“Schizophrenia” is a term used to describe a complex, disabling mental illness. How severe the illness is varies by person and time period.
What causes schizophrenia?
The exact cause is not yet known though genetics may play a role. It can also be triggered by highly stressful events or substance abuse.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms vary by person. Common symptoms include:
Thoughts that are loose, or do not seem to relate to one another
Hearing or seeing things that others do not
Being out of touch with reality, or not able to tell what is real from unreal
Delusions (beliefs that are not fully based in reality)
Emotions seem to be absent or might seem to be the wrong ones for the setting
Loss of function, social withdrawal, intense fear
Odd speech habits such as talking to self in public, disorganized speech
Decrease in energy or drive
Odd sleep patterns
How is it treated?
There are many ways to treat schizophrenia. Treatment is often long term and may include:
Local support programs
Medical and psychiatric follow-up
Is there a cure?
At this time, there is no cure for the illness. Many people with the right treatment do lead happy, healthy, lives. We are still learning about the causes and cures for schizophrenia.
Who to Call
If you have other questions, please ask your doctor or nurse or call the Psychiatry Inpatient Unit at (608) 263-7525.
National Alliance on Mental Illness, Dane Co.
NAMI Dane County
2059 Atwood Avenue
Or in acute crisis you can call:
Journey Mental Health.
625 W. West Washington Ave
Madison WI 53703