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What is Schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. In Schizophrenia any ordinary person changes emotionally, ideologically, and practically. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality, which causes significant distress for the individual, their family members, and friends.

If left untreated, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be persistent and disabling. Let us learn more about this disease

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. This disease may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behavior that impairs daily functioning, and can be disabling.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The most commonly known symptoms of Schizophrenia are:

  1. Delusions mean something in which a person cannot differentiate between imaginary and real things. They lose their ability to understand the difference between them. So how do these thoughts happen? The most commonly found delusions include:
    • Delusions of Persecutions in which the patient thinks someone is against him. To be specific, the patients have delusions some of his family members are against him or some other known person is on the urge of planning and plotting behind his back.
    • Delusions of Reference in which the patient connects any neutral events with itself. For instance, if you are sitting with the patient in the same room, then the patient would start believing that you are talking about him or something related to him.
    • Delusion in which the patient thinks that his partner has affair with someone.
  2. Auditory Hallucination is the most commonly found hallucinations. In this, the patients hear voices that actually do not take place in reality. In some cases, there is a visual hallucination in which any of the patient things, individuals, or shapes are visible to the patient.
  3. Next are the symptoms in which sometimes the patient thinks that his thoughts are not his own. They think that there is something around which is controlling his thinking ability. In some cases, patients also feel that they never developed any thoughts, and sometimes they also feel that their thoughts are being broadcasted on televisions.
  4. In negative symptoms, the patient starts to do things that he has never done before. For example, the patient stops doing meaningful works – if he is a student, he stops studying; if he does a job, he stops doing it, and so on. Further, the patient does not feel happy after doing anything.

Mentioned above are the symptoms of schizophrenia. So, if you come across any such symptoms in a person, take him to the psychiatrist as soon as possible and start treatment.

Causes of Schizophrenia

About 1% of people have Schizophrenia disease and there are two important causes for this.

  • Genetic Factor (genetics) – If both parents of the patient have schizophrenia, the chances of having schizophrenia in the child would have been 40%. If any one of the parents has schizophrenia, the child has schizophrenia with the probability of 12%.
  • Environmental Factor – This can be caused by life events or stress. In some patients, there is an imbalance in the chemicals present in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine level might increase which leads to schizophrenia.

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    Treatment for Schizophrenia

    The most beneficial in schizophrenia treatment is medicine. It takes 4 to 6 weeks for the patient to be affected by medicines. Schizophrenia’s course lasts for a long time, perhaps it may be for 1-2 years. Even, the patient is suffering from schizophrenia for the first time, he will have to take the treatment for about 1 to 2 years.

    Further, there is some patient who is aware of their condition of suffering from this disease, and thus follows all the necessary steps to recover and complete their medicinal course. But, there are some patients who are not aware of their condition, and in case they know about their health problem, they cannot accept the schizophrenia, hence, at such times they require counseling sessions by the doctors. Along with medicines, family support is also essential to fight the disease.


    Sahyadri Hospitals is the largest chain of hospitals in Maharashtra. It is the brainchild of Dr. Charudutt Apte, one of India’s most renowned Neurosurgeons and more importantly an ardent practitioner of ethical medical practices.

    About Author

    Dr. Nasli R Ichaporia

    Dr. Vaishali Girme

    Clinical Psychology

    Contact: +91 88888 22222
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