What is Schizophrenia?

February 9th, 2009

Schizophrenia is characterised by hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations are seeing or hearing things that are not really there but which are very real to the person with schizophrenia. Indeed, hallucinations can affect any or all of the senses. Delusions can be described as believing things which are not true despite being shown evidence to the contrary.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia can be divided into what are known as positive and negative symptoms.

Positive symptoms

• Hallucinations
• Delusions
• Disorganised and chaotic thoughts
• Agitation

Negative symptoms

• Lack of initiative and motivation
• Withdrawal from social contact
• Showing no emotion
• Apathy

There are also different types of schizophrenia. For example, paranoid schizophrenia (where the individual feels persecuted or grandiose), disorganised schizophrenia (incoherent and irrational), Catatonic Schizophrenia (expressionless and withdrawn) and Residual Schizophrenia (no interest in life). Someone can experience any or a combination of these types at the same time.

For an accurate diagnosis it is essential that you have all your symptoms evaluated by a qualified medical professional so that the right treatment can be offered.

No comments: