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Diagnosis and Development of SchizophreniaHow Does Schizophrenia Develop?

John was one of the brightest kids in his junior high school class and was a star player on the school basketball team.

By the time John reached high school, however, his family began to notice that something was wrong. John's grades dropped from As and Bs to Ds and Fs. He quit the basketball team because he believed that his teammates were spreading rumors about him. He began to spend most of his time in his room, refusing to speak to anyone.

John's family also noticed a change in his per sonality. He became quiet and withdrawn and often appeared to be spaced out when others tried to speak to him. John's parents began to worry that he might be using drugs.

Families of individuals suffering from schizophrenia often report that recognizing the first signs of the disorder was very difficult. The first delusions and hallucinations are usually obvious signs of a serious problem, but there are usually more subtle signs and symptoms that occur even before these appear.

Some of these signs may include trouble concentrating, feelings of depression, sleeping more or less than usual, rapid weight loss, and withdrawal from friends and family. It is often difficult for family members and friends to tell whether these are signs of schizophrenia because these symptoms are common in other disorders, such as major depression. Some signs can also occur as a result of drug abuse or even just the normal stress associated with growing up.

The age at which the first symptoms of schizophrenia occur varies, but the illness most commonly strikes between the late teens and mid thirties. Although schizophrenia affects approximately equal numbers of men and women, men tend to be diagnosed at a younger age than women.

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Science EncyclopediaSchizophreniaSchizophrenia - Diagnosis and Development of Schizophrenia - Schizophrenia Subtypes, Schizoaffective Disorder, How Common Is Schizophrenia?, How Does Schizophrenia Develop?, What Is The Course Of Schizophrenia?