Thursday, May 23, 2013


Today is Schizophrenia Awareness Day in Canada. While you may have heard about this disorder, there is much to learn about what Schizophrenia is, and how a person can deal with having it.
The brain is a mysterious organ. Throw in some unbalancing of its function, and you have a disorder. Schizophrenia is a biochemical brain disorder that affect one's perception of real life and what is being made up inside the brain. Delusional periods are a major factor in Schizophrenia, and can often be frightening. Visual halluncinations, as well as hearing voices talking to them or about them, are also very common occurances, and can be so terrifying that they may be telling the person to injure themselves, or that they will hurt them. This can all result in paranoia (thinking that they are being watched, that people are out to get them) withdrawl from family, friends & social circles, and potential suicide ideations.
How does one know they have Schizophrenia? Usually it starts off slowly, in pre-teen/teen years, and may just seem like "mental growing pains". In the beginning, people may find themselves unable to have downtime or to relax, have difficulty sleeping and concentrating on easy tasks. This may result in them distancing themselves from others. They may start speaking in terms others won't understand, due to episodes.

Those who are "in remission" (ie: not experiencing epsisodes) are able to function well in their day to day lives. However, during a time where episodes are happening, one may find themselves in a depression, seeing & hearing things that aren't real, and these can be very disheartening for the person suffering.

How does one live with Schizophrenia? A trip to the doctor is the most important thing to do first, if Schizophrenia is suspected. There are medications that help those with the disorder, to feel closer to themselves. A doctor and/or specialist will determine what type and dosage will work best for each individual, depending on the severity of episodes. Medication must be taken as prescribed to help create a liveable balance. Going off medication without consulting a doctor can be very dangerous for the person living with the disorder.

Do we receive calls from those living with Schizophrenia? Absolutely. Do we hear from their family members? Sure do. Families that have a Schizophrenia sufferer in their lives can learn all about this disorder by visiting Our phone line is always available as well if you have concerns or questions, or just need someone to talk to, at 613-238-3311.

Remember that Schizophrenia doesn't mean that the person living with it can't live a happy life. With proper medication and understanding of the disorder, one can function in society, just like anyone else can.

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