What is schizophrenia? – Anees Bahji

What is schizophrenia? – Anees Bahji

March 27, 2020 | Articles, Blog | 100 Comments

What is schizophrenia? – Anees Bahji

Schizophrenia was first identified
more than a century ago, but we still don’t know its exact causes. It remains one of the most misunderstood
and stigmatized illnesses today. So, let’s walk through what we do know—
from symptoms to causes and treatments. Schizophrenia is considered a syndrome, which means it may encompass
a number of related disorders that have similar symptoms
but varying causes. Every person with schizophrenia
has slightly different symptoms, and the first signs can be easy to miss—
subtle personality changes, irritability, or a gradual encroachment
of unusual thoughts. Patients are usually diagnosed
after the onset of psychosis, which typically occurs in the late teens
or early twenties for men and the late twenties
or early thirties for women. A first psychotic episode can feature
delusions, hallucinations, and disordered speech and behavior. These are called positive symptoms, meaning they occur
in people with schizophrenia but not in the general population. It’s a common misperception
that people with schizophrenia have multiple personalities, but these symptoms indicate a disruption
of thought processes, rather than the manifestation
of another personality. Schizophrenia also has negative symptoms, these are qualities that are reduced
in people with schizophrenia, such as motivation,
expression of emotion, or speech. There are cognitive symptoms as well,
like difficulty concentrating, remembering information,
and making decisions. So what causes the onset of psychosis? There likely isn’t one single cause,
but a combination of genetic and environmental
risk factors that contribute. Schizophrenia has some of the strongest
genetic links of any psychiatric illness. Though about 1% of people
have schizophrenia, children or siblings of people
with schizophrenia are ten times likelier to develop the disease, and an identical twin
of someone with schizophrenia has a 40% chance of being affected. Often, immediate relatives
of people with schizophrenia exhibit milder versions of traits
associated with the disorder— but not to an extent
that requires treatment. Multiple genes almost certainly
play a role, but we don’t know how many, or which ones. Environmental factors like exposure
to certain viruses in early infancy might increase the chance
that someone will develop schizophrenia, and use of some drugs,
including marijuana, may trigger the onset of psychosis in highly susceptible individuals. These factors don’t affect
everyone the same way. For those with very low genetic risk, no amount of exposure
to environmental risk factors will lead them to develop schizophrenia; for those with very high risk, moderate
additional risk might tip the balance. The antipsychotic drugs used to treat
schizophrenia have helped researchers work backwards to trace signatures
of the disorder in the brain. Traditional antipsychotics
block dopamine receptors. They can be very effective
in reducing positive symptoms, which are linked to an excess of dopamine
in particular brain pathways. But the same drugs
can make negative symptoms worse, and we’ve found that negative symptoms
of schizophrenia may be tied to too little dopamine
in other brain areas. Some people with schizophrenia
show a loss of neural tissue, and it’s unclear whether this atrophy
is a result of the disease itself or drug-induced suppression of signaling. Fortunately, newer generations
of antipsychotics aim to address some of these issues by targeting
multiple neurotransmitters, like serotonin in addition to dopamine. It’s clear that no one transmitter system
is responsible for all symptoms, and because these drugs affect signaling
throughout the brain and body, they can have other
side effects like weight gain. In spite of these complications,
antipsychotics can be very effective, especially when combined
with other interventions like cognitive-behavioral therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy, though
it provides relatively short-lived relief, is also re-emerging
as an effective treatment, especially when other options
have failed. Early intervention
is also extremely important. After months or years
of untreated psychosis, certain psychoses can become embedded
in someone’s personality. And yet, the dehumanizing stigma
attached to this diagnosis can prevent people from seeking help. People with schizophrenia
are often perceived as dangerous, but are actually much more likely
to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. And proper treatment may help reduce
the likelihood of violence associated with schizophrenia. That’s why education— for patients,
their families, and their communities— helps erode the stigma
and improves access to treatment.

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  1. bahara ahmadi

    Mental health is so complicated and saddening. Stressful childhood, dysfunctionality in the family and continuous family feuds is one of the main reasons children supper and develop schizophrenia. My cousin has been suffering from schizophrenia since he was 16, now he is in his 30s, and his family argues non-stop.

  2. Ray2311us

    The beginning of detachment

  3. Xhosa Gibran

    What I find interesting is that people with schizophrenia in developed countries usually tend to have scary hallucinations while people in developing countries tend to have happier hallucinations.

  4. Xhosa Gibran

    You guys should make a video on why people for some strange reason want or think it’s cool to have a mental illness.

  5. Sergio Bobillier

    Great video as always. Also I loved the music piece.

