- Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, relates to others and perceives reality.
- One percent of the population (2.2 million Americans) will develop schizophrenia.
- There are five subtypes of schizophrenia:
- Paranoid schizophrenia causes a person to become obsessed with false beliefs.
- Disorganized schizophrenia causes confusion, incoherence and jumbled speech.
- Catatonic schizophrenia causes a person to be immobile and unresponsive. The opposite can also occur where the person engages in restless activity.
- Undifferentiated schizophrenia is when the person’s symptoms do not represent one of the other subtypes.
- Residual schizophrenia has a list of symtoms that includes blank looks, inexpressive faces and monotone speech.
- Positive symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations and catatonia, which is when a person stays in a single position for a long period of time.
- Cognitive symptoms include trouble focusing or paying attention, and difficulty remembering.
- Negative symptoms is defined as the absence of normal behaviors. This includes reduced speech and energy, lack of motivation, lack of emotion, and withdrawal from family and friends.
- Although the cause is unknown, this mental illness can be developed through factors such as genetics, brain chemistry, brain abnormality and environmental factors.
- Schizophrenia typically appears when a person is in his or her teens to early 20s.
- About 10 percent of people with schizophrenia commit suicide and are more likely to have a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
- Most people prefer to be left alone and are not violent.
- Treatments such as taking medication, participating in therapy and being hospitalized can reduce symptoms.
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- Teresa Roca is a NYC writer who is obsessed with celebrities, sports and movies. Her favorite cause is bullying and violence.
Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness, Help Starts Here, Web MD, MSN