Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling. The symptoms include:
• a lack of interest in things
• feeling disconnected from your feelings
• difficulty concentrating
• wanting to avoid people
• hearing voices
• feeling like you need to be protected.
HOW IS SCHIZOPHRENIA DIAGNOSED?
Schizophrenia is diagnosed in people by observing their behaviour. The doctor would run some tests including blood tests, imaging studies and psychological examination.
HOW IS SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATED?
Types of treatments that help a person with schizophrenia include:
• Case management helps people access services, financial assistance, treatment and other resources.
• Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs are programs that help people regain skills such as: employment, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, shopping, socializing, problem solving, and stress management.
• Self-help groups provide ongoing support and information to persons with serious mental illness by individuals who experience mental illness themselves.
• Drop-in centers are places where individuals with mental illness can socialize and/or receive informal support and services on an as-needed basis.
• Housing programs offer a range of support and supervision from 24 hour supervised living to drop-in support as needed.
• Employment programs assist individuals in finding employment and/or gaining the skills necessary to re-enter the workforce.
• Therapy/Counseling includes different forms of “talk”therapy, both individual and group, that can help both the patient and family members to better understand the illness and share their concerns.
• Crisis Services include 24 hour hotlines, after hours counseling, residential placement and in-patient hospitalization.
DID YOU KNOW?
First time experiences of Schizophrenia are very difficult to manage and the person takes a long time to recover.