What It’s Like To Suffer From Schizophrenia
Despite gaining greater media coverage there continue to be certain stigmas surrounding mental health issues.
Those who suffer from mental illnesses continue to suffer from social stigma and alienation through less than flattering depictions. Schizophrenia is perhaps the most stigmatized of mental illness and there are a lot of misconceptions that linger.
It is only through covering the symptoms and what schizophrenia is like that we can combat the stigma. Here are a few ways someone who suffers from schizophrenia experience the illness.
Loss of Self
“One of the earliest signs of schizophrenia is a ‘hazy’ understanding of one’s self,” writes Helen Nuneaton, an author at Assignment Help and Australianhelp. “Those who suffer feel like observers of their situations rather than active participants. When undergoing a schizophrenic episode they move through their lives on autopilot, unable to feel agency in how events unfold.”
Isolation and Depression
This lack of self can result in a feeling of utter detachment from reality. There’s a feeling of ‘otherness’ that if left untreated can result in depression and extreme loneliness. In turn, these bouts of depression can set off schizophrenic episodes. There are a number of different types of schizophrenic events.
Positive Schizophrenia is the most commonly discussed and depicted of the variants. It is marked by severe delusions, illogical thoughts, and false narratives. In extreme cases, it can be very frightening, including auditory and visual distortions or complete hallucinations. It is known as ‘positive’ in the sense that it is an active variant, rather than the other variants which tend to have more passive symptoms.
Negative Schizophrenia is a less outwardly pronounced variant of the illness but can be no less distressing. Its symptoms include a feeling of listlessness, lack of motivation and complete withdrawal from surroundings. Some who experience Negative Schizophrenia say it feels like they are a ghost, that their bodies and minds are barely solid. In extreme cases, those with this variant may be unable to speak.
Cognitive Schizophrenia manifests itself through an inability to engage fully the mind’s cognitive functions. It is often marked by confusion and a lack of concentration. Those undergoing an event will have difficulty comprehending new information and may have trouble constructing sentences verbally.
“Contrary to popular depictions, fully visual hallucinations are rare,” says Bryan Evans, a regular contributor to BoomEssays and UKWritings. “Often hallucinations take the form of visual, auditory or even scent distortion.”
With visual distortions, the sufferer’s brain will have trouble perceiving correctly, adding or subtracting important visual information to make sense of what is in front of them.
One of the most common features of schizophrenia is delusional narrative. Sufferers may fixate on unusual information and create elaborate narratives in order to form a recognizable pattern. It is difficult to shake these false narratives, and for those who aren’t familiar with the sufferer, it is tempting to attempt to reason a way through them.
One distressing by-product of these narratives are often the ‘commands’ that occur in the schizophrenic’s mind. In popular culture they have often been depicted as being ‘guided by voices’ but in actual fact they internal occurrences, seemingly at random. It is true that they can sometimes be bizarre or even destructive impulses, but they will not generally manifest in physical action.
Management of Symptoms
Schizophrenia has been extensively studied and yet continues to elude early detection. There is, as yet, no defined test to detect it, and like all mental illnesses, there is no cure. However, with mental health professionals becoming more familiar with it, those who suffer from schizophrenia are in a better position to manage the symptoms with antipsychotic drugs and therapy.
This article was kindly written and contributed by Chloe Bennet.
About the Author
Chloe Bennet is a health writer at Australian Assignment Service and Eliteassignmenthelp.com websites. She writes about eco lifestyle, mental health and self-help. Also, Chloe teaches academic writing at Academized portal.