Worldwide Food Service Safety Month on December, 2024: info on schizophrenia.?

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info on schizophrenia...?

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Schizophrenia is a complex illness. Even experts in the field are not sure what causes it.

Genetic factors appear to play a role. People who have family members with schizophrenia may be more likely to get the illness themselves.

Some researchers believe that environmental events may trigger schizophrenia in people who are already genetically at risk for the disorder. For example, infection during development in the mother's womb or stressful psychological experiences may increase the risk for developing schizophrenia later in life. Social and family support appears to improve the illness.

Schizophrenia affects about 1% of people worldwide. It occurs equally among men and women, but in women it tends to begin later and be milder. For this reason, males tend to account for more than half of patients in services with high numbers of young adults. Although schizophrenia usually begins in young adulthood, there are cases in which the disorder begins later (over age 45).

Childhood-onset schizophrenia begins after age 5 and, in most cases, after normal development. Childhood schizophrenia is rare and can be difficult to tell apart from other developmental disorders of childhood, such as autism.


Schizophrenia may have a variety of symptoms. Usually the illness develops slowly over months or years. Like other chronic illnesses, schizophrenia cycles between periods of fewer symptoms and periods of more symptoms.

At first, you may feel tense, or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You can become isolated and withdrawn, and have trouble making or keeping friends.

As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:

•Appearance or mood that shows no emotion (flat affect)

•Bizarre movements that show less of a reaction to the environment (catatonic behavior)

•False beliefs or thoughts that are not based in reality (delusions)

•Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)

Problems with thinking often occur:

•Problems paying attention

•Thoughts "jump" between unrelated topics (disordered thinking)

Symptoms can be different depending on the type of schizophrenia:

•Paranoid types often feel anxious, are more often angry or argumentative, and falsely believe that others are trying to harm them or their loved ones.

•Disorganized types have problems thinking and expressing their ideas clearly, often exhibit childlike behavior, and frequently show little emotion.

•Catatonic types may be in a constant state of unrest, or they may not move or be underactive. Their muscles and posture may be rigid. They may grimace or have other odd facial expressions, and they may be less responsive to others.

•Undifferentiated types may have symptoms of more than one other type of schizophrenia.

•Residual types experience some symptoms, but not as many as those who are in a full-blown episode of schizophrenia.

People with any type of schizophrenia may have difficulty keeping friends and working. They may also have problems with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

Signs and tests

A psychiatrist should perform an evaluation to make the diagnosis. The diagnosis is made based on a thorough interview of the person and family members.

No medical tests for schizophrenia exist. The following factors may suggest a schizophrenia diagnosis, but do not confirm it:

•Course of illness and how long symptoms have lasted

•Changes from level of function before illness

•Developmental background

•Genetic and family history

•Response to medication

CT scans of the head and other imaging techniques may find some changes that occur with schizophrenia and may rule out other disorders.


During an episode of schizophrenia, you may need to stay in the hospital for safety reasons, and to receive basic needs such as food, rest, and hygiene.


Antipsychotic medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. They change the balance of chemicals in the brain and can help control the symptoms of the illness.

These medications are helpful, but they can have side effects. However, many of these side effects can be addressed, and should not prevent people from seeking treatment for this serious condition.

Common side effects from antipsychotics may include:

•Sleepiness (sedation) or dizziness

•Weight gain and increased chance of diabetes and high cholesterol

Less common side effects include:

•Feelings of restlessness or "jitters"

•Problems of movement and gait

•Muscle contractions or spasms


Also on this date Sunday, December 1, 2024...