Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects about one percent of the population. When schizophrenia is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, and lack of motivation. However, when these symptoms are treated, most people with schizophrenia will greatly improve over time.
When the disease is active, it can be characterized by episodes in which the patient is unable to distinguish between real and unreal experiences. As with any illness, the severity, duration and frequency of symptoms can vary; however, in persons with schizophrenia, the incidence of severe psychotic symptoms often decreases during a patient’s lifetime. Not taking medications as prescribed, use of alcohol or illicit drugs, and stressful situations tend to increase symptoms. Symptoms fall into several categories:
- Positive psychotic symptoms: Hallucinations, such as hearing voices, paranoid delusions and exaggerated or distorted perceptions, beliefs and behaviors.
- Negative symptoms: A loss or a decrease in the ability to initiate plans, speak, express emotion or find pleasure.
- Disorganization symptoms: Confused and disordered thinking and speech, trouble with logical thinking and sometimes bizarre behavior or abnormal movements.
- Impaired cognition: Problems with attention, concentration, memory and declining educational performance.
Symptoms usually first appear in early adulthood. Men often experience symptoms in their early 20s and women often first show signs in their late 20s and early 30s. More subtle signs may be present earlier, including troubled relationships, poor school performance and reduced motivation. It is rarely diagnosed in children or adolescents.
Once the symptoms occur, the next step is to consult a mental health professional or mental health treatment center near you. In Malaysia, there are various mental health treatment centers; among them one of the best is “Serene Retreat Psychology Center” It is located in Kualaumpur Malaysia. You can reach us via Call/Whatsapp +60146872268 or visit our website www.sereneretreat.com.my.
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