Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder attached to mounting stigma due to inaccurate portrayals in the media. When you hear about schizophrenia, it is most likely linked to a serious crime committed. This has the adverse effect of portraying schizophrenia as dangerous and violent. By examining the symptoms and how they affect day-to-day life for people with schizophrenia, individuals looking in from the outside can gain a deeper understanding of the disorder and what it is like for people to live with it. This discussion can reduce the stigma surrounding the disorder over time.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a type of mental health disorder that affects a person’s perception of reality. To others, it may seem that the person has lost touch with reality due to the psychotic symptoms associated with the disorder. Doctors commonly diagnose the condition between the late teen years and the early thirties. A diagnosis typically follows the first episode of psychosis.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
There are three categories of symptoms related to schizophrenia. These include psychotic symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. Understanding these symptoms is key to understanding what a person with schizophrenia goes through every day.
Psychotic symptoms include altered perceptions of reality, odd behaviors, and abnormal thinking. The world may appear distorted due to hallucinations, delusions, and a thought disorder.
Common psychotic symptoms include:
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Irrational fears
- Disorganized speech
- Unusual thinking
Negative symptoms are more associated with lack of feelings, disinterest, decreased motivation, isolation, or difficulty maintaining social relationships.
Common negative symptoms include:
- Decreased motivation
- Lack of pleasure in everyday life
- Reduced speaking
- Less emotional expression
Cognitive symptoms affect a person’s concentration, attention, and memory. These can range from mild to severe, and they can significantly inhibit a person’s ability to function in everyday life.
Common cognitive symptoms include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Inability to make crucial decisions
- Problems processing information
- Difficulty applying recently learned information
Schizophrenia is perhaps one of the most stigmatized mental health disorders due to a lack of understanding amongst the general public. Anyone may experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, but it is not common for symptoms of schizophrenia to affect society. This leads to fear, misunderstanding, and harmful treatment of those with schizophrenia. Alta Loma Transformational Services wants to change how we view individuals with mental health disorders, especially those that aren’t talked about openly. If you or someone you know is currently struggling, contact us today to learn about our treatment programs. Call anytime at (866) 457-3843.