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Schizophrenia is characterized by thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality or behaviour and decreased participation in daily activities. Person hears abnormal voices /doubts on others. Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. It is a complex, long-term medical illness, affecting about 1% of population.

Although schizophrenia can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women. It is uncommon for schizophrenia to be diagnosed in a person younger than 12 or older than 40. It is possible to live well with schizophrenia. ECT along with antipsychotic medicines help patients to maintain a steady level of functioning.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30. Men often develop symptoms at a younger age than women. People usually do not get schizophrenia after age 45.

There are three types of symptoms

1. Psychotic symptoms :- Psychotic symptoms include abnormal/ distorted thinking like hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not there), delusions (false firm beliefs), trouble organizing thoughts, and strange movements.
2. Negative symptoms :- Negative symptoms make it difficult to show emotions and to function normally. A person may seem depressed and withdrawn.
3. Cognitive symptoms :- Cognitive symptoms affect the thought process. These include trouble using information, making decisions, and paying attention.

What causes schizophrenia and its spectrum of conditions?

There is no clear cutcommon reason for schizophrenia or the spectrum of diseases that it is associated with. A person’s chance of getting it is increased by a number of events and situations, but none of them are definite assurances that you will.

The causes of schizophrenia are unknown, according to experts. The following are the key factors:

  • imbalances in the chemical signals that your brain utilizes to communicate between cells.
  • issues with the brains development before birth.
  • loss of connections between various brain regions.
How it is treated, is there a cure?

Although schizophrenia cannot be cured, it is often treatable. People with schizophrenia do occasionally fully recover from it. There is no way to predict who would experience a relapse of this ailment and who won’t, therefore this isn’t a cure. As a result, medical professionals refer to patients who recover from this ailment as being “in remission.”

A combination of medication, counsellingand self-management approaches is typically used to treat schizophrenia. While most mental health illnesses can be effectively treated with therapy alone, maintaining schizophrenia typically requires medication. Early identification and treatment are important because they improve the chances of a positive outcome.