What is Schizophrenia Disease?

Schizophrenia is a brain disease that affects thoughts, feelings, and emotions as well as the perceptions and behaviors of people who have it. All these functions are disrupted at the same time and to the same extent. However, many people with schizophrenia can have a perfectly normal behavior for long periods. 

Although it does not affect the actual intelligence of the person, schizophrenia often causes a number of cognitive deficits that interfere including attention, memory, learning and information processing. These deficits are often present early in the disease and reduce the ability of the person to respond appropriately to its environment.

The brain contains billions of nerve cells. Each emits extensions that transmit messages to other nerve cells or receive from the latter. These extensions release chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry the messages of a cell to another. In people with schizophrenia, this communication system is malfunctioning.

A PERSON WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA MAY:

  • have difficulty establishing contact with his entourage;
  • be invaded by strange ideas and impressions;
  • have the impression of hearing voices, while not actually existing, are part of its reality;
  • be a prisoner of his hallucinations and delirium;
  • have a sense of self partially or totally altered;
  • be very difficult to distinguish what is real from what is not;
  • be convinced that some people want to harm him or her;
  • have bizarre and absurd emotional responses;
  • perceive his/her surroundings as hostile;
  • Experiencing permanent insecurity.

Schizophrenia is not a rare disease. Globally, schizophrenia affects 1% of the population. It occurs in young people in late adolescence or early adulthood, usually between 15 and 30 years. Exceptionally, it can sometimes appear during childhood or after age 30. This is called juvenile schizophrenia or late-onset schizophrenia, as appropriate.

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that can be severe and persistent. The disease is characterized by acute episodes of psychosis, followed by various chronic symptoms. The disease onset can be gradual, extending over several weeks or months. In many cases, schizophrenia appeared so insidious and gradual that people with cancer and their families sometimes take a long time to realize it. It may also appear very suddenly.

Schizophrenia is recognized as the most disabling disease in young people. It affects both boys and girls, without distinction of race, culture, creed or socioeconomic levels.