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An Introduction to Schizophrenia Spectrum & Other Psychotic Disorders

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 20th 2017

Schizophrenia Resources

Nature of Schizophrenia

A Brain Disease

Schizophrenia is a brain disease that causes problems with normal brain functioning. People with this condition show odd and often highly irrational or disorganized behavior. The brain is where thinking, feeling and understanding of the world takes place). A brain disease, like schizophrenia, changes that thinking, feeling, and understanding. Symptoms include difficulty:

  • thinking clearly
  • interacting with others
  • completing tasks
  • expressing emotions

Even simple tasks like personal hygiene (bathing, eating, dressing, etc.) can become too difficult and are stopped. The disease can impact every aspect of the person's work, family, and social life. Family members frequently become distressed and overwhelmed by the challenges of providing care. They also often have trouble coming to terms with the changing of their loved one into a person with a serious life-long illness.

Psychosis and the loss of reality

A key feature of schizophrenia is psychosis. This happens when a person loses the ability to tell the difference between real and 'imagined' experiences. They lose touch with reality. People with schizophrenia commonly experience:

  • hallucinations - sensations that only they experience. This can include voices speaking to them that only they can hear.
  • delusions - fixed, mistaken ideas that the person holds. These are often odd or incorrect ideas about themselves and the world around them.

Both hallucinations and delusions do not happen voluntarily. They happen unconsciously and are not planned by the person who experiences them Typically, when people attempt to correct the delusions, the person will become defensive and will resist the idea that they are incorrect. From their perspective, the ideas seem to be true and make sense to them.

The hallucinations and delusions are 'imagined' in the sense that they do not have a solid basis in reality. However, they cannot be avoided and appear as real as other perceptions to the people who experience them. People with schizophrenia take the hallucinations seriously because of problems in their brain. Hallucinations are a sort of 'virtual reality' that people become trapped within. The delusional thoughts that form around these hallucinations are a natural response to what they believe they are experiencing.

People with schizophrenia tend to think and act differently than other people. This happens because the hallucinations, delusions and other symptoms of the disease cause them to experience reality very differently than other people. This loss of reality can be terrifying and cause them to struggle a great deal to make sense of their experiences. It is also very difficult for the people around them who are trying to understand why their loved ones are acting in such odd ways.

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Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Worried - - Apr 20th 2012

when my father came back from the vietman war I was told by my mother that he suffered from this diease, but I guess he got better as time progressed.  He lived with us when he had gotten sick and he died at the age of 55, but I remember him seeing things that weren't really there, he claimed someone was following him and that he sees a truck coming down the road, but none of it was true.  I don't believe he was ever taken medicine to help control this diease at all and I' m wondering if it's hereditary in the family.  Are there test that can be taken to find out if you have inherited this trait? 

my opinion - sddf - Jul 5th 2011

I see many similarities between schizophrenia and religious people. Both imagine beings who aren’t there GOD, entities like angels, people, beings, saints, etc… they firmly belief in something that “isn’t really there” its like telling a devoted person that god doesn’t exist and if he doesn’t show you any proof he must be imagining it. Why aren’t religious people called schizophrenics or is catalogued as some form of schizophrenia. I live in Mexico, a deeply religious country with many devoted people. They believe in many many things they cant prove to others, yet, they are not diagnosed as schizophrenics or crazy people who imagines things, including talking to someone who “isn’t there” and more crazy, to someone they haven’t even seen, they just imagine he is there


I think there are many things science, medicine have to check before putting out a statement or a conclusion or a result of any disease. I say think again, if you diagnosed religious people, as you should (according to science), who are “crazier” than schizophrenics, then 95% of the world population would be mentally ill. Im just saying, check again.


