Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder characterized by four major symptom domains: positive, negative, cognitive and affective symptoms. It affects an estimated 0.7% of the adult population, it usually develops around late adolescence or early twenties.[1] On average schizophrenics live 10-25 years less than the general population,[1][2] although there is some evidence to suggest this might be on the incline.[3] Numerous causes of this mortality gap have been proposed, including smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus and alcohol abuse, which are disproportionately common in schizophrenics, when compared to the general population.[4] About 60-90% of schizophrenics smoke, compared to 10-20% of the general population.[5]

Positive symptoms include hallucinations[note 1] and delusions.[note 2] Negative symptoms include emotional symptoms like blunted emotional responses, difficulty experiencing pleasure or happiness, reduced motivation, inappropriate emotional responses like laughing at bad news, withdrawing from social situations, etc. Cognitive symptoms include impaired memory and recall, slowed processing speed, reduced working memory (like forgetting something while you are using said information, like you might be driving and forget where you are driving to), inattentiveness (like a short attention span), etc. Affective symptoms include depression and anxiety.

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  1. That is, hearing, feeling, smelling, seeing or tasting things that are not real
  2. That is, deluded thoughts or beliefs, like that you are being hunted by terrorists

Reference listEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 van Os, J; Kapur, S (August 2009). "Schizophrenia". Lancet 374 (9690): 635–45. PMID 19700006. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60995-8. 
  2. Laursen, TM; Munk-Olsen, T; Vestergaard, M (March 2012). "Life expectancy and cardiovascular mortality in persons with schizophrenia.". Current Opinion in Psychiatry 25 (2): 83–8. PMID 22249081. doi:10.1097/YCO.0b013e32835035ca. 
  3. Eaton, W (February 2012). "Mortality gap between people with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and the general population persists in England.". Evidence-Based Mental Health 15 (1): 14. PMID 22252952. doi:10.1136/ebmental-2011-100348. 
  4. Wildgust, HJ; Beary, M (November 2010). "Are there modifiable risk factors which will reduce the excess mortality in schizophrenia?". Journal of Psychopharmacology 24 (4 Suppl): 37–50. PMC 2951590. PMID 20923919. doi:10.1177/1359786810384639. 
  5. D'Souza, MS; Markou, A (March 2012). "Schizophrenia and tobacco smoking comorbidity: nAChR agonists in the treatment of schizophrenia-associated cognitive deficits.". Neuropharmacology 62 (3): 1564–73. PMC 3116036. PMID 21288470. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.01.044. 

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