Schizophrenia Awareness Week - Part Three
19 May 2020
There isn’t a single test to diagnose schizophrenia, for a diagnosis to be made a doctor will ask a series of questions to determine medical history, mental health and any environmental factors that could be involved. Once that is complete, they may do a physical exam as well. The diagnosis itself will be confirmed by a psychiatrist, and symptoms will have been present for up to 6 months.
The questions that the doctor asks are all fairly general questions so don’t be concerned if they come up in other contexts.
Sometimes a diagnosis of psychosis may be given instead. This is a similar illness but usually means the symptoms are less severe or have been present for a short period of time. Many people with this diagnosis recover completely while others may develop schizophrenia later in life. (https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/diagnosis-of-schizophrenia)
We have found a few myths and facts around schizophrenia that are interesting as well:
MYTH: People with schizophrenia are always dangerous
TRUTH: While some people live with the risk of dangerous behaviour such as suicide or violence this only applies to approximately between 10% and 23% of people when they are unwell.
MYTH: Schizophrenia is very rare
TRUTH: While 1 in 100 Australians are diagnosed with schizophrenia, the World Health Organisation reports that there are around 20 million people worldwide who are affected by it. (Healthdirect 2018, WHO 2019)
MYTH: Schizophrenia is a split personality
TRUTH: This is not the case. Although the term schizophrenia literally means a split mind and was coined by Dr Eugen Bleuler, a Swiss psychiatrist, the condition does not really manifest itself in that way. It would be more accurate to regard the condition as one in which the mind becomes confused and disordered.
Schizophrenia Awareness Week – App of the Day!
The app today is called 3D Brain. This is a free app with the option to pay for an upgrade, but you will get all the below information with the free version.
This is an interactive learning app that allows us to move the brain around and find out about the different sections of our brain and how they work.
Sections can be selected and, using the menu on the right-hand side of the screen we are given information like an overview of how it works, case studies, associated functions, and event associated cognitive disorders. You can find out about substructures and there are links to research articles that have been done as well.
It’s a very cool one to download and have a play with.