How Schizophrenia Can Affect You Physically

Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and abnormal behavior characterize it. Many people are aware of the psychological effects of this illness, but not many are familiar with the physical symptoms that individuals with schizophrenia may experience. Here’s what you need to know about schizophrenia, how it can affect your body, and ways to prevent it.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by disordered thinking, delusions, hallucinations, and abnormal behavior. It typically occurs in late adolescence or early adulthood but can develop later. Its exact cause is unknown; however, research suggests that there is likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors involved.

Physical Signs of Schizophrenia

Individuals with schizophrenia may experience physical symptoms of schizophrenia. Here are some of them:

Weight Gain

One of the significant physical symptoms of schizophrenia is weight gain. This can be attributed to several factors, including changes in metabolism, the use of antipsychotic medication, and decreased physical activity.

Schizophrenia Can Affect Your Body

The weight gain associated with this illness can lead to several health complications, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To manage this symptom, it is recommended that individuals with schizophrenia engage in regular physical activity, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and consult with their healthcare provider to determine the best course of medication.

Movement Disorders

Another physical symptom of schizophrenia is movement disorders, such as tardive dyskinesia and parkinsonism. Tardive dyskinesia is characterized by involuntary movements of the face, limbs, and trunk, while parkinsonism includes symptoms such as tremors, rigidity, and slow movement.

These symptoms can be caused by long-term use of antipsychotic medication and can significantly affect an individual’s quality of life. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, speaking to your healthcare provider to evaluate medication options and manage your physical symptoms is important.

Sleep Disturbances

Individuals with schizophrenia may also experience sleep disturbances, such as insomnia and hypersomnia. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, while hypersomnia is marked by excessive daytime sleepiness. These symptoms can be due to the underlying psychological components of schizophrenia, such as anxiety and depression. To manage this symptom, it is recommended that individuals establish a regular sleep schedule, avoid caffeine and alcohol, and engage in relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness and deep breathing exercises.

Schizophrenia Can Affect Your Body

Dental Health

Poor dental health is also a physical symptom associated with schizophrenia because of a lack of dental hygiene routine, unhealthy dietary habits, and dry mouth caused by medication. If left untreated, poor dental health can lead to several health complications, such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections. Individuals with schizophrenia must attend regular dental check-ups, practice good dental hygiene habits, and adopt a healthy diet to manage these symptoms.

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Heart Disease

Schizophrenia increases the risk of developing heart disease, and studies have shown that individuals with schizophrenia are twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to the general population. This can be attributed to several factors, such as metabolic changes, increased prevalence of smoking, and unhealthy lifestyle habits. To manage this symptom, it is recommended that individuals with schizophrenia adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular physical activity and a balanced diet, and quit smoking to reduce their risk of heart disease.

Activities to Prevent Schizophrenia

Thankfully, some activities can help prevent this mental disorder. Here are three of them:


One exciting activity that has been found to help prevent schizophrenia is playing the Japanese puzzle game of Sudoku. Studies have shown that people who regularly play this game experience fewer symptoms associated with schizophrenia, such as delusions and hallucinations. You can subscribe to an online store so they can deliver a sudoku book to your doorstep. This way, you don’t have to worry about leaving your home to buy one. It’s a far more convenient option to ensure you can keep doing this activity for years.


Socializing with others is another effective way to prevent schizophrenia. Studies have found that individuals with more social support experience fewer symptoms associated with the disorder, such as disorganized thinking and abnormal behavior. You can join an online or in-person support group, contact friends and family members, or participate in volunteer activities to stay connected.


Exercising is also beneficial in preventing schizophrenia because it has been found to improve symptoms associated with the disorder, such as delusions and hallucinations. Regular physical activity can help boost your mood and reduce stress levels. You can start by engaging in low-intensity activities, like walking or jogging, and gradually increase your intensity as you become more comfortable.

Schizophrenia Can Affect Your Body

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that can have severe physical symptoms. It is important to be aware of the physical signs and activities that can help prevent the disorder so you can take steps to manage and reduce your risk. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, seek medical advice immediately and follow the prescribed treatment plan.


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