Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness and is typified by a range of psychological symptoms including hallucinations and delusions which can be upsetting and debilitating. Onset of this mental illness is usually at a young age, between 15 and 35, and affects about 1.1% of the population. While the exact cause of the illness isn’t known, researchers believe that it involves a mix of genetic predisposition and life events that increase the likelihood of onset.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into:
People suffering from these symptoms, especially the hallucinations and delusions, will also be confused in their thinking. The problem with diagnosing early in the initial stages of schizophrenia can be mild symptoms that may seem different but are less distinguishable from healthy behaviour. It’s often only when a psychotic episode occurs and drastic changes take place that people realise something is wrong.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
Spotting the signs of schizophrenia early and getting an effective diagnosis is important. The illness is treatable with a mix of medication and therapy that can help the individual calm their hallucinations and manage the condition successfully.
If you are diagnosed with schizophrenia it can be a devastating moment in your life. The thing you have to remember is that this is not a life sentence and you are not necessarily going to have to cope with a gradually deteriorating condition. The statistics show that 25% of people who have schizophrenia will get better in the first five years after the onset of the illness. 50% will get better but still have to cope with symptoms at some time or another during their lifetime. Only 25% will continue to have major problems.
There is no cure for schizophrenia but there are ways to manage and contain it and you can expect to live a meaningful and full life if you get the right support. As you can see from the percentages above, the majority of people get better not worse with the right treatment.
Key is engaging in the treatment process and accepting that you have this condition called schizophrenia. There are a variety of different treatments and which suits you best will depend on your condition and how you respond to particular types:
Schizophrenia is not a condition that you should be facing on your own. Getting the right diagnosis is important and putting in place a strong treatment plan is equally vital. Do this and you should have the support and treatment that guides you to a more positive and healthier future.