Schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses
A reason to hope
Schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses are treatable brain disorders. Unfortunately people are not always getting the help they need. A diagnosis reaches beyond the individual, it also impacts families and friends who can provide a crucial support network. Schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses are truly a community illness and demands a community response.
Education and awareness remain the key to ending stigma, because stereotypes and misinformation are prevalent and can stand in the way of people living the full and meaningful lives they deserve. We really can dispel myths and improve the lives of millions of individuals.
Myths and facts about schizophrenia:
Myth: Schizophrenia is a rare illness, it could never happen to me.
Fact: One of 100 people will get schizophrenia, and many more individuals have psychotic disorders bordering with schizophrenia. It can happen to anybody.
Myth: People with schizophrenia are dangerous and violent.
Fact: People with schizophrenia are more likely to be victims of crime than commit one.
Myth: Schizophrenia happens to older people only.
Fact: Young people are most of risk, with onset of schizophrenia typically happening between 16 and 24 years of age.
Myth: People with schizophrenia look and act very differently.
Fact: Symptoms are not always visible. People with schizophrenia can look and act just like anyone else.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms of schizophrenia and psychotic illnesses often develop slowly over month and even years; with onset typically occurring during early adulthood and late adolescence. Symptoms of schizophrenia in particular are split up into three categories positive symptoms, negative symptoms and thought disorder.
Signs of positive symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions, can include:
- Talking aloud to yourself;
- Seeing of hearing things that are not apparent to others;
- Fear that someone is trying to harm you.
Signs of negative symptoms, such as depression and social withdrawal, can include:
- Lack of energy or interest in life;
- Loss of motivation…
Signs of thought disorder, such as disorganized or racing thought, can include:
- Speaking incoherent manner;
- Losing your train of thought;
- Jumping from one topic to another.
Diagnosis of schizophrenia or a psychotic illness changes so many lives. It touches not only a person with a diagnosis, but all the important people in their lives. It`s truly a community illness, and it demands a community response.
Education and awareness remain the key to ending stigma, because stereotypes and misinformation are prevalent and can stand in the way of people living the full and meaningful lives they deserve. We really can dispel myths and improve the lives of millions of individuals. Illustration: Megan Jorgensen