16 Facts You Shouldn't Ignore About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects both our daily life and relationship with others. To live a better and healthier life, here are 16 facts you need to know.

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1. What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that interferes with people's daily life. People who have it may hear voices, see imaginary sights, or believe other people control their thoughts, which will eventually lead to erratic behavior. About 1% of Americans suffer from schizophrenia.

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2. What are the symptoms?

People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. Some other signs, such as social withdrawal, and sloppiness of dress and hygiene, are also common in schizophrenia.

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3. How does it affect thoughts?

With their mind racing from one unrelated thought to another, people with schizophrenia may find it difficult to make logical connections.

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4. How does it affect behavior?

People with schizophrenia may talk and not make sense. Many can't keep themselves or their homes clean. Despite myths, there's little chance that they will use violence against others.

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5. Who gets schizophrenia?

Anyone. People with family history of mental disorder are more likely to get it. Symptoms usually begin between ages 16 and 30. It tends to begin earlier in men than women.

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6. What causes it?

Scientists haven't figured out its cause yet, but a person's genes, experiences, and setting may all be involved.

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7. How do doctors diagnose it?

Doctors usually base a diagnosis on the combination of a person's family history and certain behaviors. These behaviors include social withdrawal and unusual suspicions. But usually, that's not enough for a diagnosis.

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8. Medicines that treat it

In spite of troubling side effects like tremors and gaining lots of weight, prescription drugs do help reduce symptoms such as abnormal thinking, hallucinations, and delusions.

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9. The Role of therapy

Therapy can help people test the reality of their thoughts and better manage symptoms. It will also improve their communication and relationship skills.

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10. Rehabilitation program

The aim of rehabilitation programs is to teach people how to do everyday things, such as manage money, or use public transportation.These programs function best together with proper medications and therapy.

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11. Regular counseling

People with schizophrenia may have serious symptoms returning in which they lose touch with reality if they quit their medications. Regular counseling can help people avoid the need for hospitalization.

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12. Challenges at work

People with schizophrenia often have difficulty finding or keeping a job because the disease affects their thinking, concentration, and communication. Vocational and occupational rehabilitation can help people develop practical job skills.

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13. When a loved one has it

Relationships can be rocky for people with schizophrenia due to their unusual thoughts and behaviors. If you are close to someone who has it, it's better that you join a support group yourself, so you can learn more about what they are going through.

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14. Alcohol and drugs are a risk

People with schizophrenia are more likely than other people to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs, which would interfere with their treatments for schizophrenia. For those people with schizophrenia, substance abuse programs would be a better choice.

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15. Discuss before pregnancy

Though there are no definitive links between medications for schizophrenia and birth defects, it's still important for women with schizophrenia who want babies to talk with their doctors first, so that they can make sure they can take medicines during pregnancy.

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16. When it's a relative

When your family member has schizophrenia, you can do the following things to help. First, you can encourage the person to stay on medication. Second, you can go with him/her to the follow-up appointments. Last, you should be supportive and respectful.

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