying attention and poor executive functioning — the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions. The most common symptom in people with schizophrenia is lack of insight.

Diagnosis of Schizophrenia Disorder:

Symptoms and functional impairment must be present for at least six months for a diagnosis of schizophrenia to be made.

Causes of Schizophrenia Disorder:

The exact causes of schizophrenia remain unknown; however, environmental and genetic factors have been implicated. Possible environmental factors include being raised in an urban environment, cannabis use during adolescence, infections, and poor nutritional intake during pregnancy.

Schizophrenia Disorder complications:

Complications of schizophrenia include unemployment, poverty, homelessness, exploitation, and victimization.

Compared to the general population, people with schizophrenia have a higher suicide rate and more physical health problems, leading to an average decreased life expectancy of 20 years.

Treatment for Schizophrenia Disorder:

Treatment of schizophrenia includes:

  • Antipsychotic medications such as olanzapine and clozapine
  • Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy

Approximately half of those diagnosed with schizophrenia will show a significant improvement over the long term with no further relapses. The other half will have a lifelong impairment, and severe cases may be repeatedly admitted to hospital.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia Disorder:

The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.

  • 1 – Positive symptoms include delusions which are often paranoid and persecutory in nature, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts and speech. Schizophrenic hallucinations are usually in the form of defamatory auditory voices and refer to the patient in the third person — like “Look at him,” “Isn’t he a fool,” etc. Thought disorder is also a positive symptom of schizophrenia and includes:

    • The passivity phenomena of thought withdrawal – “Thoughts are being taken out of my head.”
    • Insertion – “Someone is putting thoughts into my head.”
    • Broadcasting – “People are overhearing my thoughts.”
  • 2 – Negative symptoms include:

    • Emotional blunting – limited range and expression of emotions
    • Alogia – poverty of speech
    • Anhedonia – an inability to experience pleasure
    • Avolition – lack of motivation
    • Apathy
    • Self-neglect
    • Social withdrawal
  • 3 – Cognitive symptoms may be social or non-social.

    • Social cognition involves the mental processes needed to interpret and understand the self and others in the social world, which is often impaired in people with schizophrenia.
    • Non-social cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia include difficulty focusing or paying attention and poor executive functioning — the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions. The most common symptom in people with schizophrenia is lack of insight.

Diagnosis of Schizophrenia Disorder:

Symptoms and functional impairment must be present for at least six months for a diagnosis of schizophrenia to be made.

Causes of Schizophrenia Disorder:

The exact causes of schizophrenia remain unknown; however, environmental and genetic factors have been implicated. Possible environmental factors include being raised in an urban environment, cannabis use during adolescence, infections, and poor nutritional intake during pregnancy.

Schizophrenia Disorder complications:

Complications of schizophrenia include unemployment, poverty, homelessness, exploitation, and victimization.

Compared to the general population, people with schizophrenia have a higher suicide rate and more physical health problems, leading to an average decreased life expectancy of 20 years.

Treatment for Schizophrenia Disorder:

Treatment of schizophrenia includes:

  • Antipsychotic medications such as olanzapine and clozapine
  • Talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy
Approximately half of those diagnosed with schizophrenia will show a significant improvement over the long term with no further relapses. The other half will have a lifelong impairment, and severe cases may be repeatedly admitted to hospital.