Schizophrenia: etiology, epidemiology, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Vitalija Stankūnavičiūtė1, Ignė Dumbliauskaitė1, Gabrielė Kapūstienė1

1Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Medical Academy, Faculty of Medicine 


Schizophrenia is a chronic psychological disorder of multifaceted origin that disrupts the quality of life of a patient and their family. Its prevalence is 4.6 per 1,000 population. It is more common in men than women and young people, and its first episodes rarely occur in childhood or old age. Many factors determine the development of the disease. It has been studied that people with schizophrenia who have a family history are more likely to be ill. Emigrants, and urban dwellers, as well as certain complications of pregnancy and childbirth are associated with the onset of the disease. The development of the disease is thought to be influenced by neurotransmitters. It is theorized that schizophrenia occurs due to dopamine imbalance. The clinic for this disorder is quite diverse. There is not a single symptom that is unique to schizophrenia. Premorbial traits: closedness, avoidance of informal communication, apathy can occur even at an early age. The prodrome period often occurs in adolescence. During this period, the symptoms of psychosis have not yet become apparent, but anxiety, tension, somatic problems, mood and sleep changes, social communication and learning progress have occurred. One of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia is delusions. In schizophrenia, delusions can be very diverse: persecution, religious, hypochondrial, exposure, relationship. The patient feels no longer in control of their thoughts, feelings, or will. Characteristic hallucinations of hearing, taste, smell. Clinical forms are distinguished: simple, paranoid, catatonic, hebephrenic. Certain diagnostic criteria are distinguished that describe the specific symptoms required to make a diagnosis. Treatment for schizophrenia includes prescription medication, psychotherapy, psychosocial interventions, family support, collaboration with primary care physicians.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, catatonic schizophrenia, hebephrenic schizophrenia, antipsychotic drugs, psychotherapy, schizoid personality, hallucinations, delusions, psychotic disorder, psychiatry, early dementia.