Schizophrenia is a mental disorder affecting how you think, feel and behave. It is a common illness affecting one in every one hundred people in the course of their life.

The cause of schizophrenia is not yet known, it is probably a combination of several different things that will be different for different people. The symptoms are described as positive and negative symptoms and they may affect how you cope with day-to-day life.

Positive symptoms are unusual experiences, which are intense, troublesome and distressing. They can include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Hearing voices
  • Delusions
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Ideas of references (holding special meaning in events that are not connected to you)
  • Muddled thinking or thought disorder
  • Harder to concentrate
  • Feelings of being controlled

Negative symptoms are often mistaken for laziness and can present as:

  • Starting to lose normal thoughts, feelings and motivations
  • Lose interest in life
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Don’t bother to get up or go out of the house
  • Stop washing, tidying or keeping your clothes clean
  • Feel uncomfortable with people

There are different types of schizophrenia, and diagnosis, management and treatment requires specialist management and care.

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