SINOUÉ Sinoué logo


What is schizophrenia, and what are the possible treatments? 

Schizophrenia - definition and symptoms

Definition of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness that takes the form of a set of symptoms that lasts for several months.
Delusions and hallucinations are the most impressive expressions of this psychiatric illness. However, what subjects suffer from is social withdrawal and cognitive difficulties that accompany this psychosis.

Symptoms of schizophrenia

The symptoms of schizophrenia are multiple, heterogeneous and variable depending on the patient. We distinguish :

  • Positive symptoms: so named because they are added to ordinary perceptions (auditory, gustatory, visual, cenesthetic hallucinations). These symptoms are a source of anxiety and suffering for the subject.

  • Negative signs: this is a general reduction in activities. This results in a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating or remembering, or the inability to follow a movie or a conversation. The patient sometimes also has an attenuation of his emotions (up to emotional indifference in some cases)

Schizophrenia - figures and key data

It is estimated that 0.7% of the world’s population is affected by schizophrenia. In France, nearly 600,000 people would be affected, or 1% of the adult population. This disease is encountered more frequently in urban areas.
Schizophrenia is usually triggered in adolescent patients between 15 and 25 years old. However, it can be diagnosed earlier (although this is rare). The manifestation of this psychosis is often manifested (in 35 to 45% of cases) by acute beginnings (delusions and hallucinations).
Some studies tend to claim that schizophrenia happens earlier and is more disabling in men. However, both sexes are affected without distinction.

The causes of schizophrenia

The precise causes of schizophrenia are somewhat complex and still mysterious. The current consensus of recent research is based on an interaction of several factors such as the family’s genetic vulnerability to this disease, the subject’s utero and perinatal life or even the consumption of substances (such as cannabis).

Some studies also claim that socio-demographic factors may be behind the onset of this psychiatric illness.

Schizophrenia - what treatments ?

Schizophrenia has various expressions and developments depending on the patient. It generally requires long-term care, throughout life.

Medication and psychotherapeutic care allow today a satisfactory remission of the disease and a total or partial social reintegration of the subject. Medication is generally aimed at reducing hallucinations and delusions. Signs of depression in phase with the disease, meanwhile, may require the use of antidepressants.