Learning if you have schizophrenia can be scary. But you’re not alone. Find out more about what schizophrenia is and how to get help
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder where reality, as seen by other people, doesn’t match up with your experience. This phenomenon is commonly known as “psychosis”.
It often looks like you seeing, hearing or believing things that aren’t true.
Schizophrenia is a chronic and serious illness, but it is treatable.
Symptoms of schizophrenia?
Common psychotic symptoms can include:
- Hallucinations (seeing/feeling/smelling/hearing things that aren’t real)
- Delusions (“knowing” things that aren’t real to other people)
- Feeling constantly in danger
- Difficulty with concentrating
- Feeling like you’re being controlled by something or someone else
- Feel like time is speeding up or slowing down
- Losing interest in hobbies
Who is at risk?
1% of all people will experience schizophrenia, regardless of gender, race, or status.
It manifests normally between the age of 15 and 35.
You may be more at risk of having schizophrenia if family members have had it previously.
What can I do if I have schizophrenia?
Having schizophrenia doesn’t mean you are violent or beyond hope. It is a completely treatable illness with the right support.
The first thing to do is to talk to someone if you feel you might suffer from these symptoms. Having a professional analyse and provide a diagnosis will help you understand your condition better.
You may be given an antipsychotic to reduce certain symptoms. A course of medication can be complemented with talking therapies like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or counselling.