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Schizophrenia - What Increases Your Risk

Schizophrenia is a complex illness. Experts don't know what causes it or why some people get it and others don't. But some things increase your chances of getting it. These are called risk factors.

You may be at risk for schizophrenia if:

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Working With Schizophrenia

You may think holding down a job is too much for someone with schizophrenia. But with treatment, many people can -- and should -- stay in the game. "People feel better about themselves if they're doing something productive," says Steven Jewell, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University. "It's critical to recovery to move forward with your life, whether it's at school or at work." Jewell advocates a team approach to providing patients the treatment, skills, and support...

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  • Your mother, father, brother, or sister has schizophrenia.
  • Your mother had certain problems while she was pregnant with you. For example, if your mother didn't get enough to eat (malnutrition), had a viral infection, or took certain medicines for high blood pressure, you may be at increased risk.
  • You or a family member have another disorder that is like schizophrenia. An example of this is a delusional disorder, which means you believe things that you know are false.
  • You have a problem with alcohol or drugs. Experts don't know whether substance abuse triggers schizophrenia or whether schizophrenia makes a person more likely to have this problem.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 31, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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