Mental Health in the Workplace Level 2 (VTQ)

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Schizophrenia: Understanding Symptoms and Early Signs

Overview of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia encompasses a range of experiences and behaviours that can vary widely among individuals.

Onset and Misconceptions

Onset of schizophrenia can be sudden or gradual, and it does not involve a split personality as commonly misunderstood.

Positive and Negative Symptoms

There are positive and negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia:

  • Positive Symptoms: Include changes in behaviour, delusions, hallucinations, and confused thoughts.
  • Negative Symptoms: Such as social withdrawal, lack of emotional expression, and deterioration in personal hygiene.

Schizophrenia and Psychosis

Schizophrenia is a type of psychosis where individuals may struggle to distinguish reality from their thoughts and beliefs.

Early Warning Signs

Common early warning signs of schizophrenia include:

  • Depression
  • Social withdrawal
  • Hostility or suspiciousness
  • Extreme reaction to criticism
  • Deterioration of personal hygiene
  • Flat expressionless gaze
  • Inability to express joy or cry
  • Inappropriate emotional responses
  • Forgetfulness
  • Oversleeping or insomnia

Seeking Medical Advice

If unusual behaviours are causing disruption in daily life, it's important to seek medical advice promptly, as early treatment can be beneficial.

A reliable source of information in the UK is available at