Schizophrenia

Psychosis or psychotic disorder is mental and behavioral disturbance that causes organizational malfunctions and severe abnormalities in the mental capacity that enables knowing and responding to reality. It is a severe mental illness which causes the patient to experience typical delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, or catatonic behaviors, which are characterized by extreme deterioration in interpreting the reality. Schizophrenia is the most typical example of psychotic disorders. 
It is a clinical syndrome involving a varying and devastating psychopathology which affects patient’s thinking, perception, emotions, movement, and behavior. While the occurrence of symptoms depends on the individual and time, the overall impact of the disease is always severe and persistent. 
The prevalence of schizophrenia in the society is around 1%. It often starts in young ages (15 to 25). Schizophrenia leads to the occupation of 25% of all hospital beds, 20% shorter life expectancy, 10 to 15% suicide as well as high financial costs in relation to the loss of productivity and the cost of treatment. 

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Delusion

Delusions are obsessive beliefs that cannot be changed even with a clear evidence. The content of those beliefs might vary widely. Persecutory Delusions: the belief that a person, organization or group of people will do harm. Delusions of grandiose. Delusions of erotomania. Nihilistic delusion: the belief that a catastrophic disaster will break out. Somatic delusions are related to health and organ functions.

Hallucination

Hallucination is a perception-like experience triggered without an external stimulus. These perceptions are vivid, clear, effective, and mimic the real perception. They cannot be controlled. The most prevalent perceptions in schizophrenia are auditory hallucinations which involve familiar or unfamiliar sounds.

Disorganized Thinking and Speech

Disorganized thinking typically affects patients' speech. Patients give irrelevant answers to questions and leap from one topic to another. 

Severe Disorganized and Abnormal Motor Behaviors (including Catatonia)

These behaviors are abnormally irresponsible, unexpectedly agitated and nervous behaviors. They obstruct daily life.

Catatonic behavior is a state of apparent unresponsiveness to the external world. This may come to life in a range from significant negative behaviors to remaining immobile in bizarre postures. The patient might ignore any active response to their environment, like in a vegetative state. 

Negative Symptoms

Reduced emotional expression, decreased facial and body gestures. Lack of motivation, allogy, poverty of speech, lack of desire, inability to experience pleasure, unsociability.

Schizophrenia

To diagnose schizophrenia, from the above-listed symptoms;

• at least two must emerge (many patients suffer from more than two of these symptoms.)
• at least one of the symptoms from delusion, hallucination or disorganized thinking, and should be lasting for at least one month.
• Symptoms should last for at least 6 months.
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