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What is Schizophrenia

Uploaded by Panda05 on Dec 29, 2004

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder. It is a disease that makes it difficult for a person to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses to other, and to behave normally in social situations. People with schizophrenia may also have difficulty in remembering, talking, and behaving appropriately. Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental illnesses.
About 1% of the world population has schizophrenia. In the United States, there are about 2.5 million people with the disease. Schizophrenia is the cause of more hospitalizations than almost any other illness. Schizophrenia most commonly begins between the ages of 15 and 25. Although it strikes men and women equally, the symptoms may appear later in women than in men. Very rarely, the symptoms of schizophrenia can appear before the age of 12. Childhood schizophrenia has a more chronic disease course and involves poor early language development. People with schizophrenia can have a variety of symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms come on suddenly. Usually, though, the illness develops slowly over months or even years. At first, the symptoms may not be noticed or may be confused with those of other conditions. For example, people with schizophrenia may feel tense, be unable to concentrate, or have trouble sleeping. They often become increasingly isolated and withdrawn as their grip on reality loosens. They do not make or keep friends. They may stop caring about the way they look. Dropping out of school or doing badly at work are other early signs of schizophrenia. As the illness progresses, symptoms of psychosis develop. The person starts to act strangely and talk nonsensically. People with schizophrenia may develop paranoid delusions. Examples of this would be that they might see, feel, smell, or hear things that are not really there. They may have physical symptoms, like frowning or unusual movements, and may stand or sit in strange positions. Some people become almost motionless. Others move around constantly. The severity of symptoms will vary from one person to another. The symptoms also tend to worsen and improve. When the symptoms are improved, the person may appear to behave relatively normally, but usually there will be repeated episodes of the illness that will cause symptoms to reappear.
Schizophrenia is a complex and puzzling illness. Even the experts are not sure exactly what causes it. Some doctors think that the brain may not be able to...

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Uploaded by:   Panda05

Date:   12/29/2004

Category:   Psychology

Length:   5 pages (1,131 words)

Views:   18143

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