25th July 2022 marks National Schizophrenia Awareness Day. Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects around 1 in every 100 people in the UK population. Most commonly, it can affect a person’s thought patterns, behaviours and their perception of the world around them.
As with many mental health conditions, the symptoms experienced as a result of Schizophrenia can vary from person to person, but it is often characterised by the presence of hallucinations and delusions. These are both a form of ‘positive’ symptom, where an individual may see, smell, hear, taste, feel or think something that is not caused by the environment or the people around them.
These symptoms can be very frightening to experience. Often there is a tendency to tell others the things they are experiencing ‘aren’t real’ – but it is important that we recognise they are real to that person. For many people living with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia, day to day life can be extremely challenging and isolating.
In fact, those diagnosed with Schizophrenia are 5-10% more likely to end their own lives within 10 years of diagnosis – making them around 2.5 times more likely than the average person to die by suicide.
But there is help out there:
Treatment for schizophrenia can range from medication to CBT and Psychotherapy, aimed at either weakening symptoms or challenging negative thought patterns.
For more information about schizophrenia and treatment options available, please follow the links below: