Thursday, January 17, 2008

Schizophrenia Misconceptions

Schizophrenia can affect anyone from any culture, race, religion or social-economic level, anywhere in the world. Statistics show that one person in every 100 will develop it before they reach the age of 45, Men and women are equally at risk. This chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder can seriously impair a persons ability to think clearly, elate to others and function productively in society. This disorder typically affects the persons thought process, often resulting in visual and or auditory hallucinations, delusions and unusual speech or behavior.

There are misconceptions that contrary to widespread belief that people with schizophrenia often think, feel and act in normal fashion. Being out of touch with reality does not mean that the individual is totally living in another world. But there are certain aspects of the person’s world that has no real basis. They are often perceived as dangerous but are more often not, provided they are receiving appropriate medical attention. In some cases, individuals can become aggressive during an acute episode but usually as a response to feeling extreme fear of false beliefs.

While there is still no cure for schizophrenia, the illness can be managed with appropriate treatment, especially when medical intervention is received early in the illness. Effective treatment involves the combination of medication, psychological counseling and support in managing the patient’s day-to-day living. Since it is vital to treat schizophrenia early in the course of the disease, family members of friends should immediately bring their loved one to a qualified psychiatrist or mental health specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment should that family member or friend show any sign of symptoms of schizophrenia.



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