I had the privilege of meeting and ministering to those who have schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has nothing to do with "a spilt personality." My meeting this population took place in the Christian realm and the secular realm. Of all the different types of mental illness it is those with schizophrenia who are homeless (editor's opinion.)
You also can get a biblical, technical and personal account of mental illness in our book, Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. You can see reviews by going to http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Minds-Healing-Youre-Losing/dp/0825421187 .
For the estimated 2.4 million adults living with schizophrenia in the U.S., and the people who love and care for them, it takes courage, compassion, and a commitment to stand and face this serious condition together — always looking ahead with hope.
Most people out there don't understand what schizophrenia is. But the reality is, schizophrenia is a lifelong medical condition that affects 1 out of 100 adults in the U.S.
Because each person is unique, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be very different from one person to the next. And because schizophrenia is a lifelong condition, symptoms can also change, or come and go in phases.
Schizophrenia is nobody's fault.
Schizophrenia affects the brain. This can change how people think, feel, act, and live. It's important to remember that no one chooses to have schizophrenia or its symptoms.
Some commonly reported symptoms include:
- Hallucinations: sensing things that others don't, like hearing or seeing things
- Delusions: strongly believing something is true even when there's no evidence of it
- Altered emotions: having feelings that don't seem to fit what's going on, or having no feelings at all
- Withdrawal: no drive or desire to do the things you used to enjoy
- Lack of motivation: difficulty staying focused and doing tasks
- Disorganization: having disorganized thinking, speaking, or behavior
- Cognitive: such as attention and memory problems
- Magical Thinking,
- Delusions of reference such as believing that cues in the environment are a signal to do something.
- Extreme paranoia.
- Believing the television is speaking directly to you.
- Having psychosis which means losing touch with reality.
Schizophrenia treatment:understanding your options
Psychosocial treatments, including one-on-one therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and others, may help manage the symptoms of schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medication is also an important part of a treatment plan to help improve and maintain control of symptoms. Antipsychotic medicines include what are called "typicals" and "atypicals." Pills and liquid are taken daily, while some injections are given twice a month and others given once monthly.*
The Maintenance Phase is following a treatment plan including taking your medication to help control symptoms and try to prevent acute episodes from coming back quickly. With appropriate medication and support, many people with schizophrenia can aim to lead productive lives. But even in a Maintenance Phase, there is a risk that acute episodes may come back. So, it's especially important to remember to stay on treatment—even when symptoms improve.
An Acute Phase of schizophrenia is when symptoms are typically severe and may lead to hospitalization. Acute episodes can keep happening, and for some may get worse over time.