What is schizophrenia?

The schizophrenia disease refers to the term "split mind." As a result, many people think that schizophrenia is a disease in which one person has multiple spirits or people. However, this is not the definition of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disease in which people have a lack of feeling for social reality.


Approximately 40 percent of patients admitted to psychiatry have schizophrenia. Just under 1 percent of the population will be diagnosed with schizophrenia. The average age when schizophrenia manifests itself is between 20 and 30 years. Both men and women get the disease.
According to the DSM-IV, schizophrenia is characterized by two or more of the following symptoms, each of which must be present for 1 month:
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Chaotic or catatoon behavior
  • Inconsistent speech
  • Flattening of affect, reduction in speech or apathy


A delusion is having a conviction, despite the fact that there are enough arguments to prove the contrary. There are different types of delusions that differ from patient to patient. An example of a common delusion is relative delusion. Hereby there is the conviction that normal behavior or objects of persons have a special meaning for the patient. The patient is convinced that a person or an object means something different than what it really is.


Hallucinations are perceptual experiences, without the presence of a physical stimulus. For example, a patient may hear different voices, while no voices can be heard in the environment.
The behavior of a schizophrenia patient can be very varied. One patient behaves very chaotically, and behaves very unpredictably. The other patient then behaves catatoon again. He then behaves very passively and reacts to nothing for a very long time.


Schizophrenia patients have incoherent speech. They still follow the rules of the language, but what they say has no meaning, since they jump from the heel to the branch. Often they also use non-existent words or sentences are constantly repeated. As a result, schizophrenia patients cannot have normal conversations. Disorders also often occur in the emotional life. Patients often have an affective flattening. The emotional reactions have diminished or disappeared completely. Feelings seem to be absent. In another phase of the disease, there is exaggerated anxiety or patients start suddenly crying.

What after the determination?

Once one has schizophrenia, one can never cure it. However, medication can suppress the symptoms. The medication used for schizophrenia patients acts on the neurotransmitter dopamine. With schizophrenia, one either has a too high dopamine concentration in the brain or one is extremely sensitive to dopamine. Medication ensures that less dopamine is absorbed into the brain. Schizophrenia is largely hereditary. If both biological parents have schizophrenia, the chance that the child develops schizophrenia is nearly 50 percent. Schizophrenia is a disease that expresses itself openly. When someone in your neighborhood gets schizophrenia, it is easy to determine. This allows the patient to be treated immediately. Despite the fact that the symptoms can be treated by medication, a schizophrenia patient will have to adapt to the situation and learn to deal with it for the rest of his life.

Video: What is Schizophrenia? (February 2020).

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