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Mental Health Concerns
190
to start and follow through with activities, speech that is
brief and devoid of content and a lack of pleasure or interest
in life.
Cognitive symptoms
pertain to thinking processes. For
example, people may have difficulty with prioritizing tasks,
certain kinds of memory functions, and organizing their
thoughts. A common problem associated with schizophrenia
is the lack of insight into the condition itself. This is not a
willful denial but rather a part of the mental illness itself.
Such a lack of understanding, of course, poses many
challenges for loved ones seeking better care for the person
with schizophrenia.
What are the causes of schizophrenia?
Researchers still do not know the specific causes of
schizophrenia. Research has shown that in certain types of
schizophrenia, a CT scan of the brain is anomalous with non-
schizophrenics. Like many other illnesses, schizophrenia
seems to be caused by a combination of genetic vulnerability
and environmental factors that occur during a person’s
development. Recent research has identified genes that
appear to increase risk for schizophrenia. These genes only
increase the chances of becoming ill; they alone do not cause
the illness. Research has shown a significant increase in risk
of developing schizophrenia when one or both parents or
sibling(s) has been diagnosed.