What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood mental illnesses. Many people think it is multiple personality disorder. Schizophrenia is “a long-term mental disorder of a type involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behaviour, leading to faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion, and a sense of mental fragmentation” (Oxford Languages). Schizophrenia affects 20 million people worldwide. One of the main symptoms of schizophrenia is psychosis. Psychosis causes the brain to lose touch with reality, people will often hear voices in their head telling them what to do, harmful or helpful. Psychosis can be very difficult to understand unless you yourself have experienced it. I want to help raise awareness on how schizophrenia affects people’s daily lives and help people understand what schizophrenia really is.
What can I do for now?
There are a few things that I can do to help educate people in my community about schizophrenia. One easy way for people to learn about schizophrenia is by watching TED talks and reading up about it. This may help people learn a bit more but I am not sure how many people will actually be interested in doing this. There is a video game I played (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) where the main character has psychosis, the game constantly has voices whispering about you, mocking you, lying to you, and also encouraging you. The game developers worked with medical professionals to have an accurate representation of psychosis. I felt like I understood a lot more about what it is like to live with psychosis after playing through the game. Although it doesn’t go into schizophrenia it could help people understand more about psychosis which is one of the main symptoms of schizophrenia. I plan on sending out a survey to gauge people’s knowledge of schizophrenia and send a second one after asking them to watch videos and review a few articles on schizophrenia.
A few sources to learn about schizophrenia:
Ways that you can help
- Letting me know in the comments any questions you have
- Some misconceptions you or people around you have
- Being more accepting of people with mental disabilities, not just schizophrenia.
Bhandari, Smithra. “Schizophrenia: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, 21 Jan. 2020, www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/mental-health-schizophrenia.
Carey, Elea. “Psychosis: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 29 Sept. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/psychosis.
Longden, Eleanor, director. The Voices in My Head. TED, 2013, www.ted.com/talks/eleanor_longden_the_voices_in_my_head#t-568680.
Saks, Elyn, director. A Tale of Mental Illness — from the Inside. TED, 2012, www.ted.com/talks/elyn_saks_a_tale_of_mental_illness_from_the_inside?language=en%C2%A0.
Tanara, as told to Paula Derrow. “‘I Have Schizophrenia’: What It’s Really Like to Live With the Mental Illness.” Content Lab U.S., Johnson & Johnson, 10 July 2019, www.jnj.com/personal-stories/i-have-schizophrenia-what-its-really-like-living-with-the-mental-illness.
. “Schizophrenia.” NAMI, 2021, www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia.