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How Does Schizophrenia Affect Society

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The Emotional And Physical Toll Of Schizophrenia On Your Family

How does stigma affect those with schizophrenia?


Schizophrenia is a severe, debilitating brain disorder that typically presents in your 20s and 30s. Symptoms commonly associated with this disorder include: hallucinations, delusions, illogical speech, confused thinking, catatonia, irritability, agitation, etc. Schizophrenia not only affects you, it also affects your family. If you suffer from schizophrenia, you probably have a hard time maintaining relationships, a job and/or your personal hygiene. It is important to remember that this disorder affects not only you, but also the people who love you.

Effect Of Mental Health Disorder On The Family And Loved Ones

Mental health disorders may be incredibly unpleasant and upsetting for the entire family. They can significantly influence the financial and emotional components of a family.

Family members emotional and behavioral implications are usually disregarded regarding mental illness. Individuals mental health problems have ramifications for others in their social networks, most notably their families. Caring for a family member with mental health issues can be highly stressful, and coping with stress can cause several symptoms, including

Somatic problems like-

Confusion and behavioral issues like-

-Changes in attitude and social withdrawal

As the demands of the sick take precedence, family life may become chaotic and unpredictable. According to studies, a significant percentage of family members have had to abandon their jobs one or more times.

In contrast, others have had to give up their recreational activities. Social lives are frequently the first to suffer, as they may be hesitant to invite others into their house and find it difficult

Looking After Your Physical Health

Schizophrenia takes a toll on your physical health as well as your mental health. It can sap your energy, confidence and motivation you might feel less capable of keeping up your physical health or lose the desire to try.

Another major influence on your physical health is the side-effects of antipsychotic medication. Newer antipsychotic medications have fewer side-effects, but weight gain is still a common one.

People being treated for schizophrenia are much more likely than the general population to be overweight, have high blood pressure and develop diabetes.

Theyre also more likely to smoke, drink too much and use recreational drugs, which can have a negative effect on your mental and physical health.

If youre struggling with these problems, you may hear your doctor use the term metabolic syndrome. It means you have some combination of:

  • weight gain around the abdomen
  • high blood pressure
  • low levels of the good cholesterol
  • high blood glucose levels.

Metabolic syndrome is common in people with a sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy diet, but its especially common in people with schizophrenia.

There is support to help you get healthy and stay healthy.

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Who Does It Affect

Schizophrenia can affect anyone. It usually starts to affect people in the teen years, though females often start to experience the illness a little later than males. No one knows exactly what causes schizophrenia or why it can affect people so differently. Genes, the way a persons brain develops, and life events may all play a part.

How Does Schizophrenia Affect Your Life

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Give time to loved ones going through schizophrenia and focus on small but realistic steps. Express and communicate in a simple manner: proper wording of a message is important.

Everyone who has schizophrenia will experience it differently. Presentation and severity of symptoms can vary, however they are likely to affect the personal life of the person with schizophrenia as well as their family and friends. For people with schizophrenia it is not always easy to maintain strong relationships. If someone close to you has schizophrenia there is information available for you to learn what you can do to help. Remember, support is very important for helping a person experiencing schizophrenia to stay well. Be prepared by learning more about how schizophrenia may impact someones personal life below.

If someone close to you has schizophrenia or if you have schizophrenia yourself, it is important to learn the facts about. Remember to read reliable resources and separate the myths from the truths. Find out more about signs and symptoms of schizophrenia to look out for and how you can help others who are experiencing schizophrenia.


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Use Empathy Not Arguments

Symptoms of schizophrenia like hallucinations or delusions can take some time to stop even when people are receiving treatment and following their treatment plan. As a group, these very distressing symptoms are called psychosis. Many people have a hard time responding to a loved ones hallucinations or delusions. Its best to avoid arguing about these experiences. Remember that delusion are symptoms of schizophreniathey are not thoughts that you can talk someone out of. Telling someone that their experiences arent real or arent true doesnt help when the experiences feel very real to that person! A better approach is to empathize with the feelings that hallucinations or delusions bring upwithout confirming or denying the hallucination or delusion. For example, if a loved one is frustrated or upset when they hear voices, it isnt helpful to say something like, Youre okay! It isnt real. I dont hear anything. Instead, you might say, I can only image how upsetting that voice must be. I can see the voice makes you feel scared. Know that with good treatment and support, symptoms like hallucinations and delusions become much easier for people to manage and lose importance.

Dont Take It Personally

Schizophrenia can be a difficult illnessfor everyone. During episodes of psychosis, your loved one may experience frightening sensations that you cant understand. They may act in ways that you dont understand. Other symptoms of schizophrenia can make it hard for people to express emotions or feelings, communicate clearly, or seem interested in others. Its important to know that these are symptoms of an illness. They are no ones fault, but they can still be hard to cope with. Consider reaching out to a family and friends support group for your own support. The BC Schizophrenia Society has a directory of groups around BC at

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Living With Schizophrenia When Properly Treated By A Doctor

People living with schizophrenia process information differently than a normal person does. If treated with schizophrenia medications and therapy, life with schizophrenia can look just like anyone elses normal life with a few differences. Some days you may need to leave work early because youre just having one of your bad spells. Other days, your different way of looking at and processing the world may cause co-workers to value your creativity and ability to recognize patterns across large swaths of data.

