Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe illness that affects nearly 2.4 million people over the age of 18. You might know the movie versions (John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, Donnie of Donnie Darko, or Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Edward Daniels in Shutter Island) but in real life, the illness isn’t masked as a suspense, thriller or dramatic film. Schizophrenia is real, and the people it affects are real too.
Marked primarily by delusions and hallucinations, schizophrenia is a debilitating mental illness that causes a person to lose touch with reality.
It’s thought to occur in about 1 percent of the population and can be very difficult to treat, especially if paired with other mental illnesses or substance abuse problems. In fact, schizophrenics are prone to substance abuse problems by way of self-medicating to ease the symptoms of the illness.
Schizophrenia can be broken down into three distinct categories of symptoms: positive, negative, and cognitive. They range in severity but generally cause hindrances or obstacles for a person’s daily life and activities. The National Institute on Mental Health outlines the following categories and the symptoms contained within each:
Schizophrenia is an illness that does require treatment from a qualified medical professional. The longer schizophrenia goes untreated, the worse it can become and the more disturbing it can be to your life or the life of a loved one. It is possible for a person to be treated for schizophrenia and go on to function and live life with enjoyment, motivation, and fun.
If you think schizophrenia may be an issue in your life or the life of a loved one, we can answer your questions and connect you to a well-suited treatment plan. There is hope for the future. Don’t let schizophrenia hinder your life any more than it already has. Call us today.