Schizophrenia Demystified- What it is and Fallacies Regarding it

Have you ever caught yourself being so lost in a world full of magical wonders glaring right in the eyes of reality? Yes, you most probably have without having the intention to do it. Although the topic discussed here is not so mild and possessing schizophrenia is not something to be taken lightly, there are people who always mistake daydreaming with hallucinations or schizophrenia.

mental disorder
image credit: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2014/11/03/359655855/a-new-way-of-thinking-about-schizophrenia-could-lead-to-new-treatments

What is schizophrenia?

It is a mental disorder characterized by patients being unable to think and behave clearly. Although the exact cause of schizophrenia is unknown, it may have something to do with genetics and heredity or even the structure of the human brain. It is also not as uncommon as one might think as statistics report that almost 6% of India’s population claims to possess it.

There are so many things going on in a schizophrenic’s brain, their reality is messed up and hence it is difficult to live up to a level that is compatible for this world. Hence, it is common among people who are homeless and are not capable of fulfilling their daily needs, not only in India but all over the world. And these people’s conditions have to go untreated due to the lack of adequate funds which is disappointing but not surprising. Schizophrenia can take many forms such as paranoid schizophrenia where the diagnosed patient is paranoid or disorganized which involves disorganized thinking and the behavior includes the show of a lot of emotions.

what is schizophrenia
image credit: https://www.dreamstime.com/schizophrenia-psychiatric-examination-concept-ripped-paper-male-head-silhouettes-silhouette-ripping-background-gear-image111783354

In the previous generations, it was common and people seemed to have taken it lightly, like most mental illnesses were. Its classification as a serious disease is recent. A German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin classified schizophrenia as a mental illness in 1893 and he also misclassified it as a form of dementia. Its name is derived from Greek words for ‘split’ and ‘mind’ which leads one to believe that it is a split personality when it isn’t but what it really stands for is a disconnection with reality.

This is one of the disorders that don’t usually begin in the early stages but later in life. You can usually develop it in your teenage years or even your thirties. It can take over suddenly or gradually and men usually develop it before women do.

disconnect from reality
image credit: https://www.health.com/condition/schizophrenia

Symptoms

There are two types of symptoms in schizophrenia, positive and negative. And the positive doesn’t definitely mean you are any safer, it’s just different. A positive symptom is an exaggeration of the normal behavior and a negative symptom is the absence of normal behavior or you can be apathetic. Positive symptom includes lack of planning ability or even a bad memory. Negative symptom includes you not being aware of anything you do throughout the day.

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, you must show some number of these symptoms for at least 6 months. There is also a brief form of schizophrenia known as schizophreniform which lasts for less than 6 months and is not so severe.

schizophrenia symptoms
image credit: https://it.blastingnews.com/salute/2018/04/schizofrenia-individuata-lorigine-della-malattia-002521525.html

Schizophrenic patients have voices in their heads that can lead them to do things, to commit crimes they might have never even thought of committing. This is a very serious problem and needs to be tended to. Hence, if you feel anyone shows any symptom, have them diagnosed and get them help immediately.

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