Affecting 1% of the Canadian population, schizophrenia affects a person's ability to think clearly, manage his or her emotions, make decisions, relate to others, and distinguish fact from fiction. The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in the teenage years or twenties.
Symptoms are generally divided into three categories:
Like many other medical illnesses, schizophrenia appears to be caused by genetic vulnerability and environmental factors that occur during a person's prenatal development.
While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is highly treatable and manageable illness. However some people may stop treatment because of medication side effects, disorganized thinking, or because they feel the medication is no longer working. People with schizophrenia who stop taking prescribed medication are at a high risk of relapse, such as an acute psychotic episode.
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