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   What is Schizophrenia?     


        Schizophrenia is a disorder that is believed to be caused by a biochemical    imbalance in the brain that occurs most likely as the result of genetic factors. It is a serious disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts.  Individuals develop changes in their thinking, perceptions, and behaviors, which is evidenced by symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized behavior, and apathy. Schizophrenia is only diagnosed if these symptoms last for at least six months and are associated with a decline in the individual’s ability to care for him or herself or to function in social and work  situations.


             Schizophrenia is a severely disabling disorder that has a profound impact on the victim, their family members, and their friends. It is a member of a group of disorders that are characterized by severely impaired cognition, personality disintegration, affective disturbance, and social withdrawal.Those affected may lose contact with reality, may see or hear things that are not occurring in reality, or may develop false beliefs about themselves or others.


The age of onset for schizophrenia is earlier in males than in females. The gender ratio shifts by the mid-forties when the percentage of women developing schizophrenia is greater than that of men. The reason for the gender difference in the age of onset appears to be the presence of estrogen, which diminishes after menopause.

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