What Is Schizophrenia?

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What causes schizophrenia and what are some treatment options?

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Crystal Says:

From the NIH:

The cause of schizophrenia are not completely known. Some doctors believe it's the brain not allowing itself to process information acurately.

If schizophrenia runs in your family, it is known to be more common to get the disease.

Other doctors believe that your environment can also cause the disease to occur.

If you feel concerned I would contact your doctor, and let them know what you are experiencing. Do you have any more questions or information to add?

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Ruth Says:

It's a hormonal imbalance in the brain that can cause a person to hallucinate, hear voices, become detached from their reality, exhibit psychosis. It's not good and patients generally need to stay on their meds in order to prevent episodes.

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Mrsann Says:

Re: Crystal (# 1) Expand Referenced Message

Schizophrenia/bipolar causes are unknown but some contributing factors are trauma, drug use, stress, things happening to you in life, imbalanced hormones, thyroid issues, etc - and probably much more. These are just a few, but psych drugs I feel are not the answer. We have to keep striving for a cure and not a temporary fix that in the long run's gonna make us worse. We all need support, not discouragement.

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Roy Says:

To the OP: This is from the wiki page:

"The causes of schizophrenia include environmental and genetic factors. Possible environmental factors include being raised in a city, cannabis use during adolescence, certain infections, parental age and poor nutrition during pregnancy. Genetic factors include a variety of common and rare genetic variants. Diagnosis is based on observed behavior, the person's reported experiences and reports of others familiar with the person. During diagnosis a person's culture must also be taken into account. As of 2013 there is no objective test. Schizophrenia does not imply a "split personality" or dissociative identity disorder – conditions with which it is often confused in public perception.

The mainstay of treatment is antipsychotic medication, along with counselling, job training and social rehabilitation. It is unclear whether typical or atypical antipsychotics are better. In those who do not improve with other antipsychotics clozapine may be tried. In more serious situations where there is risk to self or others involuntary hospitalization may be necessary, although hospital stays are now shorter and less frequent than they once were.


The first-line psychiatric treatment for schizophrenia is antipsychotic medication, which can reduce the positive symptoms of psychosis in about 7 to 14 days. Antipsychotics, however, fail to significantly improve the negative symptoms and cognitive dysfunction. In those on antipsychotics, continued use decreases the risk of relapse. There is little evidence regarding effects from their use beyond two or three years. However use of anti-psychotics can lead to dopamine hypersensitivity increasing the risk of symptoms if antipsychotics are stopped.

The choice of which antipsychotic to use is based on benefits, risks, and costs. It is debatable whether, as a class, typical or atypical antipsychotics are better. Amisulpride, olanzapine, risperidone, and clozapine may be more effective but are associated with greater side effects. Typical antipsychotics have equal drop-out and symptom relapse rates to atypicals when used at low to moderate dosages. There is a good response in 40–50%, a partial response in 30–40%, and treatment resistance (failure of symptoms to respond satisfactorily after six weeks to two or three different antipsychotics) in 20% of people. Clozapine is an effective treatment for those who respond poorly to other drugs ("treatment-resistant" or "refractory" schizophrenia), but it has the potentially serious side effect of agranulocytosis (lowered white blood cell count) in less than 4% of people.

Most people on antipsychotics have side effects. People on typical antipsychotics tend to have a higher rate of extrapyramidal side effects, while some atypicals are associated with considerable weight gain, diabetes and risk of metabolic syndrome; this is most pronounced with olanzapine, while risperidone and quetiapine are also associated with weight gain. Risperidone has a similar rate of extrapyramidal symptoms to haloperidol. It remains unclear whether the newer antipsychotics reduce the chances of developing neuroleptic malignant syndrome or tardive dyskinesia, a rare but serious neurological disorder."

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Mrs ann Says:

Just wanted to share a update on my 22 yr old daughters whom has schizophrenia/bipolar she is doing awesome shes currently taking 75mg of clozapine 2×daily for her phychosis, propranolol 1/2 tablet 2x daily, for her Anxiety & tension, & Divalproex (depeko) 2x daily for sleep, And Altropine (eye drops) 1 dropper 1x at night for her salvia buildup this combination of meds has been amazing for my daughter she has very little talking to herself she snaps right out of it, shes sleeping alnight within 45mins she sleep, and she very coherent and interested in doing things again I'm so thankful for all the drs whom came up with this regimen for her cause schizophrenia can be alot to take on trust me I know so I'm hoping this helps someone out there whom in need of some help

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