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.
- •Schizophrenia is a group of disordersThey are characterized by confused and disorganized thoughts.
- •Schizophrenics have a hard time communicating their thoughtsThis is because the mental illness disrupts the working memory, which is used to form sentences.
- •Symptoms include: hallucination, delusions, and disorganized speechHallucination- 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
- •It affects 1% of the populationOdds increase to 10% if a person has a schizophrenic in their family. There is strong evidence that genetics can influence the development of schizophrenia.
- •Men are 30% more likely than women to have schizophrenia
- •It usually occurs in young adultsUsually from late teens to early 30s
- •It's different for every personFor example, some people may hear hallucinations but never see one. In addition, the types of things they see or do is different.
- •Not all schizophrenics patients are violentDespite what media portrays (think school shootings), most patients are vulnerable rather than violent.
- •There are 3 main types: paranoid, catatonic, disorganizedMost schizophrenics fall under one of these broad categories
- •Paranoid TypeInvolves hallucinations, delusions, fear of persecution, and grandiose ideas
- •Catatonic TypeIndividuals remain motionless in odd positions for long periods of time (not what Hollywood likes to portray because it would make a boring movie)
- •Disorganized TypeInvolves incoherent language, inappropriate emotions, inappropriate giggling, hallucinations, and delusions
- •Possible causes: genetics, viral infection during prenatal development, excessive of dopamine in the brain, substance abuse, and environmental factors
- •Treatments: medication and psychotherapyMost common medication is antipsychotic drugs because they manage psychosis (when you lose in touch with reality). Peer support groups are also common.
- •Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatmentNever fear, my dears, most people need lifelong treatments for their attitudes. ;) It's all about perception.
- •Famous person with Schizophrenia: John NashHe is a mathematician and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
- •Always remember: people are more than their diseases and disordersBe careful when dealing with any person who has mental illness. Learn how to distinguish the disease from the person behind the disease.