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What are some symptoms of schizophrenia?

Many people in Anaheim have heard of the illness schizophrenia, but they may only be familiar with how it is portrayed on television or in the movies. In fact, schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that can be very disabling. In general, a person will begin exhibiting symptoms of this disorder between the ages of 16 and 30. There are three main categories of schizophrenia symptoms. Some are cognitive, some are positive, and some are negative.

Cognitively, a person with schizophrenia may be unable to comprehend the information they are presented with and therefore are unable to make decisions. They may also have difficulties focusing and they may have issues with their working memory. Sometimes these cognitive symptoms can be subtle, but other times they are more apparent and serious.

Symptoms of schizophrenia that are positive are those symptoms that the average healthy person would not have. Oftentimes these symptoms are described as losing touch with reality. For example, a person could see hallucinations or be delusional. In addition, they may think in a dysfunctional manner or have agitated bodily motions.

Symptoms of schizophrenia that are negative are those that affect a person's normal emotional and behavioral capacities. For example, one negative symptom of having schizophrenia is a "flat affect" in which a person's facial expressions are devoid of emotion. A sufferer may also experience a loss of pleasure in living. It may become difficult for these individuals to start an activity and stick with it, too. He or she may also refrain from talking.

What specifically causes schizophrenia is still a mystery. Unfortunately, while there are medical treatments available to help with the symptoms of schizophrenia, some people with schizophrenia are so severely disabled that they cannot live a normal life. In circumstances such as this, a sufferer may be in need of financial help to make ends meet when they cannot work due to their disabling schizophrenia. For these individuals, pursuing Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions may be a possibility.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health, "Schizophrenia," accessed Jan. 23, 2017

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