schizophrenia

Rachel Menge

what is schizophrenia?

schizophrenia is a psychotic mental disorder characterised by distorted perceptions, bizarre thoughts, disorganised speech, disturbed emotions and impaired functioning in everyday life.

symptoms

some of the symptoms of schizophrenia involves distorted perceptions, hallucinations, bizarre thoughts, disorganised speech and disturbed emotions.

different types of schizophrenia

  • Paranoid schizophrenia -- a person feels extremely suspicious, persecuted, or grandiose, or experiences a combination of these emotions.
  • Disorganized schizophrenia -- a person is often incoherent in speech and thought, but may not have delusions.
  • Catatonic schizophrenia -- a person is withdrawn, mute, negative and often assumes very unusual body positions.
  • Residual schizophrenia -- a person is no longer experiencing delusions or hallucinations, but has no motivation or interest in life
  • Schizoaffective disorder--a person has symptoms of both schizophrenia and a major mood disorder such as depression.

incidence

schizophrenia affects about 1% of the Australian population. it is experienced in all cultures and in all levels of society throughout the world. it affects both males and females equally but the age of onset of the symptoms is often earlier for males than females.

types of treatment

  • Case management helps people access services, financial assistance, treatment and other resources.
  • Psychosocial Rehabilitation Programs are programs that help people regain skills such as: employment, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, shopping, socializing, problem solving, and stress management.
  • Self-help groups provide on-going support and information to persons with serious mental illness by individuals who experience mental illness themselves.
  • Drop-in centers are places where individuals with mental illness can socialize and/or receive informal support and services on an as-needed basis.
  • Housing programs offer a range of support and supervision from 24 hour supervised living to drop-in support as needed.
  • Employment programs assist individuals in finding employment and/or gaining the skills necessary to re-enter the workforce.
  • Therapy/Counseling includes different forms of “talk”therapy, both individual and group, that can help both the patient and family members to better understand the illness and share their concerns.
  • Crisis Services include 24 hour hotlines, after hours counseling, residential placement and in-patient hospitalisation.
  • Conventional antipsychotics effectively control the “positive”symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and confusion of schizophrenia.
  • New Generation (also called atypical) antipsychotics treat both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia, often with fewer side effects.

a support organisation