No disrespect intended to anyone

whats your opinion - turkish - Feb 3rd 2011

i had a rough childhood i come from a turkish old school traditionalist muslim family. i was born and raised in australia but i was raised turkish. last year i was involuntarily put into hospital becouse i had a abit of a run in with the law, in wich we had an armed stand off because i refused to let them on my property. it all resolved itself out peacefully but in hospital because i had a history with depression and was abit paranoid about the end of the world coming soon, and the state of the muslim world being destablised from western influences, i was diagnosed with scitzo phycosis. i dont reckon i have it. but on the other hand it does make sense to me. i have a very good life, i work and have a very active social life, i have many freinds and have always found it easy picking up girls ( getting there numbers). but i never was able to go into a relationship with a girl for more than a month. as i said i have allot of freinds and pretty much know everyone from the neighborhood. but the thing is im very lonely and i like to talk to myself. no one knows this. not even my closest freinds even though we are more like brothers. i like to imagine having a girlfreind who loves me. i like  trying to make her happy by spoiling her and pampering her. i have fake conversations with her and imagine jus hugging her for hours on end. i am very lonely and deppresed when i am alone. that is why i really use my home like a hotel jus to sleep in. when im at work or out with my freinds im always smiling and having a laugh but when im alone, i sink into a spiral of deppresion. my last girlfreind told me i have a fear of intimacy. but is it wrong to not want to have your heartbroken, i say this but i have broken my fair share of hearts, im 21 years old and have had another run in with the law last week and this time its seroius, it will most likely result in some jail time. i have a reputation of not backing down or bichin out from a fight no matter what the consequence. i am a muslim, and i do believe and constantly thank god. but when im alone in my fortress of solitude (thats what i call my home) i constantly think of suicide and the only reason i have never attemtd it is because it is harram (a very big sin) and becuase of this i think of joining the turkish army and going to the mountains and dying whilst fighting the kurdish fighters ( even though i dont see them as terrorist). i wish i had a girlfreind who could understand me but its always my fault becouse i dont talk about this. even with my shrink i dont talk about my problems. we talk about politics and football. he sais im too gaurded about my problems but i dont want to look low infront of anyone. i just want to love and be loved by some one. every girlfreind i have i treat them very nice but i never tell them i love them i dont lie to them or cheat on them its jus when i feel were getting to emotionally close i act like an ass to them then if they dont break up with me i break up with them, i jus dont want to tell anyone how lonely i am. i thank you all for this website, becouse i have never told anyone that i am lonely. i want help but i dont know what to do. i wish i could go and talk to a shrink with a mask on and get everyfn over and done with without him knowing who i am.

Removing stigma of Schizophrenia - - Nov 5th 2010

How do you remove stigma from mental illness diagnosis? 

Hearing voices - Prof. dr. Marius Romme (psychiatrist) - Sep 19th 2010

This websit misses  essential information about hearing voices called auditory hallucination in psychiatry

 Hearing voices with the caracteristics of auditory hallucinations like hearing somone speaking with out an observabel source in the outside world and perceived as "not me", is in itselves not a sign of madness or psycho-pathology. In patient with hearing voices it is in 70% related to serious trauma and the voices express memories and emotions involved with this traunatic experience.

It is threfore harmful to only interpret voices as a symptom of an illness and only give medication, without analysing the relationship with the life events of the person Voicehearers should be supported i coping with their voices and with the emotional problems that lay at their roots.

need help - priyanka desouza - Oct 30th 2009

          I would like to know what can be done for a person who is physically able to speak and communicate normally almost freezes like stone under stress conditions and cannot speak a word at that time.Is there any way by which such a person can be encouraged to speak normally when he or she is being rebuked or held responsible for having done a mistake may be for his own fault or for somebody else's fault. Whenever the person is being charged or scolded he immediately retires into a shell of silence and cannot speak a word in protest,even if the allegations made against him are baseless the person cannot react or oppose.He is very well qualified and a doctor himself doing post graduation in surgery and is skilled enough. He has considerable amount of courage and confidence but seems to lose all his confidence and cannot react at all during stressful situations involving himself. he seems to be at a loss of words.he even starts crying at times. He has not been able to acquire too many friends  from his childhood. In a span of 25 yrs that he has walked on this earth for, he hardly has just 1 or 2 friends,none of them are close ones. He is my fiance and whenever there is a disagreement or if I complaint about anything to him regarding his inability to communicate he freezes like stone cannot speak a word even if he wants to.Is this a kind of disease ? Is this early sign of any mental disorder? This person has a family history of schizophrenia and mental disorders .please help

Some of my thinking process - neen - Sep 24th 2009

I am keeping pets since 14yrs to kill my loneliness also to share unconditional love with animals. I have some school friends, some college friends also. i am a bit shot tempered also. I don’t like to get angry but in my life one or the other situation is so created that I can’t avoid being annoyed. I have faced lots of failure in my academics (studies) but never gave up. I love spending time with small children , pet, old people. I like social work .

Do you think I need to take some special care during pregnancy.

 Please go through the mail I have sent before framing any conclusion about my behavior

Please conceal my identity      


Some of my thinking process - neen - Sep 24th 2009

Being unmarried still I like to imagine my self married. I love imaginary pampering of my imaginary spouse. This all happens when I don’t have work to do or When my dad creates nauscence at home and spoils the environment of house by beating mom, using bad words.

As a human being I want some affection from the people around me. Only the point is I know what ever I am doing is imaginary/fake but I fear that some day if I will be unable to differentiate between the real and fake what will happen.

