Schizophrenia

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About 1 in every 100 people are affected by this serious mental illness.  Schizophrenia most often starts in the late teens or early twenties, although it can develop much later.  It appears that the earlier the onset, the more effect it can have on the person's life.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a 'split personality' but rather a condition in which the person suffers disturbances to their  thinking, perception, affect (mood) and behaviour.  Schizophrenia does not equate to dangerousness.  The vast majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent.   There are far more violent crimes committed by people without a mental health problem.  The media though does tend to sensationalise events when a person suffering from a mental health problem is involved. 

Positive Symptoms include

Auditory hallucinations (hearing voices, hearing thoughts spoken aloud, hearing thoughts echo, the voices may come from outside or from within, they may also hear other sounds)
Visual hallucinations - not as common as 'voices'
Tactile hallucinations - sensations of being touched, or feeling insects crawling (again, less common)
Delusions - fixed false beliefs that are not in keeping with reality or the person's normal beliefs.  For example paranoid delusions whereby the sufferer beliefs that others are trying to hurt or kill him/her, delusions about others  inserting thoughts into them, or belief that their thoughts are being broadcast, delusions that are entirely impossible and irrational, delusions of grandeur or hypodrondria etc
Thought disorder - thought blocking where there are sudden breaks in trains of thought,  'knights move' thinking where thoughts jump from one to another without appearing to be linked, 'word salad' where there is loss of the grammatical structure of speech, 'neologisms' where the sufferer appears to invent their own words

Negative symptoms include

Lack of motivation
Social withdrawal
Incongruity of affect - the person may laugh when the appropriate response may be sadness
Blunting of mood
Deterioration in personal skills including personal hygiene, poor social skills, recklessness etc


Schizophrenia is treatable, but relapses are common.  Finding the right medication for you often takes some time, and it may be necessary to try 2 or 3 before finding the one that suits you best, with minimal side effects.  25% of sufferers will recover completely.


Schizophrenia will infiltrate and potentially damage all areas of the person's life - including home life,  relationships, work and independant living.


Sometimes, the symptoms of schizophrenia can occur with a profound mood change - either depression or more commonly mania.  The person may then be diagnosed with Schizo-Affective Disorder.

For more information about Schizophrenia, diagnosis,   treatment, living with schizophrenia etc - see this NSF page


In Guernsey, contact the
Guernsey Schizophrenia Fellowship

They work in association with the National Schizophrenia Fellowship.

They meet for information and mutual support at the MIND Centre on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.  For further information telephone Mrs FC Feak (Voluntary Co-ordinator)  723905   Fax  700977


For more information about Schizophrenia, see this page  (Royal College of Psychiatrists)

See Keeping Well page for Self-Help Info


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Schizophrenia Links

Guernsey Information & Support Groups
National Schizophrenia Fellowship
At Ease  (NSF)
Changing Minds - Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia Association of Great Britain
Schizophrenia  RCPsych
Schizophrenia.co.uk    with lots of articles, news and info about mental health
Schizophrenia.com
Schizophrenics Anonymous
Schizophrenia Online - News Articles
Open the Doors
A Handbook for Families
Doctors Guide to the Internet
Open the Doors
Internet Mental Health
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Schizophrenia Factsheets RCPsych
Talking about Schizophrenia  HEBScotland
World Fellowship
Personal Experiences
Living with Schizophrenia
Dr Rosemary Rodgers
The Experience of Schizophrenia
BMJ Papers
Facts about Schizophrenia  NetDoctor
The Schizophrenia Surfer
Treatment  RCPsych

Fish Oil to treat schizophrenia

Fish Oil at NSF

Omega 3 (Fish Oil) Research

Music Therapy with Schizophrenia

NSF Scotland

Schizophrenia Support Forum

Voices

Understanding and Coping with Voices
Understanding Voices
Hearing Voices
Hearing Voices Network
Talking about Hearing Voices
InterVoice
Devon Voices Network

 

Schizo-affective disorder

Schizo-affective disorder at Mentalhelp.net

Schizo-affective disorder at Internet Mental Health

Treatment

Factsheet

Schizo-affective disorder

A Journey into Hell

About Schizo-affective Disorder   World Fellowship for Schizophrenia

Links

Books

Surviving Schizophrenia
Living with Schizophrenia
The Voice Inside    Coping with Voices
Accepting Voices
Hearing Voices - a Common Human Experience
Staying Sane
Serious Mental Illness - A Family Affair

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I do not endorse any of the above links - I have not checked the whole content of each site.  In most cases I have only visited their Home Page

 

01 June 2002

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