Forget Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, when someone suffers from schizophrenia it does not mean they have a "split" personality. People with schizophrenia suffer from changes in their personalities, they may see, hear, feel, smell or taste things that aren't really there (hallucinations). They may become very paranoid, anxious and frightened. They may believe that people are not who they say they are and often view themselves, the World, other people and the Future in a different way from most other people(delusions). They may become very suspicious of family and friends, people who they are very close to, not just strangers.
No-one actually knows categorically what causes Schizophrenia, but there are clear links to stress levels and trauma. It may also be linked to changes in brain chemistry, reactions to environmental factors and genetic or family factors. It is likely that a combination of many different components is involved.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are treated with medicines (usually antipsychotics) and other therapeutic interventions(talking and occupational therapies)
Unfortunately, at this time, there is no cure for Schizophrenia, but most people who suffer from it are able to manage the symptoms effectively and lead a productive and useful life.
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