Please go through the mail I have send before framing any conclusion about my behavior

Please conceal my identity

what about me - neen - Sep 24th 2009

My mother is suffering from schizophrenia. When I and mom use to visit doctor he once told me that he sees excess anxiety disorder in me when I talk about the pain my mother has faced in her 25 yrs of marriage. She use to eat a small piece of bread and use to work and weep a lot when she was pregnant at the time my brother was born Is the deficiency the reason for her disease. I am 24yrs old soon I’ll be married soon.

Do you think even I will suffer like her after pregnancy?

What I should at the time of my first pregnancy to avoid this disease?

I don’t want my better half to know about this disease in my family, people don’t take it in right way. I want to be the best wife, mother, daughter and daughter-in-law. Just this fear of disease is killing my happiness every moment.

Actually when my mom had an attack. She could not recall any thing in that phase of her attack. She was screaming, dancing, yelling . even today if we talk about it she never believes me. Dr. has prescribed SIGZODON and other medicine to avoid side effects

medication - andreas pouros - Sep 15th 2009

i have been diagnosed as schisophrenic 4 years . i am on quietiapin and carbamazipan combined . before that i was on varios other types of medication 4 years . alltogether 8 years and been addmitted 8 times. the first time was because my good friend hanged himself 4 years after his brother hanged himself and his mother did not want me at the funeral. i told the nurses this was my main concern and they told me it had nothing todo with why i was in there. they told me i had a cannibis problem and that was my problem. the mother of my friend then made a public protest that the mental health team was to blame for her sons death. this is what spiraled me into this life of medication and going back to the hospital concerning this story trying to find answers. can something be done about this and also is the meds i am on going to harm my brain even more . please get back to me and dont use my name .thank you for your time and trouble.

Not environmental - - Mar 25th 2009

I am saddened to read the above post which is trying to say that perhaps schizophrenia is environmental and not biological.?  This couldn't be further from the truth.  How could you ever be so uninformed as to blame a parent for creating this, or countless other, mental disturbances?  This is precisely the kind of attitude that encourages people to place horrible stigma on mental illness.

Basically you are saying that this could be prevented by just "trying harder" or being a better person? Just because a disease is hereditary doesn't mean EVERY personn in a family gets it!

 Do you know someone with brain cancer? Does EVERYONE in their family have it too?  And more importantly, do you blame that too on the person? 

I work with people who have schizophrenia every day.  Before they became ill they were all well educated, active, working members of their communities.  (Schizophrenia generally strikes in the early 20's.) They all had great relationships with their families too, families who have to mourn the former lives of their sons and daughters who now live in a very different world than the ones they lived in before schizophrenia.

Genetic? - Rick - Mar 23rd 2009

How do you explain the fact that twins separated at birth and put into different environments can develop vastly different levels of maturity and mental stability. The role genetics play is minimal at best. Most genetic studies are funded by drug companies. As the esteemable Mr. Limbaugh says, "always follow the money."

The root cause of the vast majority of mental illness, regardless of label, is the lack of mature shepherding of a child through the terrible two's. It is at that stage of development that a child learns their ultimate place in the world and that they are not the center of that world. If a child is led through this time maturely and patiently by a firm but loving caregiver with a long-term view rather than "I will do anything to make this human being who is trying to assert himself as an individual to shut up and stop crying" then the odds of phsycosis is vastly reduced.

Editor's Note: It is understandable that this commenter is angry at the pharma companies for perceived and actual manipulation of data and sometimes predatory marketing practices - many people are angry about this.  However, the core point he seeks to make here - that serious mental illness is caused by poor parenting - is fundamentally incorrect and unsupported by the evidence. Both genetics and environment play out intertwined roles in creating serious mental illness.  Poor parenting doesn't help anyone, but it doesn't cause serious mental illness on its own.  

To Janveir - - Mar 21st 2009

hello Janveir wow word for word in a lot of spots from my spot... go figuyre hey I always knew but let u b. KARMA SUCKS bud, These are the reasons why people rotate in a circle an dnever better themselves  your bud Michael K.

PLz help me.. - Sapphire Ruby - Feb 8th 2009

I have been recently taken to a Docter and she has prsecribed a medicine and on further research i gathered my disease could be schizophrenic psychosis. But you see, I talk to my imagnary friend knowing very well that such a person do not exist. I do it because i am lonely and it is consoling to belive(though i vry well know its pseudo) that i have a friend. I can stop it this if i want but as said i dont want it until i really get a good friend/companion. So my doubt is .. Do i have schizophrenia? I maen in my case, socially i am very active, everyone likes me nobody knows about this unless if i tell them. And by takin those medicines will it affect me in any other way?? plz do help me.

schizophrenia - precious - Jan 11th 2009

..just wanna know if schizophrenia is hereditary?

