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Understanding Schizophrenia Today
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Understanding Schizophrenia Today

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder which is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, physical agitation and incoherence, and while Bipolar Disorder is being regarded as a "mood" disorder, Schizophrenia is categorized as a "thought" disorder. Schizophrenia is a complex biochemical brain disorder which makes it difficult or impossible for the sufferer to identify things of reality, as it is as if the brain is using the wrong path to send perceptions, making the patient to have a wrong conclusion.

How Schizophrenia is Diagnosed

There are certain criteria that a person must meet in order to be diagnosed with schizophrenia; some of these are:

- Certain areas of manor functioning like work, relationships and self-care must be significantly lower than before the commencement of the symptoms.

- At least two of the following, each present for a major portion of the time during a period of 30 days, must be present in the individual. These are: hallucinations, delusions, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, disorganized speech, symptoms like flat affect (i.e. no form of emotion shown), or difficulty in engaging in goal-directed behavior.

- No other disorder like major depressive disorder or autism is responsible for the symptoms. The disorder must also not have been caused by a medical condition or the use of substance.

- Duration - continuous signs of the disturbance must be experienced by the individual for at least 6 months, and active symptoms must be involved for at least one of those 6 months.

Causes of Schizophrenia

There are certain environmental and genetic factors which influence the development of schizophrenia. There is a chance of between 20% and 40% of an individual being diagnosed if he or she is from a family of schizophrenia. the knowledge of these causes is a good way of controlling the disease and enjoying life.

Environment Factors

These factors are associated with the schizophrenia development, and include the living environment, prenatal stressors and drug use. The style of parenting plays an important role, though individuals with parents who are supportive can always do better than the ones with hostile or critical parents.

The risk of the disorder can also increase by a factor of two if one lives in an urban environment during adulthood or childhood, even after considering ethnic group, size of social group and drug use, and some other factors which can be responsible for the disorder are social isolation and immigration related to racial discrimination, social adversity, family dysfunction, poor housing conditions and unemployment.

Genetic Factors

If you have a first-degree relative living with schizophrenia, you have a greatest risk of developing the same disease, and this is one of the things which make the disorder to be of great concern to both health experts and individuals with loved ones living with the disorder, as genes are involved in the language and human nature evolution.

Developmental Factors

In many ways, developmental factors are also responsible for schizophrenia. For instance, the factors like infection and hypoxia, or malnutrition and stress in the mother during the development of the fetus can lead to a slight increase in the risk of having the disorder in the future. It is likely that many of those living with schizophrenia were born in spring or winter, and this may cause an increase in the rates of viral exposures in utero.

Drug Use

Cocaine, amphetamine, and alcohol (to some extent), can lead to something similar to schizophrenia - known as psychosis. In addition, those living with schizophrenia usually make use of nicotine at a rate which is higher than that of the general population, although this is not generally believed to always cause the illness. Excessive use of drugs or alcohol is common with schizophrenia, and this is why experts believe that there is a link between the use of cannabis and earlier onset of psychotic illness. Durg use should be controlled because if cannabis is used more often, the person will have increased chances of developing a psychotic illness.


Schizophrenia is a serious disease, and this is why as the people at greater genetic risk of the disease age, they could experience a reduction in their IQ, even if mental disorder is developed by them. As we grow older, the retention of our thinking skills is important for living independently and with good health. If the nature of a human being has some traces of schizophrenia, it is possible to notice a slight but identifiable deterioration in cognitive functions between childhood and adulthood.

Street Talk

HI Tanya.....There is now extensive medical journal information on Schizophrenia by Abram Hoffer and a complete medical journal called The Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry...which has been changed to the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine...and it is online at orthomed with a dot and then org after it....there is much scientific evidence and treatment showing that Orthomolecular Medicine can make the life close to normal if not normal again. This scientific journal is in all the medical schools and there are many books as well as scientific journal information on schizophrenia now.....Life can be better than before...please check this out....I went to your link to Jerry Whitaker's school project on wordpress however there are no places to leave comments........please show this to him as it might help many more people....good writing by the way......k

  about 9 years ago
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