How Does Schizophrenia Affect People – Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem out of touch with reality, which can be distressing for themselves and their family and friends. The symptoms of schizophrenia can make it difficult to participate in normal daily activities, but effective treatments are available. Many people who receive treatment are able to go to school or work, achieve independence and enjoy personal relationships.
It is important to recognize the symptoms of schizophrenia and seek help as soon as possible. People with schizophrenia are usually diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30, after the first episode of psychosis. Starting treatment as soon as possible after the first episode of psychosis is an important step towards recovery. However, research shows that the first episode of psychosis is often preceded by gradual changes in thinking, mood and social functioning. Schizophrenia is rare in younger children.
- 1 How Does Schizophrenia Affect People
- 1.1 How Do Mental Disorders Impact Our Decision Making?
- 1.2 Schizophrenia Found To Disrupt The Brain’s Entire Communication System
- 1.3 Time In Schizophrenia: A Link Between Psychopathology, Psychophysics And Technology
- 1.4 The Heightened Risk Of Substance Use Associated With Mental Illness
- 1.5 Tool_newsletter Archive_schizophrenia_collection — Health Storylines™
- 1.6 Schizophrenia: A Common, Yet Often Ignored Presence
How Does Schizophrenia Affect People
Schizophrenia symptoms can vary from person to person, but generally fall into three main categories: psychotic, negative and cognitive.
How Do Mental Disorders Impact Our Decision Making?
Psychic symptoms include changes in the way a person thinks, acts and experiences the world. People with psychotic symptoms can lose a sense of shared reality with others and experience the world in a distorted way. For some people, these symptoms come and go. For others, symptoms become stable over time. Psychic symptoms include:
Negative symptoms include loss of motivation, loss of interest or enjoyment in daily activities, withdrawal from social life, difficulty expressing emotions, and difficulty functioning normally.
Cognitive symptoms include problems with attention, concentration and memory. These symptoms can make it difficult to carry on a conversation, learn new things or remember appointments. A person’s level of cognitive functioning is one of the best predictors of their daily functioning. Health care professionals assess cognitive function using specific tests.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has acknowledged that certain mental health conditions, including depression and schizophrenia, make people more likely to get sick from COVID-19. Learn more about getting help and finding a healthcare professional.
Schizophrenia Found To Disrupt The Brain’s Entire Communication System
Most people with schizophrenia are not violent. In general, people with schizophrenia are more likely to be harmed by others than those without the disorder. For people with schizophrenia, the risk of self-harm and violence against others increases when the illness is untreated. It is important to help people who show symptoms get treatment as quickly as possible.
Although some of the symptoms look similar on the surface, schizophrenia is not a dissociative identity disorder (also known as multiple personality disorder or split personality). People with dissociative identity disorder have two or more separate identities that are present and take control of them respectively.
Genetics: Schizophrenia sometimes runs in families. But just because one family member has schizophrenia doesn’t mean other family members will too. Studies suggest that many different genes can contribute to a person’s chance of developing schizophrenia, but that no single gene causes the disorder by itself.
Environment: Research suggests that a combination of genetic factors and aspects of a person’s environment and life experiences may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. These environmental factors include living in poverty, stressful or dangerous environments, and exposure to viruses or nutritional problems before birth.
Time In Schizophrenia: A Link Between Psychopathology, Psychophysics And Technology
Brain structure and function: Research shows that people with schizophrenia are more likely to have differences in the size of certain brain areas and connections between brain areas. Some of these brain differences can develop before birth. Researchers are working to better understand how brain structure and function may be related to schizophrenia.
Current treatments for schizophrenia focus on helping people manage their symptoms, improve daily functioning, and achieve personal life goals, such as completing an education, pursuing a career, and having satisfying relationships.
Antipsychotic medications can help make psychotic symptoms less severe and less frequent. These medicines are usually taken every day in pill or liquid form. Some antipsychotic medications are given as an injection once or twice a month.
