How Common Is This Condition
Here are some statistics about how common schizophrenia is worldwide:
- New cases: There are about 2.77 million new schizophrenia diagnoses every year worldwide.
- Average number of worldwide cases: There are about 22.1 million cases globally at any time .
- Odds of developing it at some point in your lifetime: About 0.85% of the global population will experience schizophrenia at some point in their life.
Genetic Causes Of Schizophrenia
Many genes play a role in your odds of getting schizophrenia. A change to any of them can do it. But usually, itâs several small changes that add up and lead to a higher risk. Doctors arenât sure how genetic changes lead to schizophrenia. But theyâve found that people who have the disorder may be more likely to have problems in their genes that may interfere with brain development.
How Is It Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider can diagnose schizophrenia or its related disorders based on a combination of questions they ask, the symptoms you describe or by observing your actions. Theyll also ask questions to rule out causes other than schizophrenia. They then compare what they find to the criteria required for a schizophrenia diagnosis.
According to the DSM-5, a schizophrenia diagnosis requires the following:
- At least two of five main symptoms. Those symptoms, explained above, are delusions, hallucinations, disorganized or incoherent speaking, disorganized or unusual movements and negative symptoms.
- Duration of symptoms and effects. The key symptoms you have must last for at least one month. The conditions effects must also last for at least six months.
- Social or occupational dysfunction. This means the condition disrupts either your ability to work or your relationships .
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How To Get A Diagnosis
The first step is to see a primary care doctor or psychiatrist. Tell them what you have noticed, and ask them what steps you should take, especially if the person isnât interested in getting help.
The first thing the doctor will do is a psychological evaluation and a complete medical exam. Theyâll want to know about people in the family who may also have these symptoms or been diagnosed with schizophrenia, how the personâs been behaving lately, and if theyâve ever been hospitalized for a mental condition.
The doctor will track the personâs symptoms to rule out other conditions, like bipolar disorder, and other possible causes.
Maintain Your Social Network
Try to maintain your friendships or the network of people that you have in your life. These will later become important supports as your loved one recovers. Educate them and update them on your loved one’s recovery. People are sometimes afraid to ask questions about schizophrenia and this will put them at ease.
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Crisis Helpline Contact Info
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Dial 988
- The International Association for Suicide Prevention: Visit their website for crisis helplines and other resources outside the United States
- Meet them on their level:Your loved one has schizophrenia even when you cant see their symptoms. It can be more difficult for them to stay focused and concentrated, finish tasks, or follow through on simple household chores and personal hygiene basics. Be patient, and remember to adjust expectations.
- Assess their housing situation:Considering the examples below can help you determine what is best and if you have enough resources on hand to safely support your loved one.
What Can I Do If A Loved One Shows Signs Of Schizophrenia Or A Similar Condition
Because people with schizophrenia often cant recognize their symptoms or condition, they often dont believe they need medical care or treatment. That can be frustrating or frightening for both the person with the symptoms and those who care about them.
If you notice a loved one showing signs of schizophrenia or a related condition, you can try helping them by doing the following:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Schizophrenia can be a frightening condition for the people who have it and their loved ones. Despite stereotypes, this isnt a condition where any thought of recovery or living a happy, fulfilling life is impossible. If you think you have symptoms of schizophrenia, its important to talk to a healthcare provider as soon as you can. Their job is to help you, and healthcare providers especially those who specialize in mental health conditions like schizophrenia have the training to help you not feel judged, ashamed or embarrassed. If you notice a loved one struggling with symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia, encourage them gently and supportively to get care. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in helping people recover and manage this condition.
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Tip : Watch For Signs Of Relapse
Stopping medication is the most frequent cause of relapse in schizophrenia, so its extremely important that your family member continues to take all medication as directed. While relapse can occur even if a person is taking medication as prescribed, you may be able to prevent a full-blown crisis by recognizing the warning signs and taking immediate steps.
What Environmental Factors Increase The Risk Of Developing Schizophrenia
Environmental factors include everything the person experiences from being inside the womb, right the way through childhood and into adulthood.
There are considered to be many pregnancy-related schizophrenia risk factors. High levels of maternal stress can lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life, and this includes bereavement, maternal depression, and any other situation that places the mother under stress. Infections such as rubella and toxoplasmosis caught during pregnancy can also increase the risk factor for schizophrenia. Complications during the birth have also been shown to increase the risk factor for schizophrenia. These include pre-eclampsia and Hypoxia.
The schizophrenia risk factors associated with children and adults are varied. Any child growing up in a dysfunctional family is at a higher risk of developing a mental illness , whereas a happy and stable childhood can significantly reduce the chances of developing schizophrenia later in life. In particular, there is a strong link between physical, sexual and emotional abuse during childhood and many serious mental health disorders, including schizophrenia.
Drug use, in particular cannabis, has been shown to significantly increase the chances of developing a mental illness such as schizophrenia. Other schizophrenia risk factors for children and adults include head injuries, social isolation during the formative years of childhood and early adulthood, and social stress.
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Cpa Care Programme Approach
This is a way of making sure that people with schizophrenia get appropriate care and support. It involves:
- a care coordinator who is responsible for organising all the different parts of your care and treatment.
- regular meetings every 3 6 months. These involve you, your care coordinator, your psychiatrist and any other people who are giving you care or support. This can include your family or carers.
- a care plan that is checked at the regular CPA meetings. It is re-written each time and you will have a copy to approve or change.
- plans are made with you at these meetings about what to do if you find yourself becoming unwell again, or run into difficulties.
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Contrary To Widespread Belief People Experiencing Schizophrenia Are Not Inherently Violent They Just Need Assistance If You Have A Friend With Schizophrenia You Can Offer Help In Several Ways
The United States is experiencing a mental health awakening. Many Americans deal with an anxiety disorder or depression, but schizophrenia is also prevalent nationwide.
