‘Characterized in general by fundamental and characteristic distortions of thinking and perception, and affects that are inappropriate or blunted. Clear consciousness and intellectual capacity are usually maintained although certain cognitive deficits may evolve in the course of time. The most important psychopathological phenomena include thought echo; thought insertion or withdrawal; thought broadcasting; delusional perception and delusions of control; influence or passivity; hallucinatory voices commenting or discussing the patient in the third person; thought disorders and negative symptoms.’
Schizophrenia is a severe and debilitating disease that can be found worldwide. People who suffer from this disorder are usually very frightened and confused by the symptoms they experience.
There are many misconceptions about Schizophrenia and people who suffer are often stigmatised due to people’s lack of education and understanding about the disorder. Even if a person no longer suffers from Schizophrenia, they often find it hard to get on with their life due to the stigma and the judgements people make about them.
The literal meaning of the word Schizophrenia is ‘split mind’. This can cause confusion and further the assumption that schizophrenia is a ‘split personality disorder’ or a ‘multiple personality disorder.’ This is not the case.
It is also commonly believed that schizophrenics are very violent. This is not usually the case as people with this disorder tend to become very withdrawn and avoidant of others rather than being violent. The truth is that sufferers of Schizophrenia are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrator of it.
Schizophrenia is an illness that is very difficult to deal with. A person who has this condition will often find it hard to tell what is real and what is not, to think logically and rationally, function in society or express their emotions.
Schizophrenics often go through different phases during their illness where their symptoms may improve or worsen for periods. Sometimes they may be able to function as well as a healthy person and other times they may not be able to function at all.
If someone is having what is suspected to be a psychotic or schizophrenic episode and manifesting signs of the disorder, it is crucial that medical help is sought. It is also important to remember that there is a high likelihood of suicide among schizophrenic patients with one in ten successfully completing a suicide attempt.