What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a disease that is a confusing to most people. It is a disease of the mind, but it often gets confused with multiple personality disorder. This confusion partly comes from the fact that scientists believed for a great deal of time that multiple personality disorder was a manifestation of schizophrenia and would use the terms interchangeably. This article is to serve as a basic answer to people who would like to know what is schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia, basically, is a mental disorder. It usually comes on in the late teen years and/or the early years of adulthood though it can manifest itself at any stage of life. The symptoms are wide and varied and are often also associated with other diseases that can make diagnosing the disease a difficult process.

The following are the common symptoms of schizophrenia:

Delusions: Often a person suffering from schizophrenia will hold beliefs that do not affect other people. For instance, a person with schizophrenia might believe that they are being followed or hunted down. They might believe that their thoughts are being broadcast for the rest of the world to hear or that they have super powers or special abilities that they do not actually have.

Hallucinations: Hallucinations usually are in the form of voices that only the schizophrenic can hear. These voices seem to come from outside the schizophrenic's head (a major differentiating point between schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder). Sometimes the voices do not have a physical point of origin. They might also see, feel, taste or smell things that are not actually there.

Disorganized Speech: People with schizophrenia often talk in ways that are difficult for other people to understand. They might jumble up the words of their sentences or try to talk about several topics at once without connecting their sentences to any central theme.

Once you have learned what is schizophrenia, you might want to learn about the treatments available. Unfortunately there is not yet a cure for the disease but there are several ways of treating it and minimizing the effect of the symptoms.

Medication is the most straightforward form of treatment. Unfortunately, finding the right medication can take quite a bit of time. Each drug needs to be tested for at least a month before determining whether it is effective. Often the medications used to treat schizophrenia are also anti-psychotic drugs and have several severe side effects. It is important for the schizophrenic patient to be honest with his or her psychiatrist about each drug that is tried.

Therapy is the other major form of treatment. Therapy can come in the form of individual sessions with a psychiatrist as well as family and group therapy. Group and family therapy is important to help the person suffering from schizophrenia learn to deal with his or her disease in a social and familial context. It is also good for the family of the patient as it will help them learn to deal with the disease from the outside. It is important for the family to understand what is schizophren

Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #1

Schizophrenia is not the same thing as having multiple personality disorder. In multiple personality disorder a person has a number of independent identities that all share one host body. Typically one of the personalities is dominant and the others exist under the surface. With Schizophrenia, there could be independent personalities but the person suffering from the disease believes that these identities exist outside of him or herself.


Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #2

There are different types of schizophrenia. The most widely known is that of paranoid schizophrenia in which the schizophrenic believes that there are people who are out to "get" him (or her). Commonly the patient associates himself with an elite group and believes that it is his membership with that group that has made him a target of others.


Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #3

Schizophrenia is normally treated with anti-psychotic drugs. There are new drugs being developed all the time. Other treatments include Electro Convulsive Therapy in which the patient is driven to convulsions by receiving a series of shocks to the brain. This treatment is thought to fix the electrochemical balance of the brain.


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