Schizophrenia: Putting It All Together

Here is a summary of the important facts and information related to schizophrenia:

  • Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. A person has difficulty telling the difference between real and imagined experiences, thinking logically, expressing feelings, or behaving appropriately.
  • People with schizophrenia may hear internal voices and experience hallucinations. They may have trouble organizing their thoughts and expressing themselves.
  • Schizophrenia is a complex illness, and no single cause has been found. Theories about causes include heredity, brain chemistry, brain abnormalities, and complications during pregnancy and birth.
  • Early symptoms may include mild feelings of tension, inability to sleep or concentrate, and a loss of interest in school, work, or friends.
  • As the illness progresses, people with schizophrenia experience symptoms that include hallucinations and illusions, delusions, disordered thinking, lack of emotional expression, and inappropriate reactions.
  • Schizophrenia is treated with a wide variety of medications that include antipsychotic drugs, as well as with electroconvulsive therapy, psychotherapy, family support services, and rehabilitation programs.
  • Although the illness cannot be cured, most people go on to lead independent, satisfying lives.

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