Editor's Note: There does appear to be evidence that Schizophrenia runs in families, but the relationship is not perfect.  If you have close relatives with Schizophrenia, you are more likely to have it yourself, but that doesn't mean that you will get it.  Just that an increased vulnerability to getting it exists for you, statistically.

hello (: - Lola - Dec 5th 2008

ummm, i need help.

what would a person be called if they practice this in the medical field?

would they be called just a therapist?

?? - brianna - May 7th 2008

i cant find the very much history on this for my high school research paper... have any ideas??

Help with finding a job - - Apr 10th 2008
There are many agencies out there that assist people with disabilities and mental illness in finding a job and providing long term support.  This is what I do for a living.  It varies state to state.  Can you tell me where you are located? Start with contacting your local State Vocational Rehabilitation Office or local high schools.  They should have a list of agencies to contact. 

son 21years old - cheryl - Mar 29th 2008

my son has schizophrenia. He is living at home with my husband and me. He cant find a job because of his schiz. He has had jobs but leaves after a week or two. He has attended college for game design and loved that. BUT NOW he is going to have to pay back the college and he cant find a job. He does nothing but sets in his game room. I have to pull him out and make him come with us. He doesnt have many friends. When I run into my friends and talk to them, he will ask me if I know them. He doesnt get excited about antthing. He was taking meds but went off them. Is there places out there that will hire people with schiz? Thanks

orthomolecular treatment for scizophrenia - sarah d - Mar 21st 2008


my 24 year old son has been diagnosed with scizophrenia and has been    hospitalized  3 times for attempting suicide, he is very heavily drugged but is still hearing voices. i read about orthomolecular therapy.

has any body have any knowledge about this .

Recovery of schizophrenia is possible! - Lia - Feb 25th 2008

I do not agree about what has been wrttten here about schizophrenia! Before 1999 I myself was a paranoid schizophrenic person for 3 1/2 years, but with the help of several years of indivual psychotherapy I recovered completely. Since half 2002 I don't take psychofarmaca any more!     My psychiatrist and my psychotherapist invited me to write my personal, autobiographic story and I really felt for doing so. Now this story has been sent to the first italian writing competition and will end in a 2008-book. For I am dutch born, within 2008 I will also personnally publicate my story in the dutch spoken territories!   


i need to know something - p chirombe - Nov 27th 2007

how can i implement behavioural theory on someone using cannabis . i want to help him change his cannabis smoking behaviour

Schizoaffective, or Schizophrenia? - - Nov 20th 2007


Could someone please explain to me the difference between these 2 diagnoses?

My roomate is very paranoid, currently takes Abilify among others.

In light of the fact she was just hospitalized again this past week, I'd

like some idea of what I can expect upon her discharge.

Thank You

Editor's Note:  Schizoaffective disorder occurs when symptoms for schizophrenia and either bipolar disorder or major depression occur at once.  Pure schizophrenia doesn't have the mood component that schizoaffective disorder contains.  Both have the psychotic component.   

Friend in need - Julie - Nov 14th 2007

I have a friend that suffered from Anorexia as a teen.  We were in a mixed up relationship in which is is now with my ex.  She works at the local gym and says I am stalking her and my ex when i go to work out. A schedule that I maintained through my breakup. We started talking several months ago and she wanted out of the relationship with my ex because she is abusive. This lasted for 3 months until I told her that until she leaves the situation we could not talk to each other any more.  She was going behind my ex's back ...calling me constantly when she was not around and even meeting me at a mutual friends house several times. 

I tried to help her with the abusive situation but now I believe she has more of an emotional illness.  I care about her , even through the lies about me stalking... and know she needs help.  Its hard for me ... any ideas of what i can do?

Kids are Americans too! - Priscilla Protasowicki - Nov 12th 2007
I would like to applaud Bill O'reilly on his new book, "Kids are Americans Too!" Hearing the news everyday makes me sick when I hear about the things that young children endure! I have a big heart when it comes to children. They are truly the only innocent people we have in this world and their endearment amazes me and gives me hope!!

When I heard about the two sociopaths that kidnapped this 8 year girl about a week ago, my soul just sunk. I don't understand what is wrong with these men and how and why they could ever rape a sweet and caring and innocent child and then strangle her with a the story goes.

These men obviously choose what they want to see. They don't see the darkness of this inhumanity. Many and I blame it on child pornography, for one! These people that create this visualization of child sex paint an innocent picture for grown men that have a naive and unassuming mentality. There are many sociopaths and people with diluted health... They are mentally and psychically sick!

Many mothers today...are forced to work while they are abandoned by the father of their children. Many women today...say good ridden! We're losing good men... to war, or they leave to find a better life, better job elsewhere, or a better looking woman! Many women say good ridden because they have no hope left and the men that do stay become more of a burden than reliable, responsible, and dedicated fathers!!

