Schizophrenia is a mental or psychotic illness that usually appears in early adulthood or late adolescence.
Schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, extremely disordered thinking, and behavior and other cognitive difficulties. People with schizophrenia act abnormally and interpret reality unnaturally.
|Schizophrenia Symptoms and causes|
Schizophrenia -Symptoms, Causes and Complications - Schizophrenia Infographic
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental or psychotic illness that is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, extremely disordered thinking, and behavior and other cognitive difficulties.
Schizophrenia is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way the affected person thinks or behaves, and the way he expresses himself or interacts with those around him.
Schizophrenia usually appears in early adulthood or late adolescence and this condition can often be a lifelong struggle and may impair daily life functioning.
Schizoaffective disorder is the disruption of the patient's mental processes; the inability to control emotions or responding to the sensory and mental inputs that the patient is going through and it affects mostly people of a young age.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
There are many symptoms of schizophrenia that people with schizophrenia may have. The Symptoms of schizophrenia can vary from person to person.
Symptoms of schizophrenia are classified into four categories:
Positive symptoms of Schizophrenia: Examples include: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, confused thoughts, and movement disorders.
Negative symptoms of Schizophrenia: For example, lack of motivation, impaired motor coordination or the absence of facial expressions.
Cognitive symptoms of Schizophrenia: For example, poor concentration, and lack of attention.
Emotional symptoms of Schizophrenia: such as blunted emotions, lack of emotional response or poor expression of emotions
Major signs and symptoms that people with schizophrenia may experience include:
Psychological: Persecutory delusion, hallucination, hearing voices, paranoia, religious delusion, depression, fear, and phobia.
Mood: Elevated mood, feeling detached from self, anxiety, apathy, general discontent, inappropriate emotional response, loss of pleasure or interest in activities or anger and aggression.
Cognitive: Mental confusion, amnesia, memory loss, thought disorder, disorientation, delusion, belief that thoughts are not one's own, belief that an ordinary event has personal and special meaning, false belief of superiority or slowness inactivity.
Behavioral: Disorganized behavior, compulsive behavior, social withdrawal, agitation, aggression, hostility, and excitability, self-harm, lack of restraint or repetitive movements.
Speech: Speech disorder, disorganized speech, incoherent speech, circumstantial speech, rapid and frenzied speaking.
Causes of Schizophrenia
There is no single direct cause of this disease, and there are several factors that may lead to its occurrence, including:
Studies diagnosing pathological cases demonstrated the role of genetic predisposition to develop the disease in three ways, including:
Genetic data in the family tree: The presence of a satisfactory history in the small or extended family tree gives an indication of an increased risk of disease, but this hypothesis is not entirely accurate for the extended family because it is difficult to ascertain the history of the ancestors.
Genetic data in twins: The study of twins is one of the important studies in showing the role of the genetic factor and its effect on the disease.
Twins studies have shown that identical twins have a higher incidence of schizophrenia if their identical twins are infected with this disease at a higher rate than non-identical twins.
Adoption data: Adopting a child who may be at risk for schizophrenia can increase the risk of this disease for parents.
Researchers found that out of 39 adopted children, one of their parents suffered from schizophrenia.
There are 13 of them getting older and getting sick or in a state of the borderline between mental health and illness.
Compared to 49 healthy fathers, only seven of them contracted the disease or demonstrated a borderline condition between mental health and illness.
The Chemical Imbalance in the Brain
Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder that can be caused by a chemical imbalance and other changes in the brain.
It is believed that people with schizophrenia have subtle differences in the structure of the brain and have an imbalance of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and glutamate.
However, it should be noted that these differences are not present in all people with schizophrenia.
On the other hand, it can appear in people who do not have any psychological problems. Therefore, it is believed that these disorders play a simple medication for schizophrenia.
There are a group of environmental factors that an individual may be exposed to that may lead to schizophrenia if he has a genetic predisposition to this disease and these factors are divided into categories, including:
Family atmosphere: This factor took a wide range of study and attention because the disease is in adolescence and youth. A person at this stage is closer in dealing with his family than the external environment, and therefore the family has a role in shaping his personality and thinking.
The family disputes and an unbalanced family environment may cause this illness.
Some injuries arise in non-disturbed families and therefore it is not a measure of injury. But the role of the family becomes more evident after the individual becomes ill with the disease more.
The relationship between the child and the mother: The effect of depriving the child of the mother’s tenderness has received a lot of study and attention.
Many emphasized that the disturbance of the relationship between the mother and the child and the loss of interest, tenderness, and care needed by his mother may affect him negatively and be a catalyst for his schizophrenia when he grows up.
Others criticized this hypothesis on the grounds that there are cases where one of the children suffers and the brothers from the mother do not suffer.
Life experiences: The accidents or psychological or physical trauma to which a person is exposed may be a reason for the development of schizophrenia.
So the researcher studied the impact of the harsh life experiences and the accidents that people might be exposed to. And they found that it is a causative agent of the disease and not a major cause of schizophrenia. In fact, it is a cause of depression.
Substance Use and Abuse
Alcohol consumption, smoking, and substance abuse and the use of certain drugs may stimulate the appearance of schizophrenia symptoms in people with a genetic predisposition to the disease.
Read more about schizophrenia in detail: Schizophrenia-Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Complications
This infographic illustrates schizophrenia very well.
Read more: Schizophrenia -Diagnosis and Treatment
Complications of Schizophrenia
If schizophrenia is left untreated, it can cause serious problems in the body and mind and may affect every daily life functioning. Some major complications of schizophrenia may include:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders
- Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Aggressive behavior or social isolation
- Inability to work or attend school
- Homelessness and financial problems
- Drug addiction or other substance use
- Health and medical problems
- Depression and being victimized
Read more about schizophrenia in detail:
2. How is schizophrenia diagnosed and what is the most effective treatment for schizophrenia?
3. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or MultiplePersonality Disorder (MPD)
3. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or MultiplePersonality Disorder (MPD)