Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects a person’s ability to tell the difference between real and imagined experiences, impairs logical thinking, alters normal emotional response, and impedes the ability to observe social norms. Episodes of schizophrenia may occur only once in a lifetime, while for others the symptoms can be nearly continuous.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Common symptoms of schizophrenia include thoughts that jump quickly between seemingly unrelated topics, attention problems, a lack of emotion, seeing or hearing things that are not actually there, and intense beliefs that are not real.
Symptoms can also vary between common types of the disease. Paranoid schizophrenia is often marked by anger, argumentative behavior, anxiety, and an unwarranted belief that others are trying to harm you and your loved ones. Disorganized schizophrenia can be marked by problems thinking and explaining ideas, lack of emotion, and childlike behaviors. Catatonic schizophrenia symptoms include odd facial expressions, lack of activity, muscle rigidity, and lack of response to others. These symptoms can appear in any combination, and only a trained psychiatrist can diagnose schizophrenia.
The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but mental health professionals believe there is a genetic link. Once the disease is diagnosed, antipsychotic medications can be used to help regulate chemicals in the brain to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Support programs are important additions to treatment, but no known cure exists. Even controlled by medication, schizophrenia can affect your ability to perform daily activities, socialize, and work.
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SSD and Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is included in the Social Security Administration’s list of impairments. If symptoms of schizophrenia will prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security disability attorneys at Berger and Green can help you at every stage of your claim, including your application, appealing your denial, and representing you at your hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. When choosing an attorney for your Social Security Disability claim or SSI, choose an attorney with experience. Call Berger and Green at 1-(412) 661-1400 for your free evaluation today.
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