Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness affecting a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions and interact with others. With treatment and support, people with schizophrenia can lead a healthy life. People respond best to schizophrenia treatment when diagnosed early. It is important to seek help for yourself or a loved one about concerns.
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects how people hear, see, taste, think, and feel. People with schizophrenia have a hard time telling the difference between what is real and imagined. People with schizophrenia may have trouble communicating and having social relations. They may lose touch with reality and not understand they are sick.
It is important to seek evaluation, help and treatment for schizophrenia. Signs of schizophrenia can include:
- Hearing or seeing things that are not there
- Feeling like you are being watched
- Drastic change in personality
- Changes in writing and speaking
- Change in body posture and movements
- Drop in school or work performance
- Acting angry or fearful of loved ones
- Behaving in bizarre ways
Screening and diagnosing schizophrenia
When diagnosing schizophrenia, a provider will ask the person about experiences and thoughts. The client may be referred to a healthcare professional with experience in evaluating and diagnosing people with mental illness. Your primary care provider may make a referral. Blood or imaging tests may be conducted to rule out other health issues that could be causing the symptoms.
There are many services for people with schizophrenia. They can include drop-in centers, housing programs, employment assistance, therapy/counseling and crisis services. Schizophrenia treatments can help manage and reduce symptoms:
- Therapy and counseling
- Social and family support
- Self-management and education
- Day programs
- Case management