Overview of Psychosis & Schizophrenia Symptoms & Treatment
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is characterized by hallucinations (auditory, visual, olfactory, or tactile) and delusions. It is usually treated with a combination of antipsychotic medications and psychotherapy.
Throughout history, the disorder we now know as schizophrenia has been a source of bewilderment. Those suffering from the illness once were thought to be possessed by demons, and they were feared, tormented, exiled, or locked up forever.
In spite of advances in the understanding of its causes, course, and treatment, schizophrenia continues to confound both health professionals and the public. It is easier for the average person to cope with the idea of cancer than it is to understand the odd behavior, hallucinations, or strange ideas of the person with this condition.
As with most mental disorders, the causes of schizophrenia are poorly understood. Friends and family commonly are shocked, afraid or angry when they learn of the diagnosis. People often imagine a person with psychosis as being more violent or out-of-control than a person who has another kind of serious mental illness. But these kinds of prejudices and misperceptions can be readily corrected.
This disorder is better understood as a mental illness that requires ongoing — often lifetime — treatment. Demystification of the illness, along with recent insights from neuroscience and neuropsychology, gives new hope for finding more effective treatments for an illness that previously carried a grave prognosis.
Schizophrenia is characterized by a broad range of unusual behaviors that cause profound disruption in the lives of people suffering from the condition, as well as in the lives of the people around them. This condition can strike anyone without regard to gender, race, social class, or culture and is typically first diagnosed in a person’s 20s.
Types of Schizophrenia
Causes of Schizophrenia
Other Specified Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorder
Psychotherapy & Other Treatments for Schizophrenia
Helpful Hints About Schizophrenia for Family Members
Illuminating 13 Myths of Schizophrenia
When Someone Has Schizophrenia
Additional Schizophrenia Resources
Materials in this section are based upon academic, professional and government sources,
which are listed below.
- American Psychiatric Association
- National Institute of Mental Health
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Archives of General Psychiatry
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Journal of Psychiatric Research
Harvard Review of Psychiatry
Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Journal of the American Medical Association
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Grohol, J. (2017). Schizophrenia. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 10, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/disorders/schizophrenia/