17 Nov Schizophrenia – A condition that interrupts normal brain function
Schizophrenia Awareness Week is held every year in May and is an important time to bring awareness to the challenges posed by this condition and break the stigma associated with Schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a condition that affects the normal functioning of the brain, interfering with a person’s ability to think, feel and act. People affected by Schizophrenia have one personality just like you, and do not experience “split personalities” which is a common misunderstanding of the condition.
While some people can recover from this condition or can manage their symptoms with time, for many this condition is a prolonged, debilitating and a distressing condition. About one in 100 people develop Schizophrenia at some time in their lives, with most people affected in their late teens or early twenties. If support is not sought, people with Schizophrenia can experience persistent symptoms that can lead to psychosis. These symptoms include confused thinking, delusions and hallucinations all of which impact the everyday thoughts and actions that let us function in our daily lives.
For best treatment outcomes, both medication and community support programs are essential. Medication is used to assist the brain to restore to its usual chemical balance, reducing or ceasing some of the symptoms. Community based programs can provide support on accessing information about Schizophrenia for people affected by the condition and their carers, linking people with mutual support groups, accommodation services, educational and training as well to help find suitable work. Understanding and acceptance from the community is an important aspect in helping individuals with Schizophrenia access support to better function and manage their symptoms.
If you know someone with suffers from schizophrenia and would like access to support please contact the Mental Illness Fellowship Queensland (MIFQ) on 1800 985 944 or visit their website https://www.mifq.org.au.
Author: Di O’Malley – Founder and Managing Director of Young Minds Health and Development Network and Counselling Psychologist.
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