What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is perhaps one of the hardest and most feared mental illness to talk about- mainly, because people do not know what it is.
  1. Schizophrenia is a group of disorders
    They are characterized by confused and disorganized thoughts.
  2. Schizophrenics have a hard time communicating their thoughts
    This is because the mental illness disrupts the working memory, which is used to form sentences.
  3. Symptoms include: hallucination, delusions, and disorganized speech
    Hallucination- feeling sensations in absence of a stimuli; Delusions- having false beliefs even when provided with contrary evidence; Disorganized Speech- jumping ideas around without logic or with flawed logic
  4. It affects 1% of the population
    Odds increase to 10% if a person has a schizophrenic in their family. There is strong evidence that genetics can influence the development of schizophrenia.
  5. Men are 30% more likely than women to have schizophrenia
  6. It usually occurs in young adults
    Usually from late teens to early 30s
  7. It's different for every person
    For example, some people may hear hallucinations but never see one. In addition, the types of things they see or do is different.
  8. Not all schizophrenics patients are violent
    Despite what media portrays (think school shootings), most patients are vulnerable rather than violent.
  9. There are 3 main types: paranoid, catatonic, disorganized
    Most schizophrenics fall under one of these broad categories
  10. Paranoid Type
    Involves hallucinations, delusions, fear of persecution, and grandiose ideas
  11. Catatonic Type
    Individuals remain motionless in odd positions for long periods of time (not what Hollywood likes to portray because it would make a boring movie)
  12. Disorganized Type
    Involves incoherent language, inappropriate emotions, inappropriate giggling, hallucinations, and delusions
  13. Possible causes: genetics, viral infection during prenatal development, excessive of dopamine in the brain, substance abuse, and environmental factors
  14. Treatments: medication and psychotherapy
    Most common medication is antipsychotic drugs because they manage psychosis (when you lose in touch with reality). Peer support groups are also common.
  15. Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment
    Never fear, my dears, most people need lifelong treatments for their attitudes. ;) It's all about perception.
  16. Famous person with Schizophrenia: John Nash
    He is a mathematician and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
  17. Always remember: people are more than their diseases and disorders
    Be careful when dealing with any person who has mental illness. Learn how to distinguish the disease from the person behind the disease.