Schizophrenia Awareness Week aims to educate and reduce stigma surrounding schizophrenia. There are still many misconceptions about Schizophrenia, and it continues to be a mental health challenge that is rarely spoken about.
What is Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a psychosis, a type of mental illness characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self and behaviour.
Psychosis is one of the main symptoms of schizophrenia.
A person experiencing psychosis finds it hard to tell what is real from what isn’t. The main symptoms of psychosis are:
– disordered thinking
– disordered behaviour
Other “non-psychotic” symptoms vary from person to person, and include:
– low motivation
– reduced expression of emotions
– feeling less pleasure in everyday life
– problems with attention and memory
– difficulty processing and using information
– difficulties in important areas of life
Schizophrenia takes time to diagnose, you might get a working diagnosis of schizophrenia quickly, but it cannot be confirmed until you’ve experienced a month of psychotic symptoms and at least 6 months of difficulties in important areas of life such as work, relationships, or self-care.
Your diagnosis might also change over time and that is normal. Your GP will make an initial assessment and then refer you to a specialist for full diagnosis and treatment.
– antipsychotic medication
– specialist psychological therapies
– community support programs to help with social connection, physical health, accommodation and work or school.
It is important that people experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia can collaborate with their healthcare providers to on treatment decisions.
This is ethically essential as well as potentially having benefits for a person’s understanding and treatment satisfaction.
Treatment often continues for some time after symptoms have resolved to prevent their return.
Some people continue to receive treatment and support to manage their mental health issue across their lifetime.
Over time, treatments may change to reduce the type or intensity of treatments, improve the results, and reduce side-effects.
– HCG Team