Schizophrenia Disrupts the Mind’s Ability to Function
Schizophrenia is a thought process disorder. It’s characterised by disruption to a person’s perceptions, emotions and beliefs.
The onset of schizophrenia can be acute (a sudden onset, where behaviour changes over a few days), or chronic (a gradual deterioration in mental health that develops slowly over time).
Males and females are equally affected. In males schizophrenia usually develops in their late teens or early twenties, while females tend to develop it in their twenties to thirties. Overall, around 1% of the population is affected.
Schizophrenia has lots of different clinical characteristics
People with schizophrenia can experience a range of possible symptoms:
1. Perceptual symptoms – Auditory hallucinations- hearing things that aren’t there. People often hear voices saying abusive or critical things. Sometimes people see, smell and taste things that aren’t there.
2. Social symptoms – Social withdrawal – not taking part in or enjoying social situations. People might be aloof or avoid eye contact.
3. Cognitive symptoms – Delusions- believing things that aren’t true. People can have delusions of grandeur (where they believe they’re more important than they are e.g. that they’re the king) or of paranoia and persecution (where they believe people are out to get them). Some schizophrenics also experience delusions of control – they believe that their behaviour is being controlled by someone else. Thought control – believing that your thoughts are being controlled. For example, thought insertion is when people feel that someone is putting thoughts into their heads. Equally, withdrawal is when they believe that someone is removing their thoughts. They might also believe that people can read their thoughts- this is broadcasting. Language impairments- irrelevant and incoherent speech. People often show signs of cognitive distractibility, where they can’t maintain…