What is Schizophrenia?

Louis Wain Schizophrenia
source: Louis Wain

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, or behaves. When it is active it causes hallucinations, delusions, trouble with thinking, and lack of self-motivation. It affects 1 of every 100 people and usually starts during early adulthood. Usually, men show symptoms earlier than women.


  • Positive symptoms
    – Delusion
    – Hallucination
    Disorganised speech
    – Movement disorder
  • Negative symptoms
    – Lack emotion
    – Reduced feeling of pleasure in everyday life
    – Isolation
    – Lack of motivation
    – Negligence of basic personal hygiene
  • Cognitive Symptoms
    – Poor ability to absorb and interpret information
    – Inability to sustain attention
    – Problems with working  memory


There is no particular cause of schizophrenia. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics or environmental factors.
If you have a family history of schizophrenia you are probably more likely to have it. The genes which are involved in it are still unknown but it’s probably multiple genes.

Environment too plays a major role. Prenatal, perinatal and the period of pregnancy is a sensitive period of brain development. So complications occurring during this time such as maternal malnutrition, exposure to toxic n viruses, maternal bleeding during pregnancy, low birth weight are associated with schizophrenia later on in life.

Other factors such as traumatic or stressful life circumstances, child abuse, hardships also increase the risk. Taking mind altering drugs particular marijuana during adolescence and early adulthood has been linked to early onset and risk of schizophrenia.

Again, just because these things occurred, does not mean that schizophrenia will occur.
It’s a very small minority of people who experience those risk factor that will develop schizophrenia, but it does increase risk.

Treatment and self-help

Seek treatment earlier for best possible outcome. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, people can recover from symptoms with the help of an antipsychotic medication which reduces symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and disordered thinking.

What you can do to manage your stress

  • Take proper sleep
  • Manage stress
  • Reach out to others for support
  • Get active, do yoga or exercise
  • Take care of yourself
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Left untreated schizophrenia can result in severe problems such as self-injury, suicide attempts, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, aggressive behavior and much more. So self-help with medication is a must; because a medication is not the cure for schizophrenia it can only treat the symptoms.


There are many misconceptions about schizophrenia,  even some people use stereotypes when talking about this mental disorder. Usually, people think it’s like having a personality disorder in which a person have multiple personalities or people having schizophrenia are dangerous or violent because of their symptoms which are not true. Just because someone is suffering from a mental disorder does not mean that they are harmful or violent.
Sufferers often describe it as sounds of voices inside their brain which sometimes cause loss of concentration, irritation and many other symptoms depending from person to person. People who are suffering often isolate themselves all they need is your love and support. They just want you to understand them and help them not just avoid or get afraid of them.

Ashi Bajpai

Content writer

19, Gallivanter, Belives in equity and not equality. Love humans, Food, Allegories and Dogs. Currently pursuing BBA from BSSS. Believe in yourself and BE YOU. The world will adjust.

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