What is happening to our men?? Studies have found that all men carry a gene in the Y chromosome called the SRY gene! What they have found is that this gene has been linked to schizophrenia. If this study is true, this would mean that all men suffer from the momentary or periodical signs of the disease, schizophrenia! Men going through hormonal balancing are more likely to experience these symptoms. Could steroids play a beneficial part in stabilizing their individual imbalances?

When we see child pornography, we wonder why we can look at it and feel disgust and weirdness, and then we wonder how certain people can look at it and feel aroused. I highly believe that ending the war on child abuse has more to do with this gene than we can ever imagine! Looking into the balance of a mans hormones may lead to the realization of how to distinguish sex offenders.

Editor's Note: There are a few major inaccuracies in this commenter's understanding that demand correction: 1) Schizophrenia and sociopathy have nothing to do with one another, contrary to the implicit connection this commenter has made by posting about child rape under our Schizophrenia topic. For that matter, most sociopaths are not child rapists (e.g., pedophiles).  2) It is not true that all men suffer from momentary or periodic signs of schizophrenia (or sociopathy for that matter). Only a minority of people will ever experience signs of either of these conditions.  3) Schizophrenia and sociopathy both have complex multifactorial causes.  It is not true to suggest that if someone has a gene associated with schizophrenia that they will necessarily go on to have the disorder.  I could go on ... 

how can i get help? - - Oct 31st 2007
I lost my daughter in january. i lost my ability to work in june (no longer able to continue in my career). My fiance left in april. Im ready to collapse. i have a history of depression and panic attacks.I have meds but cant seem to stay on task to take them on a daily basis. I seem to "freeze up" and feel unable to perform even simple everyday chores. i cry much of thetime and find myself angry the rest of the time.i dont feel capable of living alone. im always afraid.usually imagined fears. i feel im having what use to be called a nervous breakdown.i cant trust myself to not bring harm to myself. the thought of dying brings a sense of peace. i know i need help, but i have literally no money.who can i contact to get the help i need before its too late?

looking for idea - Christian - Oct 22nd 2007
I am currently working on my thesis film; a medical documetary on Schizophrenia. This documentary will explore what it means to suffer from schizophrenia as well as attempt to deal with the issue of stigma and discrimination through the sharing of stories, ideas and successful initiatives from those living with or around the illness.

I am looking for anyone who has been affected by this illness (i.e. afflicted persons, family members, medical staff, etc.) who would be willing to provide their view point.  This is on a volunteer basis only as I am working on a student budget.


7 yr. old paranoid schizophrenic - Melissa W. - Oct 6th 2007
hello,  as I'm reading all of these I'm feeling very sick and shakey.  My adorable environmental loving, fish catching, mini steve Irwinn, all american son was dx. last week with paranoid schizophrenia and is in a mental institution.  Insurance will not help so we are paying $450/day for the next couple of months...oh did I mention he's turning 8 on Sunday?  I think my heart will break and I may never sleep again...he was dx. with autism last spring, as it resembles this and he may still be on the spectrum.  I've been tackling autism with a vengance since he was 2 yrs. old knowing something was very wrong, but after it was all said and done I was on the wrong trail.  I'm a spiritual person and know this is this little brown eyed blonde haired boys destiny, I just wish I could soften his blow.  It is rare to be so young ===like veryyy rare....Maybeee he's really just a psychic medium seeing dead people!!!just kidding.. well god bless you all think of Griffin and say a prayer and mark mine and his words..."He will do something so spectatuclar in this life".    Any words of wisdom?  email me.  Melissa W.

Should I become engaged? - From PR - Aug 16th 2007

I have been dating a man who has been diagnosed approximately 7 years ago with schizophrenia (he was around 17 and now he is 24). He's also medicated for epilepsy. We've been dating for 6 months and known each other for 9 months now. I love him but I am not deeply in love with him because I won't do so until I feel him clear with his feelings towards me. I am so grateful I have found this page. I have read people's comments on personal experiences. Before this, I had not heard anything from live experiences nor knew about symptoms. We share lots of values in common and our relationship is so far so good. Though, I would like to improve our communication to excellent. But I am working on that.

I don't think I have pity on him. I don't think -by any means- that I 'll have pity on him. I consider it as a reality that has to been worked on and accept. I don't want to brake our type of relationship; that is looking like becoming stronger, beacuse of getting afraid of committing myself to an unstable schizophrenic. I understand the key element here is open and truthful communication but I am some how worried on how -if so- he can distort communication, manipulating reality unconciously. And although he's medicated, how his condition is possible to progress.