  6. AmericanToastman

    oh lol this was just uploaded!! great video, thanks a lot!!

  7. Shirona Kuronatasa

    I have both schizophrenia and Asperger's (i inherit schizophrenia from my great great grandparents) ……..medicine doesn't help much and the side affects then to be more than mild for me(one of the side affects of my medication is paralysis and everytime I had my medicine I would be fully paralyzed and have difficulty breathing. any movement causes me great pain because of that I haven't taken my meds)
    but I been much more well in mind since I met my lover. being by her side helps me greatly and the fact that I could only feel safe and not be on guard or paranoid around her…it's the same for her (she deals with trauma from being in a emotional abusive household)

  8. Chrissy

    My brother was recently diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. This video helped me to understand his symptoms much better. Thank you.

  9. Fire Pheonix1

    How weird I just finished my report about how substance use disorder can contribute to the development of schizophrenia lol

  10. Core E

    A sister in law had suffered of this her entire life. She choose to starve herself and so called professionals, allowed it. Even gave her a bedroom in a hospital to die. So she never even doubted her efficacy to die. She was survived by three children and her husband. Whom has been broken since. Tam believed she was a bird on one of her many mind-vacations, and had changed into a mother and wife to see why people don't whistle when they talk. It took the whole family to reconnect her to her childhood growing up. There is nothing easy about the condition. Except the love, she was loved so much that it must have seemed fake. Because in the end she didn't even want her grand daughter to know her. So we all suffer of that.
    Maybe I didn't need to post this. I could refrain from sharing Tammy's story. Or just accept that someone will read this, that needs to read this.


    Is it normal that I have conversations with other person's in my head when I'm alone? Like I would start telling a story and get really exicited or angry or happy and all sort of different emotions (even though I'm all alone)
    # if it helps…. I had a bad childhood

  12. DatInt 000

    Слава ШУЕ!!!

  13. Fit For Flogging

    Shock those demons out with the help of big pharma BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Smoke Weed everyday!!!!

  14. Trevor Taylor

    Any disease that has a multitude of symptoms that are wildly different in each person is not a disease, its a mental health concern. We are biologically predisposed to think/act certain ways & can all develop bad habits, these things should not be solved with medication Instead they should be solved with professionals that are capable of guiding that person in the right direction to heal themselves. There is no magic pill that can "solve" your brain. I'd encourage anyone reading to go out and really help themselves by talking with others, and seeking real long-term solutions to their problems. Drugs are a short-term solution, and not effective in the long run.

  15. rudteko

    I used to have schizophrenia I've been feeling extremely paranoid but not anymore because I've stopped eating lots of grains & junk foods I've eaten lots of animal protein like pasture-raised eggs meats.

  16. abababbb

    3 arms

  17. Tyler Smith

    Also worth nothing John Nash, nobel prize winner in Economics, also had a form of schizophrenia

  18. Ahmed Hassanian

    I really love Ted Ed , and by the way congratulations for 11 million subs 🥳🥳

  19. Countrycowboy08

    The saddest part of psychiatric disorders is that the manifestations lie on one's behavior which can be perceived by the society as a definition of an individual as a whole without knowing that it's only a part of the disease process. They might think that a person is completely corrupted and consumed by the disease without realizing that, just like any other illnesses, it's just a part of one's wholeness. I mean, would the society judge someone for having a high blood pressure? Or high blood sugar level? No. We will less likely to be ashamed of taking antihypertensive or antidiabetic drugs, and yet we're so scared to let others know if we're taking antipsychotics/antidepressants.

  20. Autumn

    Can we please appreciate the beautiful soothing background music?

  21. Universe 08

    Did anyone else find the animation eerie or was it just me??

  22. Hamizan

    You’re bipoland

  23. ActualAkshay

    But what is schizophrenia?

  24. The Spark

    For my mother, it started with hearing people that she has met before telling her horrible things like someone was after her and she really believed it. I still remember the first time, when I came back from school she ran to the door shaking and pulled me in telling me she was terrified about something, that she kept hearing people and was afraid that they would hurt me. At night she didnt want to turn off the lights and couldnt sleep because the voices never stopped.

    There's a lot more but I want to talk about what I believe caused her symptoms. My mother has gone through a harsh divorce leaving her with me and my brother. When she talks to other ppl, thats all she can ever talk about: the divorce and other bad things in her life. Because of this, ppl didnt really like her since she brought her problems with her which others assumed was because she wanted pity. She moved to the US with my father and her english is pretty decent but because of this, we didnt have much family around either. She was alone and when my brother went to college, I isolated myself in my room because I liked being alone and could only concentrate on work this way. I also pushed myself away from my mother which I truly regret and this isolated her even more. Yes, we still talked but for the majority of the day, she would be alone. She worked in a casino which I believe made her mental health worse because of the type of ppl she had to serve. She would tell me ppl were always playing mind games with her and it was a toxic environment. I didn't know what to make of it because she said some strange things as well which make me question when her delusions really started.

