What is Schizophrenia? What are the symptoms of Schizophrenia? What are the types of Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Schizophrenia is characterized by loss of contact with reality, delusions, hallucinations, and / or other bizarre behavior. Schizophrenia affects about 10 in every 1,000 people. Schizophrenia can appear later in life but it usually begins in adolesence and early adulthood. Men suffer more than women from Schizophrenia. The social disruption and misery that Schizophrenia cause people and their families who suffer from it makes it the most devastating of all the psychological disorders. At sometime or another about 50% of all schizophrenia patients have substance abuse problems.
There are two categories of symptoms of Schizophrenia, positive symptoms and negative symptoms. Each individual with Schizophrenia may have one or more of its major symptoms. But there is not one brain abnormality or single symptom shared by all people with this disorder.
Positive symptoms are the abnormal behaviors that are present in people with Schizophrenia. Some symptoms of positive are hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and bizarre behavior. Disturbances in the form of thought or speech is also a positive symptom. Hallucinations is one of the clearest positive symptoms in Schizophrenia patients. The most common type of hallucinations is hearing voices. Sometimes Schizophrenia patients hear command hallucinations, which means voices give them instructions such as “walk outside”. There are other times when manacling voices may order patients to take their own life or kill someone. Visual hallucinations usually take the form of god, friends, relatives, or the devil and are usually seen in black and white.
Negative symptoms are a loss or deficiency in thoughts and behaviors that are characterized of normal functioning. Some symptoms of negative are apathy, social withdrawal, very limited speech, and slowed movements. Schizophrenia patients have difficulty relating to people. They also have a hard time holding a job or even caring for themselves.
There are four different types of Schizophrenia, disorganized, undifferentiated, paranoid, and catatonic. The most serious type is disorganized Schizophrenia. Disorganized Schizophrenia seems to occur at an early age and is marked with extreme social withdrawal, delusions, grimaces, silliness, hallucinations, and other bizarre behavior. These patients often show exhibit behavior and swallow almost any type of object or material. Paranoid Schizophrenia patients often show anger and suspiciousness. Some patients are convinced that they are god, or the president. If they feel they are being harassed or threatened they may become violent to try and defend themselves. Patients with catatonic Schizophrenia may show complete stillness and stupor, or great excitement and agitation. They alternate frequently between the two. Schizophrenia patients with symptoms that do not conform to the criteria of the four types or conform to more than one type is called undifferentiated Schizophrenia.
One half of all the mental hospital beds in the United States are occupied by Schizophrenia patients. Schizophrenia is a very serious disorder and should be treated properly.