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What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic mental disorder characterized by disturbances in thought, perception and behavior.


Associated Features:

There are a number of symptoms that contribute to a diagnosis of schizophrenia, including:

  • inappropriate affect (laughing in the absence of a stimulus)
  • disturbed sleep pattern
  • dysphoric mood (can be depression, anxiety, or anger)
  • anxiety and phobias
  • depersonalization (detachment or feeling of disconnect from self)
  • derealization (a feeling that surrounding isn’t real)
  • cognitive deficits impacting language, processing, executive function, and/or memory
  • lack of insight into the disorder
  • social cognition deficits
  • hostility and aggression

Cognitive impairments caused by the disorder may persist when other symptoms are in remission. This contributes to impairments in functioning in employment, interpersonal relationships, and the ability to engage in proper self-care.

Healthy Lifestyle habits:

  • Learn about schizophrenia: Education about the disorder can help the person with schizophrenia understand the importance of sticking to the treatment plan. Education can help friends and family understand the disorder and be more compassionate with the person who has it.
  • Stay focused on goals
  • Avoid alcohol and drug use
  • Ask about social services assistance
  • Learn relaxation and stress management
  • Join a support group