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Schizophrenia Guide

For Those with Schizophrenia & Their Caregivers

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by the presence of hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and behavior, and a lack of emotional expression. When left untreated, it significantly impacts a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and emotions, usually to the point of being unable to function in major areas of their life (such as relationships, taking care of themselves, work, or school).

According to the American Psychiatric Association (2013), delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech must be present and the symptoms must have persisted for at least 6 months in order for a mental health professional to be able to make a diagnosis. Most people with schizophrenia are first diagnosed in young adulthood (18 through 28 years of age), but a person can be diagnosed with this disorder at any age as an adult.

Schizophrenia is misunderstood by many and often mis-portrayed in popular media, such as television shows and movies. It is a common disorder to reference in such media when they want to suggest that someone is “crazy” or “unhinged.” Sadly, such portrayals reinforce stereotypes about people with this disorder.

The reality is far more complex. Many people with schizophrenia lead fairly ordinary, “normal” lives, because they keep the symptoms of the disorder under control with treatment (most often, antipsychotic medications). Some people with this disorder are homeless, while others find themselves in trouble with the criminal justice system. Still others live in group homes or with their extended family, who help with everyday activities that might otherwise seem overwhelming or challenging. In short, if you’ve met one person with schizophrenia, you’ve met just one person — it is nearly impossible to generalize about people with this diagnosis.

We’ve developed this guide of the most valuable articles we’ve written about this serious mental illness. If you still have questions after reading through the guide, it is suggested you speak to a mental health professional — such as a psychologist or psychiatrist — about your concerns. Only a mental health professional can make a reliable, accurate diagnosis of this condition.

Understanding and Giving Support to Someone with SchizophreniaUnderstanding & Giving Support to
Someone with Schizophrenia

What is schizophrenia? How do you help someone with schizophrenia? This article describes the common symptoms of schizophrenia and gives some tips for people to help those with schizophrenia.
Do you have schizophrenia? Take the test

 

 

13 Myths of Schizophrenia

13 Myths of Schizophrenia


There remain many misconceptions about this condition.

7 Things That Help in Managing Schizophrenia

7 Things That Help in Managing Schizophrenia


Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia Treatment

Schizophrenia Treatment


What does modern, state-of-the-art treatment for schizophrenia look like?

Long-acting Treatments for Schizophrenia

Long-Acting Treatments for Schizophrenia


What are long-acting treatments? How do they differ from traditional treatments?

Join the Psych Central Support Group for Schizophrenia

Join the Psych Central Support Group


Help and treatment for schizophrenia is just a click away. You can also search for a treatment provider.

Living with Schizophrenia

Living with Schizophrenia


While no two people experience schizophrenia or psychosis in exactly the same way, it helps to know that you are not alone.

Expert Q&A on Schizophrenia

Expert Q&A on Schizophrenia


What do our experts say in answering your questions about schizophrenia?

Helping someone with schizophrenia

Helping Someone With Schizophrenia


Where do you begin in helping someone who has schizophrenia?

Helpful Hints About Schizophrenia for Family Members

Helpful Hints About Schizophrenia for Family Members


Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has schizophrenia?

Managing Schizophrenia: 9 Things Every Caregiver Should Know

Managing Schizophrenia: 9 Things Every Caregiver Should Know


Have a friend or loved one that you suspect has schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia Quick Fact Sheet

Schizophrenia Quick Fact Sheet


What are the basics of schizophrenia?


Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia

Frequently Asked Questions


What are some of the most frequently asked questions about schizophrenia? We provide the answers!

Top 10 Signs of Schizophrenia

Top 10 Signs of Schizophrenia


What are the top signs and symptoms of schizophrenia?

What Causes Schizophrenia?

What Causes Schizophrenia?


Is it purely genetics, or do the environment and other factors come into play?

When Someone Has Schizophrenia

When Someone Has Schizophrenia


When someone has schizophrenia, what does it mean? How can you help?

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Questions to Ask Your Doctor


What are the important questions you should ask your doctor about schizophrenia?

 

References

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Beck, A.T., Rector, N.A., Stolar, N. & Grant, P. (2011). Schizophrenia: Cognitive Theory, Research, and Therapy. New York: Guilford Press.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/index.shtml


John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2020). Schizophrenia Guide. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 19, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/schizophrenia-guide/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 27 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 27 Jan 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.