What Is Schizophrenia?

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Schizophrenia is a brain disorder characterized by a variety of different symptoms, many of which can dramatically affect a person’s way of thinking and ability to function. People with schizophrenia have trouble distinguishing what is real from what is not. They are not able to fully control their emotions or think logically, and they usually have trouble relating to other people. They often suffer from hallucinations, lack of motivation, and impairments in memory, learning, concentration, and their ability to make sound decisions; much of their bizarre behavior is usually due to them acting in response to something they think is real but is only in their minds. The criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia are very specific there must be a mixture of certain signs and symptoms that are present for a significant portion of time (over a one-month period). There has to be two or more of the following symptoms present for the one-month period for someone to be diagnose with schizophrenia: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms, and social and/ or occupational dysfunction (Haycock 53 – 66). Schizophrenia is a long-term relapsing disorder because it has symptoms that worsen and get better over time. Similar too many physical illnesses (such as diabetes, asthma, and arthritis), schizophrenia is highly treatable although it isn’t yet considered curable. However, the long-term outcomes of schizophrenia aren’t as grim as was once believed. Although the disorder can have a course that result in long-term disability, one in five persons recovers completely. Some people have only one psychotic episode, others have repeated episode with normal periods of functioning in between, and others have continuing problems from which they never fully recover. The methods used to help people with this disorder are medication approaches and psychosocial approaches. Evidence shows that adding psychosocial treatments to...
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