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Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder. It often runs in families and can cause troubling symptoms. These may include hearing voices, and having trouble thinking clearly and relating to others. It often starts suddenly in early adulthood. There is no cure for this illness, but it can be managed with medicine and supportive therapy.
Schizophrenia is caused by a chemical imbalance and other changes in the brain. It tends to run in families, but the environment may also play a role.
While it affects men and women the same, symptoms tend to start earlier in men than in women. It’s rare in childhood.
Each person may feel symptoms differently. These are the most common symptoms:
These symptoms can make it very hard to function in the world and take care of yourself. People with this illness are usually not violent.
The symptoms of schizophrenia may look like other problems or mental health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
To diagnose this disease, your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and symptoms. You may also have a physical exam. You may also have lab tests to rule out other conditions.
Mental health care professionals diagnose and treat this illness. They often interview family members. This helps the healthcare team get a complete picture of the symptoms.
Managing schizophrenia is a lifelong process. It can’t be cured. But symptoms can often be managed with medicine and therapy. Often, more than 1 method is needed. Types of treatment that may be helpful include:
Early treatment and supportive services helps affected people live productive lives. It’s very important to take medicines exactly as prescribed and to keep taking them even if you feel better. Many people may still have some symptoms, even with treatment. At times, symptoms may get worse and treatment will need to be adjusted.
Always see your healthcare provider for more information.
When you have schizophrenia, it is very important to take care of yourself and make good choices.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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