There will be times when you might pick up “extra information” about the people around you. You may feel like everyone can see into your mind. But, when treated properly by a physician, most of the time these disorganized thought processes just reside quietly in the back of the mind.

It is possible to live a fairly normal life with schizophrenia. To do so, you must follow your doctors orders and take your medication as instructed and when instructed. Get some support from community groups in your area and attend any counseling sessions ordered by your physician.

APA ReferenceGluck, S. . Living with Schizophrenia: Effects of Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 6 from

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed

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If symptoms of schizophrenia are present, the doctor will perform a complete medical history and sometimes a physical exam. While there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophrenia, the doctor may use various tests, and possibly blood tests or brain imaging studies, to rule out another physical illness or intoxication as the cause of the symptoms.

If the doctor finds no other physical reason for the schizophrenia symptoms, they may refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, mental health professionals trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interviews and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a psychotic disorder. The therapist bases their diagnosis on the person’s and family’s report of symptoms and their observation of the person’s attitude and behavior.

A person is diagnosed with schizophrenia if they have at least two of these symptoms for at least 6 months:

  • Delusions

One of the symptoms has to be

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech

During the 6 months, the person must have a month of active symptoms. Symptoms should negatively affect them socially or at work, and canât be caused by any other condition.

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Limitations And Directions For Future Research

The results of the current study should be interpreted in the background of following limitations, which may have affected the observations:

  • Current study, based exclusively on hospital based outpatient sample and therefore, is may not be the representative sample of patients in community.
  • Patients with illness duration of two years or more were included to make the sample homogeneous. This, however, limits the generalization of results from the present study of schizophrenic respondents having acute illnesses.
  • The QOL instrument WHO QOL-BREF used in current study is a generic instrument that was not designed specifically for schizophrenic patients, using a combination of both generic and specific instrument would have been the better choice. This instrument only assesses the subjective QOL, while the addition to objective measures might have been useful.
  • All the variables were assessed cross-sectionally hence answers to cause-effect relationship between variables cannot be given. Longitudinal studies should be carried out to look for correlations between changes in impact with changes in severity of illness, type of treatment, etc. to answer questions regarding causal connections.
  • The sample size may be regarded as small and hence generalization of our findings to all types of patients is not possible.
  • As chronic stable, co-operative patients are included in the study, data from more severe patients is missing.
  • What Causes Schizophrenia

    Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors.

    Genes and environment. Scientists have long known that schizophrenia runs in families. The illness occurs in 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister. People who have second-degree relatives with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population. The risk is highest for an identical twin of a person with schizophrenia. He or she has a 40 to 65 percent chance of developing the disorder.

    We inherit our genes from both parents. Scientists believe several genes are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but that no gene causes the disease by itself. In fact, recent research has found that people with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations. These genetic differences involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development.

    Other recent studies suggest that schizophrenia may result in part when a certain gene that is key to making important brain chemicals malfunctions. This problem may affect the part of the brain involved in developing higher functioning skills. Research into this gene is ongoing, so it is not yet possible to use the genetic information to predict who will develop the disease.

    Scientists are learning more about brain chemistry and its link to schizophrenia.

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    The Importance Of First

    How people with schizophrenia describe their social experiences can offer a window into social barriers and motivations and provide an important perspective for understanding social engagement. Of the few studies in schizophrenia that have used such an approach, most have focused on lexical characteristics of speech, linguistic abnormalities, word counts, or speech coherence and appropriateness. A notable exception is the work of Lysaker et al, who assessed social worth, social closeness, and personal agency in spoken narratives of people with schizophrenia. The more frequently people with schizophrenia referred to these social themes in their narratives, the better their social functioning.

    How It Affects Thoughts


    People with schizophrenia may have trouble organizing their thoughts or making logical connections. They may feel like their mind is jumping from one unrelated thought to another. Sometimes they have “thought withdrawal,” a feeling that thoughts are removed from their head, or “thought blocking,” when someone’s flow of thinking suddenly gets interrupted.

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    When Does Schizophrenia Start And Who Gets It

    Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30. Men tend to experience symptoms a little earlier than women. Most of the time, people do not get schizophrenia after age 45. Schizophrenia rarely occurs in children, but awareness of childhood-onset schizophrenia is increasing.

    It can be difficult to diagnose schizophrenia in teens. This is because the first signs can include a change of friends, a drop in grades, sleep problems, and irritability — behaviors that are common among teens. A combination of factors can predict schizophrenia in up to 80 percent of youth who are at high risk of developing the illness. These factors include isolating oneself and withdrawing from others, an increase in unusual thoughts and suspicions, and a family history of psychosis. In young people who develop the disease, this stage of the disorder is called the “prodromal” period.

