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:
- Hearing voices
- 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.