    There's a lot more but in essence, her isolation, depression, potential harassment in the workplace, previous bad experiences, and her negative mindset were some of the main precursors to getting schizophrenia.

  25. Neo Anderson

    This is a pretty depressing video

  26. Cherri Zirkel

    Some people see things that others don’t see are happening also ! Some knew that our government was spying watching them we all called them crazy until the government now show its true that’s what’s eye opening reality they have puzzle pieces they observe that we all don’t see it but then wow out comes truth that what they were telling others was happening really are ! That’s weird over time what many of these people were saying was indeed reality we did t observe !

  27. Aakash Biswas

    Mr ROBOT Vibes anybody??

  28. FurryMeatloaf

    I've always been a little 'off'. Social anxiety, never creating strong bonds with people (even family), getting irritated when someone sits in 'my' seat. I recently found my biological father through DNA testing and it turns out he has schizophrenia. Now I wonder if that contributed to some of my quirks.

  29. Bakusen

    Who cares, just man up

  30. NekoMikoYe

    During this quarantine I already befriended the shadow people

  31. Szymon Kowalski

    Wow. Thats 80% of my personality

  32. Flash Flash

    Today, I was searching about schizophrenia on Google and now Ted-Ed made a complete video on it. What a coincidence!

  33. Minecrafter 3929

    1:20 why does this look like Kim jung ung?????

  34. sunflower standup

    No spanish subtitles???whyyy?🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺🥺😭😭😭💔

  35. Vivek Shukla

    I just love you guys, will try to donate as often as possible

  36. BasicYTGamer !

    Bruh moment

  37. arikalamari

    hard to spell and hard to diagnose

  38. ExtatiC Skyneo

    Thank you for sharing this. Do you know Bills?
    I am afraid of Bills.

  39. Rym Harraki

    I suffer from epilepsy , depression and anxiety , and I hate that a lot believe me ! I at least watch your videos twice because I lose my concentration haha , I just love you . 
    yes I know it's not the same , so can you make a video about epilepsy ?

  40. Fadwa Srhir

    Please do a video about the chronic fatigue and illness and FIBROMYALGIA. We (people with this sickness) are tremendously and achingly struggling in silence. And we need awareness and explanations.
    Thank you for the hard and fruitful work of your channel.
    You really open for us the gates of knowledge

  41. Fadwa Srhir

    I also respect and adore the fact that the video is devoid of colours because some people with schizophrenia can get irritated with some colours, Day after day a video after a video I thank God for the existence of this platform and how smart are the creators of it.

  42. videakias3000

    out of curiocity,what happens if a perfectly healthy person consums anti-psychotics?

  43. Mario Toller

    I had a psychotic episode when I combined alcohol and cannabis shortly after my mother was diagnosed with ALS. Voluentarently got myself checked in a psychiatric clinic because I knew there was a risk of getting Schizophrenia. They let me out after around 1 or 2 months and prescribed drugs to me. I eventually stopped taking them because the side effects were horrible and they negatively affected my education as a lab assistant. Let's hope I don't turn crazy 😛

  44. Falguni Singh

    Is that no-face from spirited away?

  45. Nestor Gonzalez

    Did youv no blind people cant get this

  46. Jakov Krezo

    I'ts best OMČO song

  47. /-

    but what is schizophrenia?

  48. Dakotas Moon

    What’s this music called?

  49. David White

    A lot of those things you say about people and their traits or personality’s, or whatever, I seem to have a lot of. But I don’t see things or hear things or anything. I’m just not motivated etc

  50. Abdulla Nada

    See this parents? This is how you educate your self
    Not with google,fox news and what's app chats

  51. Tiana

    I really like this video!! I suggest watching the documentary called Evelyn on Netflix which is about a family was effected by schizophrenia because one of the sons had it and his eventual death by suicide and we see how the family deals with it about 20 years later. It’s beautiful and reminds me of this video.

  52. Michiah Sievers

    My beloved uncle has this disorder. He's a sweet kind gentle person. Thanks for putting this information out on YouTube.

