UNDERSTANDING SCHIZOPHRENIA

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Schizophrenia Is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally—resulting In a combination of hallucinations, delusions, and exaggerated or irrational thinking and behavior. Less than one percent of people In the United States suffer from this illness.

When people first experience symptoms and episodes, they are often in denial that they are sick. They may be unaware that they re showing signs of schizophrenic behavior. Schizophrenia can be disruptive in many ways, making It difficult to socialize, maintain a regular schedule, work, and keep relationships.

Symptoms of schizophrenia can change in type and severity over time and involve a combination of:

Delusions:

false beliefs that are not based in reality

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Extremely disorganized or abnormal physical behavior: resistance to Instructions, Hat=)¢)¢) me) ¢)at-1«ome) emo) p4-l a0) posture, a complete lack of response, childlike silliness, unpredictable agitation, or useless and excessive movement

Disorganized thinking and speech: Impaired communication, such as answers that may be partially or completely

unrelated to questions or a conversation

Negative symptoms:

reduced or lack of ability to function normally, such as not paying attention to personal hygiene

Suicidal thoughts and behavior el eaere} al aalelamelaaierare people with schizophrenia.

SAMHSA’‘s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. , AM 4

1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727) + 1-800-487-4889 (TDD)

* www.samhsSa.gov

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Medication and therapy can help manage schizophrenia. The sooner treatment begins, the higher likelihood there is for improvement and recovery. However, people with schizophrenia require lifelong treatment, even when

symptoms are less severe.

MEDICATION:

Antipsychotic medications help get symptoms under control. It may be necessary for a psychiatrist to try different medications at different doses to find the right combination. It can take several weeks to notice an improvement in symptoms.

If experiencing periods of crisis, hospitalization may be needed to ensure Safety, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, nd basic hygiene.

For people who do not respond to medication, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may an option. ECT is a brain stimulation technique in which small electric currents are passed through the brain to quickly ease the symptoms of schizophrenia.

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PSYCHOSOCIAL THERAPY AND TRAINING:

In addition to medication, therapy and support are important:

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Individual therapy Social skills Family therapy Vocational helps normalize training improves provides support rehabilitation thought patterns. communication and and education to and supported social interactions. families dealing employment with schizophrenia. help people find

and keep jobs.

If you or someone you know has schizophrenia, these resources can help. Visit SAMHSA’s Early Serious Mental Treatment Locator and Behavioral Health Treatment Locator at SAMHSA.gov. Or, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD).

Learn more at SAMHSA.gov/Serious-Mental-Illness

SAMHSA’‘s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. , AM J

1-877-SAMHSA-7 [1-877-726-4727] - 1-800-487-4889 (TDD) - www.samhsa.gov

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration