Schizophrenia: Labels Aren’t a Magic Bullet

A new report from the British Psychological Society challenges "the received wisdom" about psychosis and schizophrenia.

"Many people believe that schizophrenia is a frightening brain disease that makes people unpredictable and potentially violent, and can only be controlled by medication. However the UK has been at the forefront of research into the psychology of psychosis conducted over the last twenty years, and which reveals that this view is false," the British Psychological Society said in a release.

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Psychology Around the Net: March 21, 2015

Learn more about the stigma of mental illness, how to use your memory to make better connections, the rampant misuse of ADHD medications among college students, and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net!

Combating the Stigma of Mental Illness: When as many as "as many as 25 percent of adults and 40.3 percent of adolescents reported suffering an episode of mental illness within a 12-month period," why are we still stuck in a world filled with stigma?

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Schizophrenia: Delusions, Voices, But Not the Memory Loss

When you hear the word "schizophrenia" a lot of symptoms probably come to mind. Some of them, unfortunately, are sensationalized or completely inaccurate, like "split personality." You might have said hallucinations, hearing voices, being paranoid, and thinking you’re God. Sure, that could be schizophrenia. But what about memory loss?

My brother Pat was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2006. For a year he thought people were surveilling him, coming into our home to install cameras, listening to his conversations whenever he was outdoors. He didn’t have a reason for it. He didn’t thinking he was a god, a king, or the Second Coming. He believed he was a target for the government -- this was around the time the media began to cover the privacy violations stemming from the Patriot Act.

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Anxiety and Panic

The Case for Worrying ‘Alone’

Can sharing your worries with a friend help you problem-solve and be more productive? Psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell recently wrote a book in which he explains that working out your worries with a friend could help eliminate distractions in life.

"Worrying alone does not have to be toxic, but it tends to become toxic because in isolation we lose perspective," Hallowell told Science of Us blog. "We tend to globalize, catastrophize, when no one is there to act as a reality check. Our imaginations run wild."

As a classic worrier, however, I have to caution anyone against heaping your worries on any one person too often.
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Siblings with Severe Mental Illness: An Evolving Relationship

There is an undeniable connection between siblings. You came from the same family and grew up in the same environment. There will always be a shared past between siblings, whether they are close or not. But when your sibling is diagnosed with mental illness the personal history and the things you had in common can seem to disappear.

Life seems to stop and be consumed by their illness. An intangible connection can be seemingly swept right off the page. Something that therapists never told me was that one day I would just be happy to take what I could get.

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Anxiety and Panic

Psychology Around the Net: January 24, 2014

Ever wonder what makes you -- and keeps you -- a loyal customer? How about ways to strength train your brain? Oh, and speaking of your brain -- where does all that fear and anxiety come from, anyway?

We have it all and more in this week's Psychology Around the Net.

Fear Pinpoinited: Scientists Discover Exactly Where Anxiety Resides in the Brain: Tests on mice have helped New York's Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory researchers pinpoint the area, or "circuit," in the brain where "fearful memories and behavior" are controlled. Could this lead to new anxiety treatments?

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Introducing the new Blog, Of Two Minds

Author Mike Hedrick has been writing for us since May of last year at World of Psychology. And we felt it was about time he had his own blog, to give him more room to explore and expand his writings and creative expression.

That’s why I’m pleased to introduce his new blog, Of Two Minds. We look forward to his continuing writing on the topics of living with schizophrenia, and what...
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How to Deal with Mental Illness Stigma

I've seen the worst of it. I've been asked if I've ever killed anybody and I've seen the disgust on people’s faces when I disclose the simple fact that I have schizophrenia.

Nine years in and this illness is so much a part of who I am. I imagine it's the same for others in my boat, that not disclosing feels like I'm leaving a major part of myself out of the conversation. It's become such a defining characteristic that I feel like I’m lying to people if I don’t eventually tell them.

The thing with me, though, is that I'm so practiced in social interaction that you would never be able to tell that I have schizophrenia.
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Coming to Terms with Your Delusions

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t thought some pretty outrageous things in the course of my illness. I’d also be lying if I said I don’t think about outrageous things still. Even with a good amount of stability, delusions can still persist.

Sometimes it’s about what people think of you, maybe just an offhand notion. Other times it can be so bad that you think you’re a king or a prophet or Jesus Christ himself. I’ve seen every part of the spectrum.

Nine years on, I still deal with whether people are making fun of me. This is a delusion which, no matter what I’ve tried, I can’t stop.
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Dealing with the Side Effects

Having lived with schizophrenia for almost nine years I’m no stranger to the myriad things that can happen when you’re on a course of antipsychotic medication.

Many times these side effects can be disruptive to everyday life. Sometimes they come on slow and have a lasting impact, such as gaining a significant amount of weight. Sometimes they can be dull, such as drowsiness or a dissociative feeling.

The important thing to remember in all these cases is that side effects are negligible compared to the benefit of the drug.
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Brain and Behavior

How to Put the Brakes On

A lot of people run through their lives going from one task to another without taking time to stop and smell the roses.

Our society is overworked, and as result, overstressed.

I know what it's like to get so overwhelmed on something that you slowly start to lose your grip on reality. That's just one of the many things I have to deal with while living with schizophrenia.

The point is, it's important to put the brakes on when you start to feel overwhelmed. This is just as important for regular people as it is for people with a major mental illness. However, these two types of people don't react to stress the same way.
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