Definition and causes

Schizophrenia is one of the most enigmatic and serious mental disorders that exist. It is a disease of the brain that provides the schizophrenic big problems with contact and communication with the outside world, while there are some psychotic phenomena that are characteristic of the schizophrenic. This culminates in that the schizophrenic has major disruptions of thinking, perception and emotional territory.

Typically schizophrenia develops over many years, but can also cause acute. The schizophrenic is often characterized by social isolation and trends of autism, where the schizophrenic has a peculiar behavior with strange ideas. Schizophrenia debuterer usually in adolescence or early adult age.

In order to define schizophrenia, there are some factors that are true:

  • You must have a continuingbizarredelusional(an experience that is totally unrealistic, and as others in society finds unreal. Eg. a conviction that we are spied on by Martians)or

  • You have to be show signs of disturbance, which is characteristic of schizophrenia (so calledfirst rank symptoms, See symptom section below)or

  • You must have 2 or more of:RenewableHallucinations(which is a sensory experience without external influences, such as where you hear voices when there is no present),incoherenttalk,oddbodilybehavior(kataton behavior) ornegativesymptoms(see Symptoms below).

  • In addition, the above symptoms have lasted more than 1 month.

  • Finally, an organic cause, for example. brain tumor excluded.

The cause of schizophrenia is not exactly known yet, but the hereditary factor has proved to be significant. If a enægget twin is schizophrenic, is the risk that the other enæggede twins, with exactly the same inheritance material, is also schizophrenic 50%. This means that environmental factors have some responsibility for the last 50% risk of developing schizophrenia. If you are genetically predisposed to schizophrenia may be too much and / or little impact on the environment influence the development of schizophrenia.

Scans of the brain has shown that there is less blood flow in the anterior part of the brain and signs of changes in brain metabolism, without that we can explain the precise context.

Recent studies have not been able to demonstrate that the social economic status have no influence on the development of schizophrenia. The risk seems to diminish, if you are married and / or have good contacts outside the home.

The risk of becoming schizophrenic in the course of life (lifetime risk) is among the Danish people around. 1%. Has it been one of his parents, who are schizophrenic, is the lifetime risk of 6%, and has an siblings, is the lifetime risk of 10%. Schizophrenia debuterer typically ml. 20-25 years.

There are around. 25,000 schizophrenic in Denmark right now, and the disease affects women and men equal frequency. The disease has a later onset in women (25-35 years), but a worse prognosis for men (debut: 15-25 years).

Symptoms of schizophrenia

A characteristic symptom of the schizophrenic are the social withdrawal, which is typical of autism. Although autism is not included in the definition of schizophrenia, many autistic traits in the development of schizophrenia. This is visible in as an isolation from reality and the real world, where the schizophrenic will focus on its own fantasiverden. This leads to schizophrenia will find it harder to understand the outside world while feeling that the outside world does not understand him. In Conn.

  • Negative symptoms(denotes a deficiency): listlessness, initiativløs, passivity, feeling neutral, poor language, contact degradation, pointless behavior, subsidence, in itself, social withdrawal.

Communication with other people is reduced, and there was a development of linguistic thought disorder. These shall be construed as interference in mind, as expressed through language. There can be experienced:

  • Unintelligible speech which may resemble ordsalat. Cumbersome and off speech. Innovation own words (neologism). Language Poverty.

In contrast to negative symptoms, there are also positive signs, which means symptoms as active is reflected in the schizophrenic. Many of the psychotic symptoms are positive.

Psychotic symptoms:
defined as a sensory experience without external physical impact. There may be talk about auditory, visual and tactile hallucination:

  • Hearing Hallucinations the most common form, and can be found in about 50% of the schizophrenic. You hear one or more voices that comment on the schizophrenic in 3rd person. Often, these votes degrading.

  • Visual Hallucinations seen in some. 15% of the schizophrenic, and may take the form of macabre things or just dots and patterns.

  • Sensory Hallucinations are more rare and seen only in 5%.

Delusion Performancesis an unreal experience, which is not in conformity with society's norms and cultural background. A delusional is steadfast and can not be corrected. There are different kinds of delusions, where the most common is a form, which you feel monitored, harassed and spied on by example. CIA. Another frequent delusional is a condition where you believe you are a famous, religious or special person like. Jesus.

  • First Rank Symptoms:This group of symptoms includes Thought influence experiences and management experiences. At first you can have the feeling that some other steals one's thoughts, causing an even alien ideas or can hear the schizophrenic own thoughts. Another case may be, to the schizophrenic feel that his thoughts are scattered through example. tv. Managing Oplevelser is a feeling that others take control of one's actions or feelings.

Kataton behavioris a condition in which there are a number of movement disorders. This may, for example. shall be established a body posture or repetitive movements.

Precautions and diagnosis

Has there been family members who are familiar with the disease, one should be extra attention on others in the family develops these symptoms. Suspect, a family member to be schizophrenic, it can often be difficult to convince the person to consult a doctor when the patient often has no awareness of the disease.

In the event that a person has obvious psychotic symptoms, it must be pointed out that the person does not harm themselves. On the other hand, a psychotic person may also be a danger to the opposing party, so we must assess the situation carefully.

Have the symptoms persisted for several months, you can enter the person through the psychiatric emergency room. Has the person psychotic symptoms and is a danger to himself, but refuses to be engage, you can enter the person under duress.

The diagnosis is first made by a psychiatrist after prolonged hospitalization and talks, which have seen the person carefully.


The treatment of schizophrenia is a very time-consuming and challenging process. In the acute phase of the disease, the patient should be treated in a psychiatric hospital. In the event that the person is very forpint, the goal is to create peace and security and boot treatment with antipsychotic medication. In the later stable phase in which the person is less psychotic, build a day with solid structure, so that patients can be rehabilitated to cope with everyday life at home, without or with little help.

The family involved at an early stage of treatment. Thus informed about the disease and trained to deal with the



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