  53. Navneet Arora

    Wow mind-blowing explanation really cleared my doubts and possibly of others too

  54. hassan ahmed

    TED ED Best Content Creator Indeed

  55. Denny's Donuts

    I think I have psychosis, but I also think it's more due to my family situation and my family history with depression and anxiety, than being schizophrenic. I don't typically have hallucinations, but when I'm incredibly stressed or anxious for a long time, I tend to start hallucinating for long periods of time and repetitively. It started at 5, as far as I can tell, and does re-emerge, but I was once told by a psychiatrist I "just had an active imagination", so I don't think any other major signs of schizophrenia are present. Obviously, I got a bad diagnosis, and a lot of my hallucinations stem from paranoia and some small delusions, but I don't think if I had it that I could be diagnosed at this point.

  56. Nur Iqbal

    People that got schizophrenia is like people with ability to see the world with their perspective like the game.
    But with DLC

    Sorry,bad english

  57. Feral Clown

    we stan a group that specifies did and schizophrenia are different things

  58. Caleb Groessel

    This got me on WebMD searching symptoms of schizophrenia

  59. Haneen M

    We want an arabic caption 😿😿😿

  60. Syeda Shobnam

    I knew wrong about schizophrenia.

  61. Utku Çalışkan

    What is the name of the song, i love it.

  62. Big Iron

    It there any evidence that drug usage ‘causes’ psychosis. According to the stress-vulnerability model greater stress increases the risk of mental illness. So possibly those with more stressful lives have a greater disposition to engage with drug use behaviour and also to develop mental disorders. So there maybe a correlation between drug usage and mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, but perhaps the common variance is explained by a third variable- life stress, quality of life.

  63. Jammie Kang

    Does anyone know the melody which is playing in the background of the video?

  64. XRNC

    Schizophrenia came from cats. This I, first hand know.

  65. Philip Anthony Kenny


  66. Aussie Comedy

    Nice clear well researched and portrayed.

  67. Dennis Liu

    Agree with the drug part. After I took medicine as part of my treatment, my memory and reaction speed has been notably reduced, as well as my concentration, capability to reason and understand.
    Before treatment, Math courses was simple and easy to grasp, and I hardly need reviews to grasp the concept.
    After treatment, I had to spend more time to review to grasp the idea. Math did get harder but I was not pursuing Math degree, most of them are applied math and, after i grasp them, they do not appear anymore difficult than the ones I had learnt before treatment (gauged by how easily I can explain the concept to others).
    I kinda regretted I took the treatment since, after graduation, I need my brain more than ever.

  68. J. E.

    I've never shared this before but from my experiences in the past year, I've come to believe I have schizophrenia. I've had psychotic episodes, and during the worst of it I believe demons are real and haunting me. Right now I can rationally say that cant be true but in the moment it feels so real and terrifying, that I write notes to myself because "the demons will erase my memories". Reading these nonsensical notes and coming to grips with how badly my brain is collapsing on itself is the only thing now that makes me feel sick. But I know I'm sick and need help, it just really sucks to admit that.

    Kids, don't do drugs.

  69. Onni Herlevi

    Would I know if I had schizophrenia. Getting paranoid lmao

  70. BulletBill110

    People who live in urban areas are more likely to develop schizophrenia

  71. irisheyes317

    "Are more likely to be victims of violence themselves."

    Hit the nail on the head!

    And this is regularly witnessed among homeless communities

  72. Alehks 9

    I've expirenced phycosis Several times in my life… it's the scaryist real life nightmare to live with

  73. H YoOoN

    Thank you for providing such informative and easy- to- understand clips.
    I attended a class "mental nursing without mental nursing background". One person said " normal people think..", then a trainer asked "what is normal? How you can distinguish?" This short conversation opened my eyes. We need to understand that they are human beings like us.

  74. Gabriel Nogueira Tindó

    Each generation of my father's family had a schizio, including my father. I grew up fearing that I would be the next one; all the negative symptoms were present, lack of motivation, confused speech, lack of emotions… I took all possible precautions, never used any type of drugs (including alcohol) and avoided stressful situations. Against all odds, it worked. I'm still a weird guy (an emotionless procrastinator who anyone can't understand), but I'm 32 years old now and never developed the positive symptoms. Luckily, I'm also quite inteligente, and I managed to get some degrees from prestigious universities, so when people can't understand me, they feel it's their fault, not mine. 😛

  75. daphne_29

    I am so proud of myself, I was only 11 years old when I experienced frequent panic attacks, I remember waking my mom up because I felt so anxious and panicky and I could never sleep without her cradling me to sleep, Now I'm 14 and I coped and have recovered from my panic attacks, and I did it all without pills and anti-depressants, I did it all without having to get a therapist! To those who suffer from any sort of mental illness: Stay strong! I encourage you all to stay strong and fight!! Relax, take a deep breath and tell yourself you can do this! Always remember you are capable of anything and no challenge is hard if you keep being strong!