In the 9 months I have been knowing him I haven't seen symptoms of agressiveness, hygiene defficiency, nor depression, among any other hard to treat symptoms. He's certainly clumsy. He's an amazing Poet and says the voices help him compose the writings. That I am aware of, he hasn't told me anything negative about the voices and he knows and accepts them as symptoms of his condition.I am also worried about how much can affect him every epilectic breakdown, although he has been having approximately one every 2.6 yrs.

Though there's not a cure yet, but there's highly effective medication I wonder how common is the progression on this illness. Since he's so intelligent but some how laizy, I wonder how much I can demand from him; up until when it is enough to push him or exhort him to manage or do something for his own well.

How advanced is science in finding better effective treatment to this neurological  condition? As you can see, I am worried. And I believe I am capable of carrying out a relationship with him because I have not found a man in my life with all his values and qualities, love, intelligence...etc...I don't want to leave him for uncertain factors. But I need most of this questions to be answered.

Could someone assist me? I'll appreciate it! Thanks!


Schizophrenia - Caroline - Jul 11th 2007

I'm 17 years old, and my brother suffers from schizophrenia. He's 24 years old, and was diagnosed when I was 14. His personality has definitely changed. He's a shell of someone I once knew. He's still the sweetest guy, and has never been violent. But he can no longer focus, carry on a conversation like he did before or do the things he used to. Perhaps some of it has to do with the strong medications he's on. When he became ill, It felt like he died, but I could'nt grieve, because he was not dead. My mother's dreams of him going to college, getting married, get a descent job is something he can't do right now.

However, I am not ashamed about his desease, and I think he is wonderful for coping so well with it. He has many diferent symptoms, but he don't see people that are'nt there, he's not suicidal and my friends think he's hot. He showers every day and likes to dress up. I feel like I have learnt so much from him, and trying to be supportive of him has kept me from acting out as a teenager. If he can carry on life with that horrible desease, then I will not complain about hearing him talk at night, playing loud music and asking me how many people there are in a room (he hear voices). I love my brother and I have finally been able to accept his desease. 

up rise in schizophrenia cases - - May 4th 2007
WHAT IS HAPPENING schizophrenia seems to be crawling out of the wood work these days is there a comon thread causing this brain function disorder? I find it hard to believe it root cause is a hereditary factor....anyone have any thoughts about this?

Desperately Seeking Help - Dee Smith - Apr 26th 2007
I've been diagnosed about 2 years ago as having the disease. I ran a shop for over 10 years doing computer repairs. I didn't believe that my doctor was telling the true until one day I was told that I usually talk to myself and that I was doing it all the times. There has been times when I really thought that I was conversating with someone and then to find out that they just wasn't there. I believe that my disease was surpressed based on the facts that I was raising 4 kids, 2 foster children, and working two to three jobs at one time. However, when I stopped working - folks would say that I just would talk to myself, be figetty, and then stay sleep for long periods of time. I was used to staying up two days at a time also. Right now as of 4/2007 I went to visit a family member in another state. They don't know that I have the disease and I feel like I'm being dishonest with them by not telling them. I ran out of medicine around two weeks ago and have been getting by by using Benadryl to sleep at night and 2 cups of coffee to perk me up. I still go through the mood swings though- but I try to control them by just walking away when I start to feel uncomfortable. As of today, I have been unable to maintain a job anywhere. What should a man in my position do now? I need Help.

help please - Michelle - Feb 24th 2007

My husband was diagnoxiced with depression, after the loss off his grandmother and the hurricane ( he was a working for nasa for 21 years before this) about a year ago, since then.

He was put on paxil and wellbutrin, his anger inproved allot, then he descided that he could'nt continue working. he went to his physciatrist who has diagnoxid him with bipolar, and prescribed more meds that he discontinued taking. I have my own disorders, from childhood and so on, and i had to go to work to make ends meet. now i'm afraid to leave the house, i have kids, he has never harmed them, but the other day i found out while at work, he tormented a puppy we had. i can't go into details but, i'm afraid. I love my husband, but I can't take any chances. But we need food in the house and without insurance ,I need money to get meds, I'm just at a loss, He is getting worse, and I'm not so sure it's bipolar. His mood is eighther good or depressed, He can't make decisions, I can't talk to Him without a episode of Him getting angry, He remembers what he does, then feels bad and cries, then he will laugh, I just don't know where to turn, I was physcically and mentally abused throughout my life, and this is my first job, I'm just not doing well with it all,

thank's for listening


afraid in louisiana

Who am I living with? - STRUGGLING - Feb 3rd 2007
I am not sure what is diease or what is mannipulation. She uses alchol as a remedy inbetween doses as the dose wears off to soon. Dr.S. Increased dose however she is alchol dependent now.  Is this all part of the ride we (my kids and I ) are in for?  We are completly frustrated, angry and also enabling at times so as to avoid a fight. She wants the addl. Alchol to help sleep.  What can we do to come to terms with this?  Desperatly seeking sanity.

