Schizophrenia is a disease that challenges a person, creating difficulties in distinguishing between real and unreal, controlling emotions, relationships with other people and normal functioning in general. This is a serious disease but it can be quite successfully controlled. With the right treatment and support, you can find a way to feel better and maintain a high standard of living.

Finding a suitable and helpful treatment may take some time, during which a rollback to the worst condition can occur, but most people with schizophrenia feel better over time.

The first step is to identify signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay – in this case, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.


What is schizophrenia?

This is a mental illness that affects the behavior, thoughts, and perceptions of the world. People with schizophrenia often have an altered perception of reality.

They can see or hear things that do not exist, talk in a strange manner, believe that others want to harm them, or feel that they are under constant surveillance.

This makes it difficult to overcome daily activities, so people with schizophrenia can leave the outside world or act while being burdened with fears and confusion in their heads. Although schizophrenia is a chronic disease, patients can be helped, despite the myths surrounding schizophrenia.

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia

Common symptoms of schizoid personality disorder include:

  • abnormal perception or reality, hallucinations;
  • abnormal, deviating judgments and conclusions;
  • distorted thinking, leading to speech disorders;
  • unusual emotions, most often very limited;
  • decreased motivational and volitional activity;
  • problems with mental activity related to memory and performing functions;
  • strange behavior for the perception of other people;
  • violations of control systems.

Signs and symptoms of sluggish schizophrenia also include chronic depression, inability to enjoy and emotional decline. With the development of symptoms, a person experiences dullness, lack of mental sensitivity and a decrease in the general level to complete primitiveness.

Before the disease or at the very beginning of schizophrenia, the first symptoms appear such as a feeling of tension, depression, depression, as well as problems with impaired attention. This provokes a feeling of severe overload, which is similar to a condition, before making an important decision.

This suggests that schizophrenia does not appear on its own. A sign of schizophrenia is the fact that the patient before the onset of the disease becomes more pessimistic, feeling that something unusual is happening in the atmosphere. He or she may often ask: “I feel something is happening, but I don’t know what. Explain to me what’s going on? ”

Insomnia is another symptom of the development of the disease. It is caused by constant tension, distrust and constant vigilance. What a sick person feels is similar to the alarming fear of the dark, when the shadows of trees are perceived as frightening images, and sounds and rustles seem to be steps of pursuers. A person feels a threat and loses his or her usual confidence, and is not able to give a true assessment of the surrounding reality. In schizophrenia, this sensation is the beginning of the disease.

The surrounding reality takes on increasingly threatening and alien forms until the patient breaks the connection with the previous reality and creates a new reality based on personal experience.

With schizophrenic disorder, a person feels that every object and any event that occurs in his or her life is created specifically for him or her. The media is also turning into bearers of secret messages. A car trip around the city may seem like a theatrical performance specially played for him or her by passers-by.

Living together with loved ones is also fraught with excessive strain because everyone needs to be monitored. The patient’s life turns into constant adherence to signs and signals that are supposedly left for him or her by higher forces.

Symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia include delusions and hallucinations. Some patients feel that their thoughts are being tapped. It may also seem to them that their own thoughts in the head sound or are uttered by someone else’s voice.

Voices can subside and even completely disappear if a person is busy with an interesting business or talking with others. In a situation of complete isolation and inaction, voices, on the contrary, are amplified.

A common symptom of schizophrenia is also delirium. The words and written texts of patients lack integrity and harmony, they are contradictory and produce a distorted, fragmented perception of reality.

A patient with schizophrenia can also unrecognize familiar places and faces, however, in an unfamiliar environment, on the contrary, he or she can feel confident that he or she is not there for the first time.

Signs of schizophrenia in men develop earlier than in women – between the age of 15 and 35. Probably, the earlier development of the disease in men is connected with the pressure of society in connection with expectations and claims. It is noteworthy that the symptoms of schizophrenia in bachelor men are 4 times more likely than in married men.

Signs of schizophrenia in women appear later, at the age of 27-37 years. Apparently, this is due to the fact that women by their nature are more prone to second roles, so the disease develops more slowly and later. In addition, sex hormones protect women from the disease. However, during critical days, the symptoms of schizophrenia in women worsen.

Schizophrenia cannot be diagnosed on one basis. The presence of the disease involves a number of somatic and psychological disorders. A single attack of schizophrenia does not mean that the disease will remain for life. Even if the disease lasted a long period, one still cannot talk about persistent disease and call the patient schizophrenic.

Types of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is distinguished by the dominant symptoms:

  • paranoid. The main symptom of the disease is delirium. It seems to the patient that he or she is being persecuted or that he or she is a very important person. The patient shares his or her feelings about a non-existent danger with others, at the first opportunity tells how great his or her role in the world is. Often delirium is accompanied by auditory hallucinations. However, problems with emotions and speech may not occur;
  • hebephrenic (disorganized). There are disorders of the emotional sphere, there is a disorder of all mental operations. Symptoms of this form of the disease appear at the age of 11-14 years. The behavior of a teenager becomes ridiculous and unpredictable. From a sociable and cheerful person, he or she can in a few minutes turn into an isolated personality, showing the basic signs of maladaptation;
  • catatonic. Psychomotor symptoms are pronounced. Schizophrenic suffers from difficulties during movement. Active gestures in him or she can be abruptly replaced by a stupor. This condition, close to paralysis, can last for several days. Some patients with catatonic schizophrenia are even in similar states;
  • undifferentiated. The disease has no dominant symptoms, so it can not be attributed to any of the above groups;
  • residual. Signs of the disease are implicit. Dominated by the loss of interest in what is happening around, lack of initiative, lethargy.

Psychiatrists distinguish two more types of schizophrenia in a separate group:

  • simple. Acute psychoses are absent. Any activity does not cause the patient even the slightest interest. At first, strange behavior is observed, then volitional motivation disappears;
  • post schizophrenic depression. It follows an exacerbation. It manifests itself as a depressive disorder and mild residual symptoms that prevail in a particular patient.

The classification of the disease by the characteristics of its course is as follows:

  • fur-like (acute attacks occur, after which the schizophrenic’s personality breaks even more);
  • recurrent (seizures occur from time to time);
  • continuously ongoing (chronic form without sudden changes in condition);
  • sluggish schizophrenia.

Having established what form of the disease the patient has, the psychiatrist can predict how it will develop further.

Causes of schizophrenia

Why schizophrenia occurs has not been fully established to this day. Doctors tend to believe that the disease occurs under the influence of exogenous and endogenous factors.

Other factors that contribute to the development of schizophrenia include:

  • complicated labor;
  • intrauterine infections transferred by the fetus;
  • the birth of a child in spring and winter;
  • adverse social living conditions;
  • childhood sexual/physical abuse;
  • alcoholism, drug addiction, dependence on hallucinogenic and stimulating drugs.

There is a version that schizophrenia causes underdevelopment of brain structures – a decrease in frontal lobe activity and a significant increase in ventricles.

The risk of getting sick increases if one of the relatives has been diagnosed with this ailment. It is proved that not schizophrenia itself is transmitted by inheritance but violations that contribute to its development. In order for the disease to “be activated”, additional external exposure is needed. This refers to drugs, alcohol abuse, hormonal surges during puberty, pre-retirement age and age from 21 to 31 years.

To understand when the child is most likely to show signs of schizophrenia, you need to find out when the anomaly appeared in the parent/grandmother/great-grandmother. Repetition is observed quite often.

According to statistics, the probability of transmission of a tendency to schizophrenia in the second knee is 10% in the first – 30%.


It is difficult to diagnose the disease at the very beginning. Observation of the patient lasts at least 6 months. Usually, at the first stage of diagnosis, an acute transient psychotic disorder with symptoms of schizophrenia is diagnosed (schizophrenia-like disorder).

At this stage, the doctor psychiatrist communicates with the patient, monitors the dynamics and modification of symptoms. Additional information is provided by relatives.

General clinical research is conducted:

  • General analysis of blood and urine;
  • Blood chemistry;
  • Immune status assessment;
  • Hormonal profile.

Magnetic resonance therapy is performed to exclude organic brain diseases that can provoke neuropsychiatric symptoms (tumors, abscesses, viral encephalitis).

Electroencephalography (EEG) shows the electrical activity of the brain. It is prescribed for suspected brain diseases, injuries. It is important for differentiating schizophrenia with other mental disorders.

Therapeutic and neurological examination is carried out to exclude diseases that can lead to a schizophrenic state.

Psychological tests help diagnose schizophrenia in borderline cases. They show disturbances in the work of individual brain structures and the ability to remember, perceive, think.

In addition, there are diagnostic criteria, the presence of at least one of which for more than a month makes it possible to establish the diagnosis:

  • Echo of thoughts;
  • Delusions of perception;
  • Sound hallucinations;
  • Inadequate, ridiculous, delusional, grandiose ideas.


  • Autism. The patient does not make contact, refuses to interact in society;
  • Dementia – impaired brain function, memory impairment;
  • Extrapyramidal disorders (tremor, parkinsonism, tic, dystonia) that developed as a result of antipsychotic therapy;
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system;
  • Abdominal obesity;
  • Diabetes risk;
  • Suicidal tendency. About 30% of patients with schizophrenia at least once in their life made suicidal attempts.

Treatment and prevention

It is impossible to cure schizophrenia completely. The main task of the doctor is to achieve a state of persistent remission, so that negative signs appear as late as possible. For this purpose, the therapist stops exacerbations in a hospital setting.

When the schizophrenic returns from the hospital, relatives should spend a lot of time with him or her. Communication is very important for such patients. They are also helped by art therapy, cognitive training.

Drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia include antipsychotics and antipsychotics. They help to avoid relapse.

The treatment of schizophrenia in the clinic involves also involves occupational therapy, ergo and physiotherapy, conversations, as well as involvement in creative activities.

The cooperation of the doctor with the patient’s relatives has a great influence on the effectiveness of treatment. In the case when home treatment becomes too difficult or impossible for relatives, the patient should be sent to a day hospital.

In emergency cases, for example, in the event of a threat to another person, a patient is hospitalized. Involuntary and prolonged detention of a patient in a hospital requires a court decision or representative authority.

Treatment of schizophrenia with alternative methods involves various options for improving the condition. This can be communication with nature, which allows patients to perceive reality not as something fragmented and alien, but as a whole.

Hiking and cycling, active sports also help patients feel much better.

Prevention of schizophrenia involves an active social and physical lifestyle, the presence of strong personal attitudes, engaging in interesting activities and creativity, as well as constant training in new things and self-development, which prevents mental stagnation and fixation on negative experiences and incorrect attitudes.