Schizophrenia

About 2 million Americans are afflicted with Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a word that sends shivers up one’s back and sends fear into the hearts of family members. Schizophrenics are often shunned and stigmatized due to their unpredictable and sometimes inappropriate behavior. Although Schizophrenia is widely feared and misunderstood, it is actually a highly treatable brain disorder.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR), the symptoms of Schizophrenia are characterized as being either positive or negative. The positive symptoms of Schizophrenia reflect an excess of normal functions. Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucination, disorganized speech, and grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior. On the other hand, negative symptoms in the patient exhibit a loss or lack of normal function. Some examples of negative symptoms include decreased emotional expression, poverty of speech, poor appetite, a complete loss of social skills, etc. Both the positive and negative signs and symptoms cause marked social and/or occupational problems for the patient.

Although researchers have not yet found a cure for schizophrenia, there is hope for the schizophrenic patient. Though medication, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be controlled in most people. Together with medication, psychological therapy has also proven effective in the treatment process.

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