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What is schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects many people throughout the country, including people in and near the Cincinnati, Ohio, area. It generally causes disruption in how a normally functioning person behaves, acts, feels and thinks. Symptoms typically start to manifest between the ages of 16 and 30, although it could affect children as well.

There are three different categories of schizophrenia: positive, negative and cognitive. Positive symptoms are psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, thought disorders such as unusual or dysfunctional thoughts, movement disorders such as unnatural or spastic body movements and delusions. Negative symptoms typically lead a victim to become less emotional. They may not react, speak or show normal facial expressions, they may not share enjoyment or pleasure in everyday life, they may not be able to maintain interest with an activity or they simply may communicate less with those they interact with. Cognitive symptoms include difficulties with focus, a poor working memory or ability to apply information after learning it and trouble with executive functioning, which is the ability to understand what they know or have learned. All of these can lead to an inability to perform normally in life, including the ability to keep a job.

Whether you are suffering from a catastrophic injury, such as a head or back injury, illness such as cancer or heart disease or mental condition such as depression or schizophrenia, any disabling condition that prohibits you from maintaining gainful employment for at least a year or is expected to end in death may be a qualifying condition for Social Security Disability benefits.

The process for applying is not necessarily easy, especially if you are already suffering from a debilitating condition. You may find it in your best interest to get more information about Social Security Disability benefits to learn how they could help you.

Source: National Institute of Mental Health, "Schizophrenia," Accessed July 2, 2017

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