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Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder characterized by a range of symptoms that affect a person’s thinking, emotions, and behavior. It is a complex and often debilitating condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to function in daily life. The exact cause of schizophrenia is not well understood, but a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors is believed to contribute to its development.

Key features of schizophrenia include:

  1. Positive Symptoms: These are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in the average population. They include hallucinations (perceiving things that are not present, such as hearing voices) and delusions (false beliefs that are resistant to reasoning or contrary to reality).

  2. Negative Symptoms: These involve disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors and can include reduced motivation, limited ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia), and difficulties in initiating and sustaining activities.

  3. Cognitive Symptoms: These affect cognitive functions, including memory and attention. People with schizophrenia may experience difficulties in organizing their thoughts and making sense of information.

  4. Disorganized Symptoms: This category includes disorganized thinking, speech, and behavior. Individuals may have trouble organizing their thoughts, making their speech difficult to follow, and displaying unpredictable or inappropriate behavior.

Schizophrenia often emerges in late adolescence or early adulthood, though it can occur at any age. Diagnosis is based on the presence of specific symptoms that persist for a significant portion of time, leading to significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

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