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Your Schizophrenia Questions Answered

Apr 7, 2008
Imagine how hard it would be if your version of reality did not seem to coincide with what the general public believed to be reality. Living each day with hallucinations and hearing voices inside your head that are really not there.

For millions of people around the world this is a normal day. They live, or try to live, their lives in the best way possible while suffering from schizophrenia. There are jokes made but the ugly reality is far from joking.

It can devastate a person, his or her job, family and personal interactions with other people. Sometimes it can mean prolonged time in an institution. In the past this disease was not understood and as a result the individuals afflicted with schizophrenia were often locked away in an insane asylum for most of their lives.

The treatment methods were barbaric and did not have a positive outcome for the patients. In this article we will cover the basics of schizophrenia and what it could mean to you as either a patient or a family/friend of someone diagnosed with this illness.

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental diagnosis of a disorder of the brain and personality. It is very serious and can cause great difficulties for the person diagnosed and living with the disease. It has only been coined since 1908 but great strides have been made in recent years to further understand how this disease affects the personal and occupational functions of patients.

What are the types of schizophrenia?

There are five different classifications of schizophrenia. These classifications are: residual, undifferentiated, catatonic, paranoid and disorganized. Each of these classifications differs on the symptoms and how the person interacts with other people as well as their state of living with their own personality and mental disorder.

The classification helps doctors and psychiatrists help treat the patient and prescribe the right medication for the disease. This is important for helping the person lead as normal of a life as possible.

What is the prognosis for schizophrenia?

With the right treatment and medications a person can live with schizophrenia. It may never be easy but at least they can begin to function in a way that allows them to interact with others, work and have a functioning home life with real relationships. Some people may never get better or see improvement but those cases are rare.

How is it prevented?

Like other mental diseases there is no prevention. There is merely observation for the signs by both the patient and the patient's family or friends. Researchers do not know yet if the disease is truly genetically passed down but there have been studies that do support this hypothesis.

How does substance abuse affect schizophrenia?

Alcohol and illegal drugs can make the symptoms of schizophrenia much, much worse and are why doctors highly advocate that patients do not engage in risky behaviors such as those. It can make the hallucinations and social withdrawal even worse. It may seem to mellow out the symptoms at first but it is only a mask for the bigger issues and can becomes a crutch that leads to great detriment to the sufferer.
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