Schizophrenia is a serious disorder which affects how a person thinks, feels and acts.Someone with schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations. Contrary to public perception, schizophrenia is not split personality or multiple personality. The vast majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent and do not pose a danger to others.  It is a long-term mental health condition that causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including:

  •  Hallucinations - hearing or seeing things that do not exist
  •   Delusions - unusual beliefs not based on reality which often contradict the evidence
  •   Muddled thoughts - these are based on the hallucinations or delusions

Sometimes, people in an acute phase of the illness may need to be admitted to hospital under the Mental Health Act for their own, or other people's, safety. Some people think that people who hear voices are dangerous, but actually voices are more likely to suggest that the person harms themselves than someone else.

Getting help
If you, or someone you care for, are experiencing the symptoms of schizophrenia, contact your GP who can prescribe drug treatments and make a referral for psychiatric help.
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