A mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally. Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary, may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations and often feel they are ‘’split off’’ from reality.


When left untreated, schizophrenia can result in severe problems that affect many areas of life. These complications include:

  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Self-injury
  • Anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsion disorder (OCD)
  • Depression
  • Abuse of alcohol or other drugs
  • Social isolation
  • Health problems
  • Occasional aggressive behaviour


Although the precise cause is still unclear, Researchers believe that a combination of genetics, brain chemistry and environment contribute to the development of this disorder.

Schizophrenia has different causes ranging between:

  • Hereditary
  • Genetics
  • Abnormalities in the brain chemical or structure
  • Immune disorders

Risk Factors

  • Family history of schizophrenia
  • Increased immune system activation
  • Pregnancy and birth complications such as malnutrition, exposure to toxins or viruses that may degenerate brain development of the foetus
  • Taking mind-altering psychoactive or psychotropic drugs

Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

Symptoms vary in type and severity over time. Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking(cognition), behaviour or emotions. Symptoms may include:

  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Hostility
  • Suspiciousness
  • Extreme reaction to criticism
  • Insomnia
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Hallucinations
  • Disordered Thinking and Speech
  • Disorganised behaviour
  • Social withdrawal
  • Extreme apathy

Early treatment may help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook. With the right self-help, treatment and support, one can learn to manage the disorder and live a satisfying and fulfilling life.

If someone you know is showing any of these signs, talk to the person about your concerns. You can offer encouragement and support and help your loved one find a qualified doctor or mental health professional.

Healthboxes provides psycho-education, psychosocial therapy, medical appointments and consultation. Call to speak to a Specialist on 09091111129 or 08097560000.


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