Schizophrenia is commonly misunderstood as 'split personality' but it is actually more a disorder of ‘split reality’. Because of this, schizophrenia is considered a major psychotic illness. It takes a while before people suffering from schizophrenia seek help. By the time they do, they would have experienced a losses in interpersonal relationships and daily functioning at school or at work. Schizophrenia affects both men and women equally and while it happens at any age, it usually occurs in adolescence or young adulthood.
6 Common Misconceptions About Schizophrenia
A person who is suffering from schizophrenia may show positive and/or negative symptoms. Positive symptoms refers a distortion or exaggeration of mental function (thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviours) that are normally present, whereas negative symptoms refer an absence of a mental function that is normally present.
An untreated person, as well as those around them, experiences great distress and confusion. In addition, persons with untreated psychosis are at a higher risk of suicide, aggression and drug abuse. It is therefore important to seek professional help early. Treatment usually entails a combination of the following:
The Early Psychosis Intervention Programme at IMH emphasises early detection and treatment. This team works closely with private doctors, polyclinics and social agencies to help spot the early signs of mental disorders amongst those aged 18–40. EPIP also works with educational institutions and youth workers to identify the onset of psychosis amongst the young.
These partners help to refer patients to IMH or, if applicable, jointly assess them. At EPIP, every outpatient is assigned a case manager, who will assist in managing his overall needs. Psychosis can be treated with medication, medical support and good family care.
For more information on EPIP, please call 6389 2972.
To make an appointment to see a doctor, please call 6389 2200.
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