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How does residual schizophrenia affect the body?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

While residual schizophrenia mainly affects the brain, several complications associated with residual schizophrenia may have a greater effect on the body. People with schizophrenia are at greater risk for drug abuse which, depending on the drug taken, creates problems for the body. As well, people with schizophrenia are more likely to smoke cigarettes than people in the general population; smoking has its own health effects. The antipsychotic medications people with schizophrenia take in order to minimize or prevent symptoms of their illness from returning have side effects, including weight gain, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and two rare but serious disorders called tardive dyskinesia and neuroleptic malignant syndrome. Lastly, people with schizophrenia are more likely than the general population to attempt and commit suicide, so it is important for medical and community caregivers to monitor the person for this possibility.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.