Reviewed by Whitney White, MS CMHC, NCC., LPC
Schizophrenia is a condition that is prevalent across the nation, as well as the world. Keep reading for more information about schizophrenia that might surprise you.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects the way a person thinks, acts, and talks. It can also impact other aspects of their life. For instance, people with schizophrenia may be unable to take care of their hygiene, work, or go to school. Living with schizophrenia may require relying on a caretaker for assistance.
There are a few facts concerning schizophrenia that you may be interested in learning.
- Schizophrenia may affect approximately 1.1%of people in the world. It is thought that at least 20 million people worldwide experience schizophrenia.
- So, how many people in the US have schizophrenia? Estimates sit at about 3.5 million when it comes to people that have been diagnosed with schizophrenia in the United States.
- Many people that experience schizophrenia will be affected by suicidal thoughts or actions. If you or someone you know experiences suicidal thoughts, you should reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for immediate assistance at 1-800-273-8255. This lifeline is available to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- There are people with schizophrenia who are also experiencing additional mental health conditions. Some other conditions that may be present are depression or anxiety disorders.
- Many people that seek treatment for schizophrenia will see a change in some of their symptoms.
- You must meet certain requirements to be diagnosed with schizophrenia. For a doctor to determine that a person has schizophrenia, a person must have symptoms associated with the condition for at least six months.
- Some people that experience schizophrenia are not getting the treatment they need. When it comes to stats on schizophrenia, this is a troubling statistic, as the World Health Organization reports that up to 31% of people experiencing schizophrenia seek treatment for it, which means many people are not accessing the help they need or are not able to access care.
More Facts About Schizophrenia
There is more information about schizophrenia that is important to be aware of.
There is no one specific cause of schizophrenia, but few things are thought to contribute to this condition.
There may be a genetic connection when it comes to schizophrenia. If a person in your family has it, you have a greater chance of experiencing it.
In some cases, schizophrenia may be caused by trauma or neglect experienced at a young age.
- Substance Use
When someone takes illicit drugs, this can also lead to them experiencing schizophrenia. This doesn't necessarily have to do with the number of illicit drugs taken, as it may have more to do with when they were taken. If you were taking drugs when you were a teenager, this may have affected your brain development and caused schizophrenia.
There are a few unusual symptoms of schizophrenia.
- A delusion occurs when a person believes something that isn't true. For instance, a person with schizophrenia may believe they are being targeted or watched.
- A hallucination is when you see something or hear something that isn't real. In terms of schizophrenia, a person may also smell things that are not present or hear voices when there's no one around.
- Being Unable To Speak Properly. When you are having a conversation with someone experiencing schizophrenia, they may not be able to answer your questions. Or they might talk in sentences that are not relevant to the situation.
- Being Unable To Move Properly. They may also have a hard time getting things accomplished or not be able to sit still.
- Lack Of PersonalHygiene. When a person is experiencing schizophrenia, they likely have difficulty taking care of their daily needs. They may stop showering, forget to change clothes, or skip meals at times as well.
- Showing No Emotion. A person may also have trouble showing emotion or having the proper facial expression. This could be because they are not feeling any joy.
If you or someone you love is affected by schizophrenia, please take this schizophrenia test to determine the next step.
There are a few treatment options for schizophrenia.
One type of treatment is psychotherapy, which is essentially a type of therapy where a patient talks to a therapist in a one-on-one setting. They can talk about whatever they want, and the therapist can help them learn strategies to overcome some of the issues that are bothering them. For example, some types of psychotherapy treatments attempt to teach someone how to think about themselves and others differently.
Talking to someone about how they feel and what they are experiencing may be beneficial for several different reasons and can make a difference in certain symptoms.
Another approach that is taken to treat schizophrenia is medicines. There are several prescriptions that a doctor may recommend to treat this condition, depending on the symptoms that are occurring. Medication and psychotherapy are commonly used together. In a 2014 study, the two treatments were shown to be complimentary.
Sometimes a person with schizophrenia may need to enter a training program to help them work on their social skills. This can not only help them learn how to complete tasks but also interact with others. In some cases, these programs occur at a facility, where someone will go live there for some time or outpatient options.
Taking Care of Yourself
You should always do your best to control your physical health when you are in treatment for schizophrenia. This means exercising, eating right, and sleeping at night. You should also make sure that you are keeping your body and space clean as well. These things can make a big difference and may be able to help you stabilize your mood. You can take these things slowly and ask your psychiatrist for tips or advice on what you should do and how you should do it. Routines can be helpful when you are seeking treatment, and your doctor will be able to tell you more details on how these aspects may improve your overall health.
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition. A person who experiences it will likely need a psychiatrist's help to see a change in the symptoms and the severity of the symptoms. There is no cure for schizophrenia, but there are multiple treatment options to take advantage of.
If you experience schizophrenia, do your best to reach out for support as soon as you can. If you know someone experiencing schizophrenia, you may want to learn more about the condition for yourself. This will allow you to understand your loved one better, and it offers you a chance to see the warning signs. While you can't get treatment for someone else, you can help them if they place themselves in an emergency or crisis. You will also learn how to support them better, regardless of what they are experiencing or their symptoms.
Keep in mind that many people that take advantage of treatment for schizophrenia can see a difference in their symptoms, where some go away completely. This is possible, and even if your symptoms do not go away completely, there is a chance that they can improve. Therefore, it is a good idea to get treatment early. When you get the treatment that you need, you may see less of an impact on your life, so you'll be able to do the things you want to do. When you take advantage of treatment and communicate with your doctor, you can be well on your way to experiencing fewer symptoms.