UNDERSTANDING
HOW
SCHIZOPHRENIA
MAY AFFECT YOU

Schizophrenia is a complex medical condition with many different symptoms that can often affect how you think, feel, and behave.

Symptoms may get better or worse at different times. So it is important to work with your healthcare provider to make sure your current treatment is right for you. If you've been struggling with managing your schizophrenia, it may be time to talk with your healthcare provider.


Schizophrenia Symptoms

The symptoms of schizophrenia will typically begin when someone is in their late teens or in their twenties. Symptoms may show up all at once or develop over time.

The symptoms of schizophrenia can be disabling. For those living with schizophrenia, it can be difficult to make friends, socialize, or even participate at work or school.

Symptoms to watch for

Listed below are some, but not all, of the symptoms of schizophrenia. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may want to talk to your healthcare provider.

Delusions

Believing in something that may not be true. For example, sometimes people believe that they are in danger and others are trying to hurt them.

Hallucinations

When a person may hear voices, see things, or smell things that others can't perceive. The hallucination is very real to the person experiencing it, and it may be very confusing for others to witness.

Thought Disorders

When a person has ways of thinking that are odd or don't make sense. Sometimes a person will stop talking in the middle of a thought or make up words that have no meaning.

Movement Disorders

When a person has agitated body movements or very little movement at all. For example, a person may repeat certain motions over and over. In other cases, a person may stop moving or talking for a while.

 

Lack of Self-Awareness

Experiencing a lack of self-awareness about your illness is an actual symptom of schizophrenia. It is estimated that 50% of people with schizophrenia have this symptom, which is why they may have a difficult time accepting help. It is also one of the many reasons people with schizophrenia may avoid treatment or stop taking their medication.

Are you experiencing any of these symptoms?

If so, tell your healthcare provider how long this has been going on, and if:

  • You have difficulty functioning at work or school because of your symptoms
  • These symptoms are affecting your relationships with others
  • You're having trouble caring for yourself

What circumstances can bring about schizophrenia?

Several factors may contribute to schizophrenia, including:

 

Genes

Sometimes schizophrenia runs in families. However, it is important to know that just because one family member has schizophrenia does not mean that other family members have it as well.

 

Environment

Scientists believe that interactions between genes and certain environmental experiences could cause schizophrenia to develop. For example, exposure to viruses, malnutrition, or stress before a person is born or during early childhood years may play a role in the development of schizophrenia.

 

Neurological Differences

A person's brain chemistry or brain structure may be different if they have schizophrenia.

Scientific studies have revealed a lot about schizophrenia, but more research is needed to help understand how it develops.