What is Schizophrenia?

May 24, 2024

What is Schizophrenia?
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Schizophrenia is a persistent mental illness. While it is not the most prevalent mental disorder, it can be the most fatal and long-lasting. If a person does not recognize that they are exhibiting symptoms of schizophrenia, it may be challenging to identify and treat them. Individual differences exist in symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.

Schizophrenia can be difficult to treat even after a correct diagnosis and successful course of therapy because a person may believe they are well enough to stop taking their medicine or seek other forms of assistance.

What is Schizophrenia?

People with schizophrenia suffer from a severe mental illness that causes them to perceive reality abnormally. A mix of delusions, hallucinations, and severely unusual thinking and behavior that can be impairing can be symptoms of schizophrenia. These symptoms can make it difficult to go about everyday tasks.

Schizophrenia patients need lifetime medical care. In addition to improving the long-term prognosis, early therapy may help reduce symptoms before major issues arise.

Early and Advanced Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia often appears as a symptom in adolescence and the early twenties. The symptoms can be categorized into:

  • Early symptoms
  • Advanced symptoms

Early symptoms: Since the early symptoms at this age point resemble some “typical” teenage habits, they might go unnoticed. These symptoms may consist of:

  • Cutting ties with friends and family
  • Switching social circles or friends
  • A shift in attention and focus 
  • Issues with sleep
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Trouble completing assignments or performing poorly academically
  • Anxiety
  • Vague mistrust
  • Strange notions
  • A sense of being different from others.

Advanced Symptoms: Three main types often apply to more advanced symptoms: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms.

  • Positive Symptoms: It is uncommon for people without schizophrenia or other severe mental illnesses to exhibit “positive” symptoms of the disorder. 

Among these actions are:

  • HALLUCINATION: An encounter that seems real but is a mental construct is called a hallucination. These include experiencing senses that many around you do not, such as hearing voices, seeing things, or smelling things.
  • ILLUSION: Believing something despite facts or evidence to the contrary is called illusion.
  • PARANOIA: Being extremely wary of others or believing strongly that they are being watched or persecuted are symptoms of paranoia. 
  • Negative Symptoms: A person’s normal emotions, habits, and talents are disrupted by negative symptoms of schizophrenia. 

Among these indicators are: 

  • A decrease in speech
  • Peculiar emotional reactions to circumstances
  • A lack of expression or feeling
  • A decline in interest or vigor for life
  • Social isolation
  • Difficulties finding enjoyment
  • Problems making or carrying out plans
  • Trouble doing routine daily tasks
  • Cognitive Symptoms: These symptoms, which show that someone is experiencing difficulties with specific cognitive or mental activities, are also referred to as “cognitive” symptoms.

Among them are:

  • Chaotic speech or thought patterns, such as when someone speaks quickly or makes up terms or expressions
  • Inability to focus or pay attention
  • Poor ability to comprehend information and use it to make decisions
  • Difficulties acquiring and applying knowledge

Schizophrenia symptoms can differ in kind and intensity, and they might worsen if a person is under a lot of stress, abusing drugs, or not taking their prescription medicine as directed.

Causes of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia’s precise cause remains uncertain. However, schizophrenia has a biological foundation and is a real illness, much like diabetes and cancer. Numerous variables that seem to increase a person’s risk of developing the illness have been identified by researchers. They are as follows:

  • Abnormalities of the brain: People with schizophrenia have been discovered to have abnormal brain anatomy. However, not every person with schizophrenia will benefit from this. Even those without the illness might be impacted.
  • Hereditary(Genetics): There is a higher chance that schizophrenia will be handed on from parents to their offspring since the disorder may run in families. 
  • Environment: In those whose genetic composition puts them at risk, viral infections, marijuana, smoking, childhood trauma, relational failure, malnutrition, vitamin D insufficiency, behavioral disorders, and lower cognitive quotient may all contribute to the development of schizophrenia. When the body is going through hormonal and physical changes, like in adolescence and early adulthood, schizophrenia tends to manifest more frequently.
  • Brain circuitry and chemistry: Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that govern particular routes, or “circuits,” of nerve cells that influence behavior and thought processes. People with schizophrenia may not be able to control these factors as expected.


Schizophrenia can cause serious complications that can impact all aspects of life if it is not addressed. Challenges that schizophrenia may cause or be linked to are as follows:

  • Suicide, suicide attempts, and suicidal thoughts
  • Alcohol or drug abuse, especially nicotine
  • Incapacity to work or attend school
  • Homelessness and financial difficulties
  • Occasionally displaying aggressive conduct
  • Social isolation
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Health issues
  • Experiencing victimization


Schizophrenia is an extreme, chronic mental disease. Researchers think a mix of genetic tendencies, environmental variables, and triggering events interact together during the development of the disease, even though a single cause is unknown. Equal numbers of men and women are impacted, and most people notice symptoms starting in adolescence or early adulthood. Following diagnosis, several therapies are available, and new treatments are also in the works. The disorder must be identified early to benefit people who have it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it possible to treat schizophrenia?

Though it cannot be cured, schizophrenia is frequently manageable. A limited percentage of people can fully recover from schizophrenia. 

2. When to visit a physician?

It is frequently not apparent to those who suffer from schizophrenia that they have a mental illness that needs to be treated. Therefore, getting help on time is the prime responsibility of family or friends.

3. Are Schizophrenia Patients Dangerous?

The majority of individuals with schizophrenia do not engage in violence and pose no greater threat than others. Untreated schizophrenia, however, increases the risk of aggression and self-harm. In actuality, people with schizophrenia are more vulnerable to damage from others.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.


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