Schizophrenia is a mental health condition which affects the way you think. It affects 1 in 100 people. It is not about having a “split personality”.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually classified into one of two categories - positive or negative.
- Positive symptoms - represent a change in behaviour or thoughts, such as hallucinations or delusions
- Negative symptoms - represent a withdrawal or lack of function that you would usually expect to see in a healthy person; for example, people with schizophrenia often appear emotionless, flat and apathetic
The condition may develop slowly. The first signs of schizophrenia, such as becoming socially withdrawn and unresponsive or experiencing changes in sleeping patterns, can be hard to identify.
People often have episodes of schizophrenia, during which their symptoms are particularly severe, followed by periods where they experience few or no positive symptoms. This is known as acute schizophrenia.
If you're experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, see your GP as soon as possible. The earlier schizophrenia is treated, the more successful the outcome tends to be.
Useful people to talk to:
Tel: 0300 304 7000
SANEline is a national mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support, guidance and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. They are open every day of the year from 4:30pm to 10:30pm.
Tel: 0300 123 3393
Mind can provide confidential information on a range of topics including types of mental distress, where to get help, drug and alternative treatments and advocacy. With information for local areas as well. Their infoline is open 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.