If a person’s symptoms do not improve with regular antipsychotic medications, they may be prescribed clozapine. People taking clozapine must have regular blood tests to check for potentially dangerous side effects that occur in 1-2% of patients.
Schizophrenia Symptoms And Diagnosis
People respond to antipsychotic medications in different ways. It is important to report any side effects to a healthcare professional. Many people who take antipsychotic medications experience side effects such as weight gain, dry mouth, restlessness and drowsiness when they start taking these medications. Some of these side effects may go away with time, while others may last.
Shared decision-making between healthcare professionals and patients is the recommended strategy for determining the best type of drug or drug combination and the correct dose. For the most up-to-date information about antipsychotic medications, talk to a health care provider and visit the U.S. website Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Psychosocial treatments help people find solutions to everyday challenges and manage symptoms while going to school, working and forming relationships. These treatments are often used in conjunction with antipsychotic medications. People who participate in regular psychosocial treatment are less likely to have symptoms or be admitted to hospital.
Examples of this type of treatment include forms of psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral training, supported employment, and cognitive enhancement interventions.
Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Triggers, And Treatment
Educational programs can help families and friends learn about the symptoms of schizophrenia, treatment options, and strategies to help loved ones with the illness. These programs can help friends and family cope with their distress, increase their own coping skills, and strengthen their ability to provide support. There is more information about support and education groups on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.
Specialized care coordination (CSC) programs are recovery-oriented programs for people with first-episode psychosis, an early stage of schizophrenia. Health professionals and specialists work together as a team to provide CSC, including psychotherapy, medication, case management, employment and educational support, and education and family support. The treatment team works with the individual to make treatment decisions, involving family members as much as possible.
Compared to usual care, CSC is more effective in reducing symptoms, improving quality of life and increasing participation in work or school.
Assertive community treatment (ACT) was developed specifically for people with schizophrenia who are likely to be hospitalized or homeless. ACT is usually provided by a team of healthcare professionals who work together to provide care to patients in the community.
The Heightened Risk Of Substance Use Associated With Mental Illness
People with schizophrenia tend to have problems with drugs and alcohol. A treatment program that includes both treatment for schizophrenia and substance use is important for recovery because substance use can interfere with treatment for schizophrenia.
If you’re not sure where to get help, a good place to start is a healthcare professional. Healthcare professionals can refer you to a qualified mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist experienced in treating schizophrenia. Get tips to prepare for and get the most out of your visit and information on how to get help.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has an online treatment locator to help you find mental health services in your area. SAMHSA also has a Serious Mental Illness Early Treatment Finder to find mental health treatment facilities and programs.
If you or someone you know is struggling or having suicidal thoughts, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat at 988lifeline.org. In life-threatening situations, call 911.
Clinical studies are research studies that look for new ways to prevent, detect or treat diseases and conditions. Clinical trials aim to find out if a new test or treatment works and is safe. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should know that the main purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others can be better helped in the future.
Researchers across the country and around the country conduct many studies with patients and healthy volunteers. We have new and better treatment options today because of what clinical studies showed years ago. Talk to your healthcare provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you.
Unless otherwise stated, the information on our website and in our publications is in the public domain and may be reused or copied without permission. However, you may not reuse or copy the images. Cite the National Institute of Mental Health as a source. Read our copyright policy to learn more about our content reuse policy. Schizophrenia involves a disconnection from reality, including hallucinations and delusions. It also affects your ability to recognize your symptoms. It is a serious condition, but it is treatable.
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric condition that has serious effects on your physical and mental well-being. It affects how your brain works, affecting things like thoughts, memory, senses and behaviour. As a result, you may struggle in many areas of your daily life. Untreated schizophrenia often affects your relationships (professional, social, romantic, and otherwise). It can also cause you to do it
Schizophrenia: A Common, Yet Often Ignored Presence
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