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welcome to the help section: part two

Title of this article:  Schizophrenia:  Understanding the Disorder

(re-printed from a Canadian Mental Health Pamphlet and some editing)

 


        page 1. 

                You Don’t Have To Go It Alone:

        We know that schizophrenia affects one in every 100 Canadian – that means that 270,000 people will be diagnosed with this illness at some point in their life. 

 

        Any mental illness makes it difficult for people to cope with their emotions, to think clearly, and function in the community.  It can cause them to behave in unusual or inappropriate ways. 

        This booklet is for people with schizophrenia, their families, caregivers and anyone who is interested in  gaining a basic understanding of the disorder.  Along with information about the disorder, a new class of treatments available are discussed.  They offer new hope for people with schizophrenia and their families. 

        Although this booklet is not a substitute for important discussions between a  person with schizophrenia, their family, an physician, it can be used as a basis for questions and discussions about schizophrenia.

                Schizophrenia is a medical disorder.  Period.:

        Like epilepsy or diabetes, schizophrenia is a medical disorder – in this case of the brain.  People who suffer from this disorder must be seen as genuinely ill. 

                What schizophrenia is not:

        There are many misconceptions about mental illness in general – and schizophrenia  is particularly misunderstood.  Most of what people think they know about the disease is wrong. 

a) schizophrenia is Not a multiple or “split” personality.

b)      Schizophrenia is Not  caused by bad parenting.

 

There is no evidence to suggest that schizophrenia is caused by how  people have been treated as children or even adults. 

 

c)       Most people with schizophrenia are Not violent or dangerous.

 

Unfortunately, people with this disorder have been portrayed in the media and on television as aggressive, dangerous and homicidal.  Studies indicate that with their psychotic symptoms under control, these individuals are no  more likely to bee violent than anyone else.  Even when their symptoms are active, very few are violent.

 

d)      schizophrenia is Not the result of childhood trauma.