Anyone can develop schizophrenia. Symptoms usually first appear during late adolescence or early adulthood. It is not known what the specific causes of schizophrenia are. But researchers believe that genetics, brain chemistry and a stressful environment all have a role to play.
As a chronic condition, schizophrenia requires lifelong care and treatment. With appropriate treatment, a person can continue to engage in productive work, leisure activities, interpersonal relationships and self-care. It is possible to lead a fulfilling life with schizophrenia.
Persons with schizophrenia are often discriminated against due to widely held misconceptions. This can be detrimental towards their chances of recovery and reintegration.
Schizophrenia means having a split personality or multiple personalities.
Persons with schizophrenia do not have split personalities. Rather, they just find it difficult to tell apart what is real and what is not. Having a split personality is called Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder). It is different from schizophrenia and certainly much less common.
Schizophrenia is a rare condition.
Schizophrenia is not rare; around 1 in 100 persons worldwide has schizophrenia.
Persons with schizophrenia are dangerous.
Delusions and hallucinations may sometimes lead to defensive behaviour in persons with schizophrenia. But most persons with schizophrenia are neither violent nor dangerous to others.
Persons with schizophrenia cannot be helped.
While schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment, the outlook is hopeful. With early and proper treatment, persons with schizophrenia can live well. They can also resume meaningful roles in their families and communities.
Persons with schizophrenia often encounter the following symptoms:
There is no cure for schizophrenia. Lifelong treatment is required. Persons with schizophrenia can live a meaningful and satisfying life of their choice, in spite of the limitations of the illness.
Learn to recognise each phase of schizophrenia from onset to recovery:
*This phase is often the most frightening to the person with schizophrenia and to others. Inpatient treatment will often be necessary if the symptoms reach a crisis point.
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