What is Schizophrenia

  • Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain and is serious mental illness which affects both men and women between the ages if 15-35 years. Schizophrenia causes impairment in ability to function, think clearly and manage emotions. The closer the family relationship to an affected person the higher the risk.

How is Schizophrenia diagnosed?

  • Individuals with schizophrenia have two or more occurring concurrently. It is characterized by hallucinations and delusions which can lead to a diagnosis.
  • Symptoms can be referred as Positive Symptoms, Negative Symptoms and Cognitive Symptoms.
  • Positive Symptoms- when there is an appearance of hallucinations and delusions. Refers to when the client has lost ‘touch’ with reality.
  • Hallucinations- hearing or seeing things that are not real
  • Delusions- belief in things not real or true.
  • Disorganize speech- inability to generate a logical sequence of ideas.
  • Disorganized or catatonic behaviour- decrease in or increase in movement.
  • Negative Symptoms- The loss of functioning that should be present. Such as a decrease in motivation.
  • Loss of drive in social engagements
  • Lack of enjoyment in pleasure in activities that were previously enjoyable for the client.
  • Decrease in the quantity and quality of speech.
  • Lack of emotional expression- emotional flatness.

What causes Schizophrenia

  • Research strongly suggest that due to the structure and chemistry of the brain, schizophrenia is cause by genetics and environmental factors. One in every 100 people will develop schizophrenia. It is uncommon to diagnose before age 12.

What treatments are available?

  • The treatment for schizophrenia includes therapy, medication and rehabilitation. To help manage client’s symptoms medications known as Antipsychotics are used. Antipsychotics are used to lessen the hallucination, delusions and disorganized thoughts. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural therapy) is used to help client with schizophrenia be better able to cope with persistent symptoms of the illness.
  • Family members who are educated about schizophrenia can offer support to relative diagnose with the disorder to prevent relapse.