Chronic Conditions

Schizophrenia


I am confused...

Schizophrenia is an illness that affects the normal functioning of the brain, where your thinking, feelings and behaviours are affected. 


Am I having schizophrenia?

Some of the symptoms you may experience include:  

Confused thinking and jumbled thoughts that do not link up

    • Delusions - fixed false beliefs, theories with no evidence or grounding 
    • Hallucinations - seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting something that is not present 
    • Low motivational levels

If not treated, these symptoms will likely persist or recur.


Why do I develop schizophrenia? 

Causes of schizophrenia are not fully understood. However, the development of schizophrenia is often a result of an interaction of factors that include: 


Biological 

 • Persons with relatives who have schizophrenia have an increased risk of developing the illness, as compared to the general population.
 • An imbalance in the chemicals naturally occurring in the brain.

Environmental factors and stress 

• Environmental factors (e.g. distressing life events) and stress are often considered as contributing factors in triggering the illness.   


 



  1. If I have Schizophrenia, am I having a split personality?
Schizophrenia is commonly misunderstood to mean that affected persons have a split personality, due largely to the misconstrued portrayal in movies and on TV. An example is Jim Carrey's character in "Me, Myself and Irene". However, when you have schizophrenia, you do not change between distinct multiple personalities. Instead, you may hear voices (hallucination) and may think that such voices are distinct personalities. Other possible symptoms include disjointed or bizarre thoughts. As such, schizophrenia is different from having split personality.
  2. At what age does schizophrenia appear?
Most of the time, the onset of symptoms of schizophrenia occurs during late adolescence or early adulthood.