Schizophrenia is one of many mental disorders that doesn’t seem to have a known cause and is very complex in its side effects, symptoms, and treatment options. Schizophrenia can make simply things difficult to someone with the mental disorder, including thinking clearly, telling the difference between what is real and isn’t real, having normal emotional and physical responses, and acting appropriately in social situations.

Causes of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a very complex mental illness and there isn’t a known cause. Your genes may play a big role in your risk of getting schizophrenia. Some events in your life can trigger the mental illness if you are at a higher risk according to your genes and if you have a family member with schizophrenia, you are more likely to develop it. It tends to be equal among men and women and most often begins to show signs during the teen years but may not occur until early adulthood. Women develop schizophrenia later in life more often than men, but it is usually a mild version of the mental illness. It can be hard to diagnose schizophrenia in young children as it is often confused with other disorders such as autism.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia can develop slowly over months or even years. You may think you have another condition until the symptoms become more prominent. Some of the first signs noticed of schizophrenia patients are trouble concentrating, irritability or tenseness, and insomnia. As it progresses, symptoms include bizarre behaviors, isolation, lack of emotion, trouble paying attention, hallucinations where you see or hear things that aren’t there, having delusions and loose associations. Paranoid schizophrenia symptoms include false beliefs that others are trying to harm you, severe anxiety, anger and arguing. Disorganized Schizophrenia shows child-like behavior, little emotion, and problems explaining your ideas clearly.

Diagnosing Schizophrenia

There currently aren’t any tests to perform to look for schizophrenia. Psychiatrists go based on a medical history and speaking with the patient or family members. They will want detailed symptoms and behavior patterns, including when they developed, how long they last, if they are getting worse, if any family members have schizophrenia, and how they have been developing.

Treating Schizophrenia

Patients with a severe episode of schizophrenia should stay in the hospital for safety purposes. Treatment options include medications like antipsychotic medications that help balance the chemicals in the brain, as well as support groups, therapy sessions, and behavioral therapy.

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