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What is Schizophrenia?

Despite decades of research and meticulous observations of thousands of sufferers, schizophrenia still remains one of the most mysterious afflictions. The term is the combination of two Greek words, schizo (which means "to split" or "to divide") and phren ("mind"). Thus, quite literally, the term translates as "the split mind." Unlike the split personality disorder, the "split" in schizophrenia stands for a high degree of disorganization of the mind, the discord that is apparent from the perspective of mentally normal individuals. That disorganization can manifest itself in illogical and convoluted thinking, delusions and even auditory and visual hallucinations.

Schizophrenia is actually quite common: some research indicates that it claims around 1.5% of population as its victims. The disease is equally prevalent in men and women. In the vast majority of all cases, the first symptoms occur between the ages of 15 to 25. The disease is almost certainly genetic in nature: the risk of getting it is directly proportional to the number of schizophrenics among the close kin. For example: as mentioned above, the general risk of becoming a schizophrenic is 1.5%. However, among the brothers and sisters of a schizophrenic, as well as among his children the risk is a few times higher. The probability spikes to 45% if both parents are afflicted.

Schizophrenia Causes ››

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