Schizophrenia Articles

The Disturbing Discrepancy & Double Standard Between Mental Illness & Other Health Concerns

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

The Disturbing Discrepancy & Double Standard Between Mental Illness & Other Health ConcernsIt would seem that the subject of mental illness has, at long last, captured the attention of the American public. Why, you may ask, is this so?

Perhaps it is the fact that when mind-boggling mass murders occur in such ordinary towns as Newtown, Conn. or Aurora, Colo., we are inundated with stories about the suspected mental state of the perpetrators.

Although the aforementioned individuals may suffer, or may have suffered, from any number of debilitating mental illnesses, the vast majority of the mentally ill are not violent. Unfortunately, their stories, and their daily struggles merely to survive, rarely make the 6 o’clock news.

Mental Illness and the Benefits of Work

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

The Benefits of Work for Helping with Mental IllnessI’m grateful we have a social safety net. It’s important to help people pull themselves up, and to provide care for those who cannot support themselves because of serious disability.

The net may not be cast broadly enough, as too many people who need help are denied services. That said, the most important thing that led to my recovery from serious mental illness was being denied Social Security disability income.

I believe that many, if not most, people with mental illness want to recover and to successfully manage life with illness. They achieve wellness by applying the treatments prescribed for them, and by using whatever adjunct therapies work for them. Others work just as hard, but are tragically treatment resistant, and find little solace.

But I was shocked when during my first hospitalization I encountered other patients in the day room trading tips on how to game the system.

Unraveling the Secrets of Our Mysterious Brain

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Unraveling the Secrets of Our Mysterious BrainThere are many big moments in scientific discovery. Humans have explored our world and learned incredible things. We’ve discovered a giant asteroid belt circling a star 25 light-years from earth. We determined that disease comes from microorganisms.

We’ve explored the structure of an atom. And we can see bones inside our bodies as well as bombs inside suitcases.

Yet the human brain still remains very much a mystery. Recent advances in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have led to great gains in our understanding of the brain and how it functions. 

But even so, scientists have not yet discovered all the types of cells that make up the brain and don’t yet know how they all function together.

Psychosis In the Waiting Room

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Psychosis In the Waiting RoomLast week, sniffling and certain that I might perish at any moment, I made an appointment with my doctor. I am an impatient person. This is why I make appointments when seeing my physician. I assume he will stick to a schedule and I will enter and exit, with a prescription in hand, within fifteen minutes. A nice, compact, amount of time.

This time I was left waiting. Children screamed and people who may be as impatient as I am moved their legs up and down rapidly. Everyone made a socially concerted effort not to look at each other.

I decided to settle in and read. At the rate the room was moving — sort of like a turnover rate at a bad job — it was clear I had at least 30 minutes longer to wait.

I have always found ‘literature’ in doctors’ offices disconcerting, though equally fascinating. After all, where can you find a magazine on parenting (a beautiful woman is holding a golden-haired toddler) and a celebrity magazine (apparently, Angelina Jolie has adopted five children from Nigeria) sitting side by side?

Eli Lilly Reintegration Scholarships Now Available

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Eli Lilly Reintegration Scholarships Now AvailableIf you have bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizophreniform or a schizoaffective disorder, you may have some free money coming to you if you want to go, or go back, to school.

Eli Lilly — you know, that big pharmaceutical company — announced earlier this week that applications for the 2013-2014 school year are now available for the 15th annual Lilly Reintegration Scholarship.

The program provides funding for tuition, books and lab fees to people living with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and related schizophrenia-spectrum disorders, so they may pursue and achieve their educational and vocational goals.

I think it’s a good thing when a company gives back to the community they serve. So I’m happy to pass this information along to interested readers.

The Benefits of Positive Behavior Support

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

The Benefits of Positive Behavior SupportAll individuals have the right to aspire toward their own personal goals and desires. At times, mental health conditions and problem behaviors, such as aggression or property destruction, can create barriers to reaching those goals.

Fortunately, a number of treatment practices exist that can assist an individual in adopting positive behaviors. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a mental health condition and has problem behaviors, consider talking to a mental health provider about the benefits of Positive Behavior Support (PBS).

What is PBS?

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a philosophy for helping individuals whose problem behaviors are barriers to reaching their goals. It is based on the well-researched science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). A key component is understanding that behaviors occur for a reason and can be predicted by knowing what happens before and after those behaviors.

Reducing the Stigma Associated with Schizophrenia

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Reducing the Stigma Associated with SchizophreniaI recently had the pleasure of interviewing Joshua, who participated in the documentary “Living With Schizophrenia: A Call for Hope and Recovery.”

Joshua talked about the stigma associated with living with schizophrenia and shed light on the reality of the illness: Those living with the illness often lead productive lives.

Rebecca S. Roma also is featured in the documentary. She provides viewers with a unique perspective: She works primarily with chronically mentally ill patients who are living in the community after long-term hospitalization. She has dedicated her life to keeping the mentally ill out of hospitals and the legal system.

Click through to read the interview.

History of Psychology: The Birth and Demise of Dementia Praecox

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

History of Psychology: The Birth and Demise of Dementia Praecox  “…[He] was a twenty-five-year-old graduate of the University of Zurich Medical School who had just completed his doctoral thesis on the forebrain of reptiles, had never held formal employment as a clinician or researcher, did not enjoy treating living patients during his medical training, preferred to spend his time studying the brains of the dead, and had little formal training in psychiatry.”

This is a description from Richard Noll’s fascinating book, American Madness: The Rise and Fall of Dementia Praecox, of the man who’d become the most influential psychiatrist in the U.S. in the first few decades of the 20th century — and the one who’d bring dementia praecox to America.

Swiss-born Adolf Meyer didn’t just have little formal training in psychiatry; he essentially knew nothing about it. Fortunately, in 1896, 29-year-old Meyer got the crash course he needed when he set off on a tour of European psychiatric facilities.

Joshua’s Story: Living with Schizophrenia

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Joshuas Story: Living with SchizophreniaAs a woman living with bipolar disorder, I understand mental illness-related stigma. I understand the damage it causes and the impact it can have on a person’s quality of life. But I cannot tell you that I understand the stigma associated with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is, without a doubt, the most stigmatized mental illness.

Bipolar disorder often is associated with intelligence, creativity, highs and lows. But schizophrenia is viewed differently. Society often is confronted with negative imagery: A homeless man or woman, dirt under their fingernails, mumbling to themselves; bars on hospital windows where they are confined and, above all, violence.

The stigma connected to schizophrenia, and to those who live with the illness, is different from that connected to people living with depression or bipolar disorder. It is harder to shatter; it is harder for people to understand.

Stepping out and putting a face and a name to my illness was anything but easy. But more people are doing this, and in doing so, we can lessen the stigma.

Kony 2012 Director: What is Brief Reactive Psychosis or Brief Psychotic Disorder?

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Kony 2012 Director: What is Brief Reactive Psychosis or Brief Psychotic Disorder?According to news reports earlier today, the Kony 2012 director Jason Russell, 33, was “hospitalized last week in San Diego after witnesses saw him running through streets in his underwear, screaming incoherently and banging his fists on the pavement.” His wife now says he’s been diagnosed with brief reactive psychosis, which is technically called “brief psychotic disorder.”

Brief psychotic disorder could be most simply thought of as a form of short-term schizophrenia, since many of the symptoms of the disorders are exactly the same. The primary difference is that in a brief psychotic disorder, the psychosis is less than 30 days.

Let’s delve more into brief reactive psychosis and talk about how one “gets it” (don’t worry, it’s not catching).

Two Quizzes: Your Emotional Type & Schizophrenia Screening Test

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Two Quizzes: Your Emotional Type & Schizophrenia Screening TestWe have dozens of quizzes here at Psych …

When Mental Illness is a Family Affair: Q&A with Victoria Costello

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

In A Lethal Inheritance: A Mother Discovers the Science Behind Three Generations of Mental Illness, science journalist Victoria Costello weaves the stories of her family’s mental illness with significant studies on genetics, early intervention and evidence-based treatment.

When Costello’s oldest son is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, she traces her family’s history of mental illness and makes some surprising discoveries — such as her grandfather’s well-guarded suicide.

A Lethal Inheritance is a must-read for anyone who’s been touched by mental illness, especially parents who feel helpless and hopeless. Costello shatters the myth that mental illness is a death sentence, along with countless other misconceptions.

She also recounts how she and her sons coped with their mental illness and achieved full recovery. And she does an excellent job of simplifying complex concepts and informing readers of the newest research.

Recent Comments
  • John M. Grohol, Psy.D.: I’m no lawyer, but this seems that, at least for those who paid for their memberships,...
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