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What is Schizophrenia? 

Like many mental illnesses there are different degrees of symptoms. For instance, a person may hallucinate, hear voices, have delusions (beliefs not shared by others), and have disorganized thinking with sever degrees of schizophrenia. Lesser degree symptoms of schizophrenia include social withdrawal, decreased emotional responses, and lack of motivation.

In the medical field these symptoms are often referred to as positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and repetitive movements. Negative symptoms include the following: inability to show emotions, apathy, difficulties talking, and withdrawing from social situations and relationships.*

Facts about schizophrenia:

  • Most commonly occurs between the ages of 16-30.*
  • Males tend to show symptoms at a younger age than females.*
  • Symptoms of this disorder can develop slowly over years or develop suddenly.*
  • Schizophrenia affects approximately 1 Percent of all adults, globally.*
  • About 0.3% to 0.7% of people are affected by schizophrenia during their lifetimes.*
  • Recently, there were an estimated 1.1 million new cases and a total of 19.8 million cases globally.*

Schizophrenia Test & Diagnosis

There still is no objective diagnostic test.*A diagnosis is based on observed behavior. This means that experts will analyze an individual’s previous history which includes the person's reported experiences, and reports of others familiar with the person will be considered too. A diagnosis of schizophrenia requires symptoms and functional impairment be present for at least six months.*

Development, genes, and schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that has an influence daily life. No one knows why schizophrenia occurs, but some experts think that problems during brain development before birth may lead to faulty connections. * They also believe that genetics and puberty may play a role in developing schizophrenia. It is thought that faulty genes are activated during this time. *

Schizophrenia Biology

Brain chemistry impacts the way a person thinks and behaves. Most researchers agree that two main chemicals in the brain contribute to a schizophrenia diagnosis. Those chemicals are dopamine and glutamate. It is thought that dopamine is tied to hallucinations and delusions.* To much dopamine in certain brain areas cause those symptoms. However anti-psychotic medication help stop these overactive areas of the brain.* Thus, these symptoms should be reduced.

Researchers also mostly agree that glutamate is a chemical in the helps us form memories and learn new tasks. In additions glutamate helps facilitate other parts of the brain.* So, if a person has to much or two little glutamate in the brain their thinking and their behave will be affected. Again, anti-psychotic drugs help level this chemical and others out in the brain. However, Medications prescribed to treat this illness need to be monitored by a doctor. They can be dangerous if used improperly.

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*National institute of mental health. 2010. Schizophrenia. Retrieved March 30, 2020 from

*Wikipedia. 2010. Schizophrenia. Retrieved March 29, 2020 from

*Heretohelp.2020. What are positive and negative symptoms? Retrieved April 2, 2020 from

*WebMD. 2010. Schizophrenia and your brain. Retrieved March 31, 2020 from

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