Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects approximately 2.2 million American adults. Schizophrenia interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. The first signs of schizophrenia typically emerge in the teenage years or twenties. Most people with schizophrenia suffer chronically or episodically throughout their lives and are often stigmatized by lack of public understanding about the disease.
Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting or personal weakness. A person with schizophrenia does not have a split personality, and almost all people with schizophrenia are not dangerous or violent towards others when they are receiving treatment.
The symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, confused thinking or speech, emotional flatness, an inability to start and follow through with activities and a lack of pleasure or interest in life. Scientists still do not know the specific causes of schizophrenia, but research has shown that the brains of people with schizophrenia are different, as a group, from the brains of people without the illness.
While there is no cure for schizophrenia, it is a highly treatable and manageable illness. Some forms of treatment may include hospitalization, medication and rehabilitation. People may stop treatment because of medication side effects, disorganized thinking or because they feel the medication is no longer working. People with schizophrenia who stop taking prescribed medication are at high risk of relapse into an acute psychotic episode.
If you would like more information please contact The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Michigan chapter at 800-331-4264, or visit them online at www.namimi.org.
Phone code: 1737