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A Brief Description of Schizophrenia

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According to schizophrenia.com schizophrenia is a complex, debilitating mental disorder that 1-2% of the world population experience. It is a disorder of the brain that affects how people think, feel, and perceive. The purpose of this paper is to explore schizophrenia, in particular its signs, symptoms, etiology and pathophysiology, and then examine drug treatment and their mechanism of action. This will be followed by the prognosis for people with schizophrenia.

Signs and Symptoms

Early signs of schizophrenia include personality changes that involve abnormal emotional responses, mood disturbance, or depression, as well as cognitive changes (Schizophrenia Society of Canada, 2012). Symptoms of schizophrenia can be classified as positive symptoms, or negative symptoms (McCance, 2010).

Positive Symptoms

According to McCance, positive symptoms are those that represent an excessive or distorted version of normal functions and may include delusions, hallucinations, and overall unusual behavior (2010). Hallucinations can be described as perceiving something that is not actually there. In people with schizophrenia, auditory hallucinations are the most common (McCance, 2010). Delusions are beliefs that are false and resistant to reason and fact. The most common type of delusions in people with schizophrenia are grandiose and persecutory delusion (Lepage, Bodnar, and Bowie, 2014).

Negative Symptoms

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia can be described as deficits of healthy, normal behavior. The negative symptoms that are considered diagnostic of schizophrenia are affective flattening (a lack of emotional response), poverty of content/speech, and the loss of motivation or interests (McCance, 2010).

Etiology and Pathophysiology

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