What is psychosis?

She was a young woman, energetic in her pursuit of life until that fateful day. She was walking out of college when she suddenly heard a few middle-aged men talking about her. "Look at her," they said, "walking down the stairs". She began running, and the voices kept up with her, "she cannot run very…

My loved one has schizophrenia, how can I help ?

Hello and greetings. You are doing an incredible job already! Living with someone with schizophrenia can sometimes be hard. Even before we start, make sure schizophrenia is being treated, currently, the best evidence points toward psychotropic medication. If your loved one is diagnosed with schizophrenia but isn't on medication, please talk to a psychiatrist immediately.…

Schizophrenia – 10 things you absolutely must know

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Schizophrenia is one of the better known "diagnoses" out there. Popular references include John Nash in "A beautiful mind", a brilliant mathematical genius, who finds himself in trouble when he encounters this cruel disorder. Despite its celebrity status, schizophrenia is still very much an enigma, with the word schizophrenia eliciting a million different meanings. Here are…

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Rethinking Schizophrenia – The need of the hour

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I recently came across an article which emphasized the need to re-conceptualize "schizophrenia". Schizophrenia is one of the most well known yet least understood mental illnesses. The wide range of  clinical presentations, and a wide  variety of pathological findings, an even wider variety of treatment responses raise a lot of questions. It is quite surprising…

Treatment of schizophrenia

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"Schizophrenia" is one word with a thousand different meanings. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness which alters ones perceptions, beliefs and behavior. Like all other mental illnesses, popping a pill will just not cut it. Schizophrenia(s) is especially diverse, with a large number of differing symptom clusters. A multi pronged approach aimed at both symptom clusters…

A Schizophrenia story

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She was a young woman, energetic in her pursuit of life until that fateful day. She was walking out of college, when she suddenly heard a few middle aged men talking about her. “Look at her” they said, “walking down the stairs”. She began running, and the voices kept up with her, “she cannot run very fast ! , why is she even running”

She couldn’t identify the people who were speaking but assumed that they were not going to be friendly. Despite what she did, or said, these voices did not stop. It was an incessant commentary on every little move she was making. She wondered how these people were watching her, cameras ? mind reading ? She did not know !

Could she trust her friends and family ? She did not know. She spent days on end inside the house, afraid of the worst. Hygiene did not seem very important, school even  less so. She dealt with her friends with caution, what if they were also involved ? Was the whole world plotting against her, the voices told her so !

Most people believe that the voices in schizophrenia or any other psychosis are imagined. Quite the opposite is true, hallucinations cannot be consciously controlled and arise from abnormalities in the brain.

What would you do, if you suddenly started hearing voices, which reflected your every action and constantly read your mind out aloud?

You would look for explanations right ? That is what she did. “How do they know what I am thinking ?”, “This news paper article, looks like it is about me”. “Why are all these people looking at me ?” Over time, she answered these questions by herself, these answers were carefully derived from her memories of the world. Was it that boy, she had turned down in high school ? He seemed pretty disappointed at the time !

It all seemed clearer now, this guy who she had turned down in school, was trying to get back at her. Was it black magic ? Or something more ?

This is the seed of a “delusion” forming.

She gradually began reinforcing her persecutory beliefs by misinterpreting stimuli and events. It only takes time to convert doubts and suspicions to unshakable beliefs.  By now, friends and family began noticing her behavior, and a number of impromptu diagnoses from stress to drug abuse were made. They reached out to the god men first, and then the medical men.

Read More »A Schizophrenia story

What is schizophrenia

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  Schizophrenia is quite the flag bearer for mental illness visibility. Everyone has heard of schizophrenia and almost everyone has watched a movie on schizophrenia. Despite this popularity, it is also one of the most misunderstood of the mental illnesses. Common representations in the media have led people to believe, schizophrenia may mean anything from…