    Do You Need More Help

    Contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to learn more about support and resources in your area.

    Founded in 1918, The Canadian Mental Health Association is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA helps people access the community resources they need to build resilience and support recovery from mental illness.

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    Family Education And Support

    Educational programs for family members, significant others, and friends offer instruction about schizophrenia symptoms and treatments, and strategies for assisting the person with the illness. Increasing key supporters understanding of psychotic symptoms, treatment options, and the course of recovery can lessen their distress, bolster coping and empowerment, and strengthen their capacity to offer effective assistance. Family-based services may be provided on an individual basis or through multi-family workshops and support groups. For more information about family-based services in your area, you can visit the family education and support groups page on the National Alliance on Mental Illness website.

    Why Schizophrenia Leads To Social Isolation

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    Christelle Snow/UCLA

    Michael Green will deliver the 123rd Faculty Research Lecture at UCLA on Oct. 25. The lecture is free and open to the public.

    Michael Green, neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at UCLA, has been fascinated with the human brain, behavior and mental illness since his undergraduate days.

    In graduate school at Cornell University, he worked in a state hospital with people who had schizophrenia. While working with them, Green noticed he could be having an ordinary conversation one moment, and then suddenly the conversation would shift dramatically, erasing the common ground they had established.

    I have never encountered a condition so perplexing, both scientifically and clinically, said Green, who is a senior research scientist in the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. From that point on, he knew he wanted to devote his research to schizophrenia.

    Green will deliver UCLAs 123rd Faculty Research Lecture on Wednesday, Oct. 25. The lecture, titled The Human Social Brain: How it Works and How it Goes Awry in Schizophrenia and the General Population, is based on his labs explorations of the relationship between cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and activities of daily living. The Green lab is part of the Semel Institute and the Department of Veterans Affairs VISN 22 Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center.

    Green offered a bit of insight about the scientific process:

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    Schizophrenia Symptoms And The Impact On Everyday Life

    Symptoms for schizophrenia vary and their impact on everyday life can range from troublesome to life-altering. Work, school and home life can all be affected by schizophrenic symptoms. Even the early signs of schizophrenia can impact school and social life.

    Initially, when schizophrenia signs and symptoms begin, its not obvious what they are. Often these schizophrenia symptoms occur during adolescence and are mistaken for normal teenage behavior or perhaps depression or another mental illness. The earliest symptom of schizophrenia may be cognitive impairment and this can occur at a young age. Other early symptoms include:

  • Change in friends or social isolation
  • Difficulty at school
  • Difficulty telling reality from fantasy
  • An increase in unusual thoughts, perceptions and suspicions or paranoia
  • Odd manner of thinking and speaking
  • What Is The Outlook For People With Schizophrenia

    With proper treatment, most people with schizophrenia can lead productive and fulfilling lives. Depending on how severe the condition is and how well they get and stick with treatment, they should be able to live with their families or in community settings rather than in long-term psychiatric hospitals.

    Ongoing research on the brain and how brain disorders happen will likely lead to more effective medicines with fewer side effects.

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    How Doctors Diagnose It

    There are no lab tests to find schizophrenia, so doctors usually base a diagnosis on a personâs history and symptoms. They will first rule out other medical causes. In teens, a combination of family history and certain behaviors can help predict the start of schizophrenia. The period when symptoms first start to arise and before the first episode of psychosis is called the prodromal period. It can last days, weeks or even a years. Sometime it can be difficult to recognize because there is usually no specific trigger. Prodrome is accompanied by what can be perceived as subtle behavioral changes, especially in teens. These behaviors include withdrawing from social groups and expressing unusual suspicions, but thatâs not enough for a diagnosis.

    Are Societys Perceptions Of Schizophrenia Changing

    Management of Schizophrenia

    It seems there is more focus than ever on breaking the stigma associated with schizophrenia.

    As well as Living with Schizophrenia being this years theme for World Mental Health Day, SARDAA are holding a conference titled Call to Action: Shattering Stigma on October 24th, which aims to educate people on the truths of the disorder.

    In the UK, Rethink Mental Illness have teamed up with MIND a UK mental health charity to launch a campaign called Time to Change, which also aims to tackle the discrimination of people with schizophrenia.

    Organizations around the world are working hard to educate the general public about schizophrenia, and Semple said there is some evidence to suggest such focus is changing peoples attitudes toward the disease.

    But Dr. Crepaz-Keay told us he believes that schizophrenia remains a significant taboo.

    While there has undoubtedly been a significant increase in understanding of, and attitudes toward, many diagnoses, including bipolar disorder and depression, this does not seem to be the case with schizophrenia, he said.

    So what can be done to change the publics attitudes toward schizophrenia? Moving the focus onto what people can do, rather than what they cant or the help they need is an important part of improving our public image, said Dr. Crepaz Keay.

    There are many people who receive a diagnosis and continue to have full and productive lives, and I would consider myself to be one of them.

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