How Can I help - J.Torres - Jan 25th 2007
My 16 yr. old sister is going through a hard time right now trying to be responsible for her self, and having to deal with her mother's mood swings. My family and I have tried to help and be there for my sister as much as we can legally. Being that my sister is still a minor, and dedicated to her mom I still feel that we should be doing much more. My step-mother has not technically been diagnosed with the disease, she has been on medication for depression for quite sometime now. I personally feel that she has this illness due to the fact that I used to be in a relationship with a man that was schizophrenic and they share the same symptoms. However, just as the article stated, someone who is lost or trapped in their own mind is going to be defensive toward any type of help we try to get her. So with that, and the fact that I feel we are the only help my sister has to turn to, I dont want to risk losing my contact with my sister by confronting her mother, or trying to force her to get help. She has already threatend my little sister that with the fact that if anything were to happend to her, my little sister would be the cause or reason for it. With that on my sister's shoulder's, and still having to deal with school, and her mother's mood swings. I feel forced and rushed to lend a hand, But where do I start? Please help!! I need advice, and direction. Much appreciated! - Sincerely, J. Torres

Can anybody help - Roeleen - Jan 21st 2007
Ive been on the internet the whole night trying to find more about the disorder and still need help. Can somebody email me? I need to know more about this. My friend is suffering most of these symptoms and also have this "visions" of other people in other dimensions. PLEASE HELP!

I understand what im reading - peter - Jan 9th 2007
I understand all that and thank you for writing the piece. However I am suffering these symptoms and I dont want to loose my "special gift" as it could be called, these voices. I know its silly and irrational but it stops from me getting help but hurts me at the same time.

I was diagnosed - Alexander - Nov 28th 2006
I was diagnosed about 4 years ago, I had no idea what the word schizophrenia meant and after going through lots of therapists and the judicial system I'm finally a free man. So I researched what exactly schizophrenia is and I never had any of those symptons. What was the psychologist thinking? I personally believe I was diagnosed and put on medicine so my insurance can pay everybody lots of money. They'll deny this though. Why even charge my insurance if that's not that case? Anyway I wouldn't really call what I used to have a disease. It all began when I got jumped by 2 kids and I made a non specific statement the next day that could be interpretted as a threat. I got charged and the 2 kids who jumped me and seriously injured me have yet to be charged with anything. Maybe I'm just an unlucky guy, maybe I did or do have a mental illness, whatever it is it sure isn't schizophrenia.

My husband has been dignosed 1 year ago - Valerie - Nov 27th 2006
I wish I found this kind of material was around a year ago when my husband was dignosed. I found the artical well written and easy to understand. Most of the material I found last year was more of a text book and clinical and very difficult to understand. Thank you for the information.

Good article - Pravin Pandit - Nov 25th 2006
My wife is suffering from schizophrenia for last five years.Most of the symptoms given in the article are observed in her. she is under medication and is improving. All these years it was very difficult to convince her of the illness and we had to force sometimes to take the medicine. Today after reading this article together she seams to have got the idea about what is happening with her. This will help her to cope up with the illness. Will it cure completely ?

to where can I get help - - Nov 4th 2006
Take the person to a local mental health unit. or ER. Most hospitals have mental health units and will begin processes to help her. Plus they will help her with insurances and finances.

where can i get help? - - Oct 27th 2006
Hi all, where can i get help for my cousin who has the sympthoms...i don't know where to go to get her help? Her family does not speak english and think she is possessed. Is there anyone i can call to have them save her? she has suicedal thoughts.

you're not alone - - Oct 26th 2006
I was in a psychiatric hospital myself afew years back at 16 years old, due to substance abuse, a man I met there had schizophrenia & he had spent the last 20 years in & out of hospitals.He was the loveliest man you could hope to meet but he killed himself last february because he couldn't take the way the world misunderstood him and viewed him by his illness only, anyone reading this, it's time to change the stigma that comes with mental illness, I'm now fully recoverd, & am studying to be a psychiatric nurse, so that I can help patients to see that if I can do it, anyone can.

