What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects a person’s ability to determine what is reality and what is not. These episodes are called “psychoses”, and can take the form of hallucinations (sensory experiences that go against reality; such as hearing people talking to you who are not there), and delusions (a strong belief that does not correspond with reality). These psychoses can significantly affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, relationships, and ability to function on a daily basis. However, it is a treatable illness.
Schizophrenia presents uniquely for each person. While one person may experience only one psychosis throughout their life, another person may suffer with the schizophrenia for many years. It is a common mental illness, affecting approximately 1 in 100 people. It affects both men and women equally. It usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood. While there is no known single cause of schizophrenia, it is believed that life experiences, family history, genetics, and brain development play a role.
The typical symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Social withdrawal
- Impaired ability to think logically
- Repetitive, agitated bodily movements
- Lack of emotions when talking
- Lack of pleasure in previously enjoyable activities
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing
- Problems with memory
Schizophrenia can significantly impact your quality of life, preventing you from engaging in regular daily activities, disrupting your relationships, and causing confusion and fear. Treatment options for schizophrenia may include:
- Psychotherapy: Dalton Associates can help you find a mental health professional who can help you cope with the challenges of schizophrenia, improve self-care, diminish the control that symptoms may have on your life, and support you establish meaningful roles.
- Medication: Your family physician may prescribe medications to treat schizophrenia.
Dalton Associates can connect you with psychologists, psychological associates and mental health professionals who will help you resolve issues, regain control, and enjoy a good quality of life.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2012). Schizophrenia.
Retrieved from https://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/schizophrenia/Pages/Schizophrenia.aspx
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2016). Schizophrenia.
Retrieved from http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/understanding-mental-illness/schizophrenia/
American Psychological Association. (2016). Schizophrenia.
Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/topics/schiz/