APA Guidelines Bundle

Schizophrenia Patient Guide

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2 INTRODUCTION   • Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that can lead to delusions, hallucinations, trouble with thinking and concentration, bizarre behavior, and lack of motivation.   • It affects nearly 1 out of every 100 people in the United States, and typically begins in late adolescence or early twenties.   • When left untreated, it can lead to a lower quality of life and shortened lifespan.   • Symptoms of schizophrenia can include:   » Hallucinations: hearing or seeing things that do not exist outside of the mind   » Delusions: unusual beliefs not based on reality   » Muddled thoughts or disorganized thinking/speaking   » Losing interest in everyday activities, including things like personal hygiene   » Wanting to avoid people, including friends   • Recovery from schizophrenia is a gradual process that is unique to each person.   • When delivered in a timely, coordinated, and sustained manner, medications and psychosocial treatments can reduce symptoms and help affected individuals to engage in school or work, achieve independence, enjoy personal relationships, and have a good quality of life.   • This guide will help patients and family understand how schizophrenia is diagnosed, what treatment options are available, and what can be done to achieve the best possible outcomes.

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