There is a lot of misinformation about schizophrenia. For some people, the term may conjure up false images of scary, violent people. But let’s get one thing straight: most people living with schizophrenia are not violent.
Schizophrenia is an extremely complex brain disorder that approximately 1% of Americans live with. Generally speaking, individuals with schizophrenia may experience periods where they feel detached from reality or interpret the world around them in an unusual way.
Because the word schizophrenia can be roughly translated to mean “split mind,” many people think that individuals with this disorder have multiple personalities. Actually, that is not true; instead, people living with schizophrenia experience an unusual balance between their emotions and thinking patterns. Although schizophrenia presents itself differently in most people, other common symptoms may include delusional thinking, hallucinations, disorganized thought/speech, social withdrawal, flat affect, and cognitive problems like difficulty maintaining attention.
Although treatable, schizophrenia is oftentimes debilitating. With the help of a psychologist, a person living with schizophrenia can get the care they need, which may involve a combination of medication, psychotherapy and other techniques.
If you or anyone you know is living with schizophrenia please search out database of psychologists to find support.
Consider these resources for information about schizophrenia:
- FindaPsychologist.org: Self-Help Resources
- Choices in Recovery: Living with Schizophrenia Video
- New York Times: Deterred by illness, driven ahead by goals
- Help Guide: Helping a person with Schizophrenia