Having a friend or loved one dealing with schizophrenia might cause you to feel distressed. You may not believe that you can help that person. However, you do not need to be a doctor to offer assistance to a friend with schizophrenia.
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How You Can Help Someone With Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Due to the nature of schizophrenia, people with the disorder rarely recognize that they need professional help or that anything is wrong. They may also be fearful or paranoid about mental health professionals. As such, people with the disorder need their loved ones to steer them toward treatment.
Although you cannot force your loved one to receive the care they deserve, you can help guide them. Here are five ways to help someone manage the symptoms of schizophrenia:
If someone poses a danger to anyone, call 9-1-1 immediately. Although you may not see your loved one as someone who could hurt another person, schizophrenia can make people act in ways that are against their character. If your loved one is suicidal, you may also call 9-1-1 or take them to the nearest emergency room.
What If I Am A Carer Friend Or Relative
It can be distressing if you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who has schizophrenia. You can get support.
How can I get support for myself?
You can do the following.
- Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
- Speak to your relatives care team about family intervention. For more information about family intervention see the further up this page.
- Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
- Ask for a carers assessment.
- Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
- Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.
What is a carers assessment?NICE guidelines state that you should be given your own assessment through the community mental health team to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.
The CMHT should tell you about your right to have a carers assessment through your local authority. To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.
How do I get support from my peers?You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525. They will search for you.
How can I support the person I care for?
You can do the following.
There is no definition for what high risk means. It could include:
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Recognizing The Signs Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can cause hallucinations, delusions, and unusual behaviors, as well as cognitive challenges, such as problems with memory, attention, and concentration.
Recognizing the signs of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a treatable serious mental illness that affects a persons thoughts, feelings, mood, and overall functioning. This disorder can cause hallucinations, delusions, and unusual behaviors. People with the disorder might also have cognitive challenges, such as problems with memory, attention, and concentration.
Social Isolation A Major Problem
While these psychotic symptoms are more alarming, other symptoms reinforce the alienation of people with schizophrenia. They are often unable to participate in normal social events or conversations, and lack sufficient motivation for simple activities like bathing or cooking. In addition, sufferers lack the insight to recognise how their inappropriate behaviour appears to others.
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Finding Treatment For Schizophrenia
Another way to help a friend experiencing schizophrenia is to promote the benefits of mental health treatment.
Schizophrenia is a severe psychological condition that should be treated by trained medical professionals. A psychiatrist or psychologist can help your friend learn ways to cope with schizophrenia and live more fulfilling lives.
The Recovery Village offers support to people with co-occurring disorders, like schizophrenia and substance abuse. At The Recovery Village, health care professionals guide patients in learning ways to better manage their conditions.
Treatment options for schizophrenia are available throughout the United States. Contact The Recovery Village to learn how treatment can help you or a friend cope with addiction and a mental health problem.
What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service
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What Is Schizophrenia Or Paranoid Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a challenging brain disorder that often makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, to think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. It affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world.
The most common form is paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as its often called. People with paranoid schizophrenia have an altered perception of reality. They may see or hear things that dont exist, speak in confusing ways, believe that others are trying to harm them, or feel like theyre being constantly watched. This can cause relationship problems, disrupt normal daily activities like bathing, eating, or running errands, and lead to alcohol and drug abuse in an attempt to self-medicate.
Many people with schizophrenia withdraw from the outside world, act out in confusion and fear, and are at an increased risk of attempting suicide, especially during psychotic episodes, periods of depression, and in the first six months after starting treatment.
Take any suicidal thoughts or talk very seriously
If you or someone you care about is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-TALK, visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country, or read Suicide Prevention.
Why Do Men Develop Schizophrenia Before Women
This is not an easy question to answer. Scientific researchers have come up with a few possibilities, though nothing has been proven as the main reason why men develop schizophrenia earlier than women do. Research, though, is showing a connection between DNA modifications and early brain development.
Other research suggestsa link between estrogen, a female sex hormone, and schizophrenia. Some women are first diagnosed with schizophrenia after menopause, the same time their estrogen levels drop. Estrogen also seems to have a protective effect, shielding women from the severity of this illness.
Researchers are conducting randomized clinical trials to study how well estrogen works in conjunction with antipsychotic medication in both men and women with schizophrenia.
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Schizophrenia Never Gets Better
1 in 4-5 people with schizophrenia recover completely. 3 out of 5 people with schizophrenia will be helped or get better with treatment.
If there is an inaccurate or abusive item about schizophrenia in the press, a radio talk show or on TV. dont get depressed, get active. Write a letter, email them, phone them and tell them where they are wrong. It does work.
Shine: supporting people with mental ill health : Information Helpline: 1890 621 631
Here Are Some Things You Can Do To Help Your Loved One:
- Help them get treatment and encourage them to stay in treatment
- Remember that their beliefs or hallucinations seem very real to them
- Tell them that you acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things their way
- Be respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior
- Check to see if there are any support groups in your area
Some symptoms require immediate emergency care. If your loved one is thinking about harming themselves or others or attempting suicide, seek help right away:
- Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or text the Crisis Text Line .
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Signs That Immediate Medical Attention Is Needed
If the patient is a danger to himself or others and is unwilling to seek treatment, they can be involuntarily committed to a hospital and held for a period of evaluation usually lasting three to seven days. A court order is required for involuntary commitment to be extended.11
Film and news media have characterized schizophrenia as a violent condition, however, the majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent. The majority of violent crime is committed by individuals who do not suffer from this disorder. The risk of violence in schizophrenia drops dramatically when treatment is in place.12
Schizophrenia is associated with a higher risk of suicide. If the patient is suicidal contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or call 911 immediately.