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Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia

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Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia

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  • Today, research for a cure is still being conducted, but advancements in medicine have helped countless schizophrenics control their symptoms in the meantime
  • Schizophrenics usually displays symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, manic behavior and depression at varying times

Q: What is the history of schizophrenia?

A. The term “schizophrenia” was coined by Swiss psychiatrist Paul Eugen Bleuler in 1911. It is a combination of the Greek words “schizo” (split) and “phren” (mind). Bleuler surmised that schizophrenics tend to have loose thoughts or feelings, which was the basis for  how he came up with the name for this illness.1

Since then, many doctors have contributed to the field and have identified various types of schizophrenia, as well as treatments to help control its symptoms. Today, research for a cure is still being conducted, but advancements in medicine have helped countless schizophrenics control their symptoms in the meantime.2

Q: What are prominent statistics of schizophrenia should I be aware of?

A. There are several facts about schizophrenia you should be aware of, such as:

Population size — It’s estimated that in any given year, 1.1% of the U.S. population is diagnosed with schizophrenia.3

Health care costs — Despite having only a small population size, schizophrenics can greatly affect the finances of their families. In a 2007 study, $62.7 billion was spent on treatment for schizophrenia in the U.S. alone.4

Demographics — According to the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA), around one-third to one-half of homeless adults are diagnosed with schizophrenia. In addition, three-quarters of those who already have schizophrenia typically develop the disease around 16 to 25 years old.5

Suicide rates — Having schizophrenia increases your risk of committing suicide by 50 times. Around 40% of diagnosed patients will attempt suicide at least once.6

Q: What are the early symptoms of schizophrenia?

A. Schizophrenia is a disorder that develops slowly. If you notice any of the early indicators below in yourself or your loved ones, visit a qualified doctor right away, because your symptoms could signify a different disorder as well:7

Suspiciousness in people

Starting to hear voices that weren’t there before

Disorganized speech

Q: What are the symptoms of childhood schizophrenia?

A. Childhood schizophrenia symptoms are similar to standard schizophrenia symptoms, but there are some things you should watch out for in your child, such as:8

Increasing withdrawal from friends and family

Drop in school grades

Sleeping problems

Depressed mood

Lack of motivation in regular activities or routines

Q: How do you deal with schizophrenia once you’re diagnosed?

A. Being diagnosed with schizophrenia can be a very trying time for you and your family. If you want to treat the disease effectively, the first thing you need to do is accept that you have the disease, and that you need treatment. Once you’ve accomplished that, follow these tips:9,10

Join a support group — Meeting others who have the same condition can help you relate and reduce your feelings of isolation. You can also gain tips and insights that you never would have known if you hadn’t joined a group.

Eat a healthy diet — Maintaining a healthy diet is key in keeping your mind in top shape. Unhealthy foods such as processed meats and those with high amounts of sugar can make you feel worse than before.

Get regular exercise — Physical activity can help lower your stress levels, which can exacerbate your symptoms. In addition, exercise also reduces the risk of other health problems such as weight gain.

Get enough sleep — Sleep is an important factor in managing schizophrenia. Do your best to establish a sleep pattern and avoid distractions such as alcohol, which may disrupt your quality of sleep.

Q: Schizoaffective disorder versus schizophrenia: What is the difference between the two?

A. Persons with schizophrenia usually display symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, manic behavior and depression at varying times.

However, when you tend to display manic behavior or depression more than other common schizophrenia symptoms, you may be diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. This condition is generally difficult to diagnose at the start due to overlapping symptoms with other mental disorders. But once a pattern emerges, a more accurate diagnosis can be given. 11

Q: Can schizophrenia be cured?

A. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for schizophrenia. Once you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, the only thing you can do is manage your symptoms through a combination of therapies, such as joining support groups, getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet. If these treatments are done properly, schizophrenia will not become a hindrance and you can live your life to the fullest.12

MORE ABOUT SCHIZOPHRENIA

Schizophrenia: Introduction

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia Types

Schizophrenia in Children

Schizophrenia Causes

Is Schizophrenia Hereditary?

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia Diagnosis

Schizophrenia Treatment

Famous People With Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Prevention

Living With Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia FAQ

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