Good work - no name - Oct 18th 2006
this is a very educational piece to the reader. it has helped me to learn more about the topic so i think that it is very well written compared to other articals that i have recently read.

hurt - c newton - Oct 11th 2006
hello, i would like to share just a little something with , I remeber when i was about 13 i would like to go down town and keep the less fortunate company i would save just a little money . not much maybe 5 or10 dollars people would always asked for 10 cents . i could never understand what 10 cent could do for someone , but my mother always taught us that if you could help someone do it . but have no regrets .so one day as i sat and talked i asked a man what can you get with 10 cents. he said maybe a cup of coffee ,i gave him a dollar ,you would have thought he had won the lottery .i did this for a long time ,never understanding why .my friends said i was stupid .i did not think so then and to this day still dont in 1985 my baby brother changed he has a mental problem ,voices in his head ,walking in middle of streets ,screams, oh could you not have a clear mind .i suppose god knew what lied ahead for my mothers family ,she was a very ,very strong woman .may she rest in peace. all i asked is if you see someone just a little different than yourself .if they ask for 10 cents.give with a smile and asked to pay it forward.and please dont judge because you never know what what the morning holds for you... love /hurt.. but blessed

Schizophrenia - - Sep 6th 2006
Hi. The article about this disease is really nice - it explains all. I have a very hard situation in my family - I'm 17, and my aunt has this disease. They are not living with us, nor in the same town, but her disease is greatly affecting everyone in my family, especially my father (her brother). She's been like this for about 13 years, and she showed symptoms after she was questioned and held in "prison" as a repoter during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She has tried numerous times to kill herself, the last time it was last summer. She is constantly taking medicines, which slow her down, but (of course) doesn't make her "become well". She can keep her hygiene, and cook, but she doesn't clean at all, she piles stuff just around, and regularly has weird and illogical ideas... We don't know how to help her :(

Help with Coping - Yolanda Riley - Aug 21st 2006
I found the following document to be very helpful. My son was diagnosed last week. What I read mostly fits him. The words commonly were used, not all patients. So that is very helpful also. Some behaviors he has displayed have been very violent and then he remembers the situation differently. That what was very confusing to me. I didn't realize what his thought process was now I do understand.

This is not all true!! - Jessica Hernandez - Jun 15th 2006

Okay first of all the hearing, and seeing things yeah, but other symptoms vary in the person. My biological mother has this "disease" my mother has no problem with any hygiene or taking care of a family. Heck my mom has more friends than me and i'm only 15 i may not live with my mom right now but she did raise me and i always talk to her even if she missed her meds one day she still maintained her personality as if she was my mom is not perfect but she never hurt me or any of my four siblings.

editor's note: Jessica is quite right to note that symptoms and severity vary for each individual. There are severe cases of schizophrenia and milder ones. Fewer symptoms are present in milder cases. The vast majority of people with schziophrenia are not at all violent.

Comment on 'Your reference to Schizophrenia' - Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. - Mar 29th 2006

In constructing a document on such a sensitive topic as Schizophrenia, it is all but impossible to please everyone. We have done what we could as a health education site to create a medically and psychologically accurate picture of the illness with regards to disease process and treatment. The goal in this case is to give people information they need to accurately identify the illness when it comes on, and to describe and destigmatize available forms of help and treatment so that affected people can know to take advantage of them. We are sorry to learn you have found the document to be biased (we disagree save for the idea that our comments are presented in the context of a medical/health website), and believe that a careful re-reading of the document would perhaps take away some of your fears.

Continuum/spectrum aspects of Schizophrenia are well represented in the document (see pages marked 'Historical and Contemporary Understandings', and 'Formal DSM Schizophreniform Diagnoses' for more information). It is possible to take the idea of the continuum of schizophrenia too far, however. Maybe a better way to say it is that anyone can become psychotic, but not anyone can become schizophrenic. It is simply not the case that 'we may all be prone to hear voices'. Most people never will no matter how much stress they may go through. They may well show other sorts of disturbing and disabling symptoms, but they will not necessarily hear voices or the numerous other symptoms characteristic of Schizophrenia. That is, not unless they are genetically loaded for schizophrenia in the first place (see page 'Historical and Contemporary Understandings'), or they are dissociating, severely depressed or are using cocaine or similar stimulant drug that can create psychosis by itself, etc.. Though such latter conditions might qualify as 'psychotic episodes', they would not be instances of schizophrenia. It's a subtle but vital (from a treatment point of view) distinction to make. Anyway - thank you for writing and sharing your opinion.

Your reference to Schizophrenia - Keith Ford - Mar 29th 2006
This is my first visit to your web site and upon reading how you have chosen to describe the diagnosis of schizophrenia and its symptoms I find myself extremely dissapointed. You portray a very medicalised version of this and your decriptions of the symptoms are very biased and stigma enhancing. I do hope that when this part of your site is reviewed that you consider the impact that such articles have upon people. What about addressing a continuum approach that we may all be prone to hear voices? where does the stress vulnerability concept sit in your understanding of this diagnosis? This would be more useful than the rational/irrational dichotomy. I would welcome your feedback on this issue and will certainly be interested to hear what strides you are making to reduce stigma for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, your understanding of the concept of recovery and social inclusion for this group of people. Many thanks for reading this!

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