What is Schizophrenia? Is it a Disabling Condition?

by Editorial Board on September 6, 2010 · 0 comments

in Mental Conditions

Schizophrenia is a severe and oftentimes disabling mental illness. Much of what is known about Schizophrenia has only been learned in the last twenty years, there is much research yet to be done in this field. Schizophrenia falls under the category of mental illness. It is a neurological disorder that many believe is present at birth and presents itself during adolescence when the prefrontal cortex develops fully. Those suffering from the disorder have a distinctly different brain structure as shown on CAT scans than those who don’t, making this a very real, observable condition.

One percent of the population suffers from Schizophrenia. There is a common occurrence between men and women across all ethnicities. While there is a strong genetic component, studies have shown that when one identical twin develops Schizophrenia, the second twin has a 50% likelihood of doing the same.

What are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

When treated with drugs and other methods, many people with Schizophrenia can live relatively normal lives. Fifty percent of people with the illness will not believe or accept that they have the disorder.  There is a high probability of people with this condition refusing treatment. This means that the individual will likely end up in psychosis.

An episode of psychosis can involve many symptoms of Schizophrenia. These can include hearing voices, hallucinations, an altered sense of self and identity and paranoia. Those in periods of psychosis can be a threat to themselves as well as others. For this reason many people are hospitalized during psychotic episodes. Psychosis can vary from a mild episode to extreme. Those suffering from Schizophrenia can also have alterations in mood, become catatonic, suicidal or have problems with attention or memory.

How can Schizophrenia affect my life?

Schizophrenia will have a substantial impact on anyone who develops the condition. In periods of psychosis hospitalization may be necessary. Most who suffer from this condition will find it difficult to hold down regular work and manage their finances without regular treatment. Many people learn that they have schizophrenia after they have an episode of psychosis.  With regular treatment and medication, many will return to a normal life.

Is Schizophrenia a Disabling Condition?

Schizophrenia can be a disabling condition, even with treatment and medication. There is no cure for Schizophrenia, only treatment for the symptoms. Early detection and a treatment program can help lessen the severity of the disorder. Many sufferers will not be able to work, while some may be able to do so. If schizophrenia prevents you from working, then you are a good candidate to file for Social Security Disability benefits.

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