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Healthnotes Index:


Also indexed as:Dementia Precox
Hallucinations and delusions are two telltale signs of schizophrenia. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
Schizophrenia: Main Image

About This Condition

Schizophrenia is a common and serious mental disorder characterized by loss of contact with reality.

The behaviors, described below, must be present for six months or longer to establish a diagnosis. Approximately 1% of the world’s population is affected by this condition. Schizophrenia is more common among lower socioeconomic classes in urban areas, perhaps because its disabling effects lead to unemployment and poverty. In the United States, 25% of all hospital beds are occupied by people with schizophrenia.


Symptoms and signs of schizophrenia include loss of contact with reality (psychosis), auditory and visual hallucinations (false perceptions), delusions (false beliefs), abnormal thinking, restricted range of emotions, diminished motivation, and disturbed work and social functioning. People with schizophrenia may also engage in speech that does not make sense, exhibit silly or childlike facial expressions, and experience poor memory or confusion.

Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Exercise has long been recognized for its benefits in treating mild to moderate depression and there is some evidence that it may also be helpful in reducing anxiety.1 In one reported case, physical activity improved the functioning of a man diagnosed with schizophrenia.2 In another reported case, aggressive outbursts in a schizophrenic patient were reduced after he began exercising.3 A preliminary trial of an exercise program for hospitalized psychiatric patients with varying diagnoses resulted in significantly reduced symptoms of depression and an insignificant trend towards reduced anxiety.4 Additional research is needed to determine the specific benefits of exercise in people with schizophrenia.

Holistic Options

Magnetic stimulation to the skull and underlying motor cortex (the part of the brain that controls movement) significantly reduced auditory hallucinations in a group of people with schizophrenia in a small, controlled trial.5 The procedure was performed by psychiatrists using sophisticated electromagnetic medical equipment, not a simple magnet.

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