  76. Mad Solo

    You keep reading my mind…
    It's creepy

    Pls stop

  77. ACADIA

    the feeling of being seen or someone being there with you even though you are alone, has been with me when i was a child. always thought there was someone even though i know i'm alone. luckily this feeling is slowly fading away as i'm growing up. sometimes i look around or look behind me and sometimes get afraid that there will be someone behind me, but not the one that would hurt me. i'm not paranoid or something, it's like a fly sometimes, it annoys you mostly, not scare you. it's rare now a days luckily. i've never said it to my parents, but they know that i've have "seen" or hallucinated a blob of silhouette and i was screaming back then. the one that i screamed about back then could very well been overactive imagination were you think you see something but imagining it, just like a video were two small girls eating and thought they saw something in the dark, the video is "Girls See Ghost and Run". my sister also used to say that she saw someone and when she looks at it, it would be gone and i had the same thing. sometimes i would hope that atleast i would see the face but i never got to. it's not like A Beautiful Mind were i saw it as a human being with superdetails, it's really vague.

  78. Sunny Side Up

    Can schizophrenia be triggered by traumatic events and such?

  79. Gallen Guillaume

    Here is the best ( but kinda disturbing ) brain science channel enjoy: https://youtu.be/41GuKNar4qI

  80. Wenyan Wang


  81. Michael Trinh

    I simply incorporated my schizophrenia into my personality, and that was half a lifetime ago. It's manageable without drugs, for the most part.

  82. Axel Rosa

    do animals get schizophrenia? or any mental illness for that matter?

  83. dessieangel1021

    I’ve had two traumatic psychosis episodes and I’m grateful they never ended up triggering schizophrenia for me.

  84. sanjay pandey

    Am very familiar to this mental condition my mom is having it

  85. Genevieve Richardson

    Thank you so much for this video. I'm not diagnosed with schizophrenia, but I have Bipolar 1 with psychosis and I take antipsychotics to treat that. The information on antipsychotics was really helpful for me in understanding their effects on me. It can feel like a dulling of your personality, like you can't feel your emotions properly or communicate with others like normal. My quality of life has generally improved since being on them, but it still feels like there's a blockage. But that's something you have to learn to live with when you have this kind of illness and need treatment. It really can be alienating, but education like this is a hopeful step in erasing the stigma, and teaching others about this experience.

  86. 호고곡

    Am I the only one who is thinking about portrait in the Parasite movie?

  87. Lu Valour

    Dude in the thumbnail looked like Mob from Mob Psycho 100.

  88. Miyuru Weerarathna

    Cannabis is identified as a causative factor for Schizophrenia. So go on, increase the cannabis usage and legalize it. That’s a very sensible decision isn’t it ?

  89. Kelvin Kersey

    It has long been said the easiest way for an American to be cured of schizophrenia is to go to England where the criteria are stricter

  90. David Kendal

    "It's a common misperception that these people have multiple personalities".

    Multiple Personality Disorder MPD is now called Dissociative Identity Disorder DID/DIDs. In a clinical sense nobody has multiple personalities. DIDs is still a debatable diagnosis with much of the medical community believe that it is how some schizophrenics express their illness often in conjunction with PTSD and childhood trauma including childhood abuse and substance abuse.

  91. Markus Paras

    You can watch “A Beautiful Mind” it’s about schizophrenia. 😊

  92. Jennifer Sheu

    I have schizophrenia. It started with me being paranoid as a child, when I started seeing illusions of ghosts or old ladies or children. It turned into something drastic, as sometimes I would see more people who I presumed were dead, and then inhumane things who were too imaginary-like that seem like spawning devils or creatures started popping up along wherever I go. And no, this is out of my will. I don't want to see it, they just magically appear and start whispering to me. I at least hope it is schizophrenia (maybe perhaps phasmophobia), my parents spent a lot of money on therapy and the therapists didnt even tell me my diagnosis in the end.

  93. Kurorito 1123

    If only this video showed up before I finished my studies in psychology…

  94. Ender Wiggin

    CBT for schizophrenia? Yikes

  95. Dan Man

    Doppio my sweet Doppio

  96. jimmini baseball

    Sounds like the latest in research data. Now CBDs are an new option.

  97. Ok Fuck Off

    Very helpful, thanks!

  98. INS-3RD -LAW

    WILL SAY AND DO!!!!………….

  99. Chloe’s Vlogs

    My great uncle had schizophrenia and I’m also scared I’m going to get it

  100. LaylaCupcake Fox

    i was just wondering about this

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