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  Wednesday July 23rd, 2014    

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May is Mental Health Awareness Month (05/15/2013)
From: Brandon Bachman

There is an awful lot of misinformation out there about mental illness. As with many things, having a good understanding of mental illness is an important first step in being able to help.

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a number of different symptoms. These symptoms are organized into three groups. The first of these are positive symptoms. That may sound like a good thing, but it’s not. Positive symptoms are those that aren’t present in most people, like hallucinations and delusions. Negative symptoms are things that are missing. For example, someone with schizophrenia may not show very much emotion, or they may not speak. The third type of symptom is thought disorder, which involves bizarre, disorganized thoughts or speech. Together these three symptoms form five different “subtypes” of schizophrenia – disorganized, catatonic, paranoid, residual, and undifferentiated.

Schizophrenia is not “multiple personality disorder”, as many people often refer to it. The perception of schizophrenia is often overly negative. While the disorder is disabling, some people with schizophrenia are capable of living productive, healthy lives, and the majority are able to live independently. Treatment involves medications called antipsychotics that regulate certain chemicals in the brain to alleviate symptoms. An important factor in coping with schizophrenia – just like with all mental illnesses – is having strong support from family and friends. This support, along with psychotherapy, can help with self-esteem, daily functioning, and social skills.

 

 

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