Printer Friendly


SCHIZOPHRENIA affects one in a 100 people at some point in their lives. Both men and women can develop it. Men tend to show symptoms in their teens or early 20s and women a few years later.

Common symptoms include hallucinations, delusions that you're someone famous or people are out to get you, apathy, depression, confused thinking, poor concentration and speech and inappropriate emotional responses, such as laughing at sad situations.

According to Paul Corry, spokesman for the National Schizophrenia Fellowship, violence is not a symptom of the illness.

"People with schizophrenia are far more likely to harm themselves than be violent towards the public," he says. "Statistics show that a person with schizophrenia is 100 times more likely to kill themselves than someone else."

Another common misconception is that schizophrenia is a split personality. "A schizophrenic has a breakdown of communication between different parts of their brain," explains Paul. "The activity of chemical messengers at certain nerve endings in the brain is unusual."

Nobody knows exactly what causes the illness and it's thought that it can be triggered by factors such as stress, bereavement or drug experimentation.

Some schizophrenics have larger spaces in particular parts of their brains which could suggest abnormal development in infancy.

"Although schizophrenia can't be cured, it can be treated and most people live ordinary lives," says Paul. "Medication can help to relieve symptoms, but people with schizophrenia need practical care from family, friends and employers."

About 25 per cent of people with schizophrenia experience just one episode in their lives, then make a full recovery. Half continue to experience symptoms, often at infrequent intervals. A further 25 per cent have a chronic form, with symptoms frequently present. And one in 10 people with schizophrenia die an unnatural death, usually suicide.

Where to go for help

- National Schizophrenia Fellowship Advice Service - 020 8974 6814. This is manned 10am-3pm, Monday to Friday, or e-mail them at

- Mind Helpline - 08457 660 163

- The Samaritans - 08457 909090

- Sane - 08457 7678000
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 21, 2002
Previous Article:Health ZONE: Hypochondriac Corner; Do I bruise easily? Or have I got leukaemia?
Next Article:Health ZONE: DENTAL HYGIENE: Give plaque the brush off; THIS week scientists announced the invention of a spray which gives lifelong protection...

Related Articles
Untreated schizophrenia may spare brain.
Therapists Fight To Reverse PORT Recommendations.
Women Often Defy Schizophrenia's Classic Course.
Grieving couple praise charity.
Drama to help remove barriers.
Worrying research on drug ecstasy.
Central City News: Sex shame boss of care home jailed; HANDSWORTH: Relationship with mentally ill man.
Psychological issues affecting women with breast cancer.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters