The social stigma oftentimes associated with schizophrenia is a negative one. For instance, characters in films like Through a Glass Darkly, A Beautiful Mind, and the more recent Shutter Island are forced to endure varying degrees of frightening psychotic episodes. In these and other Hollywood films featuring mental illness, the audience is allowed to watch the movie’s characters violently lash out or become hampered in some way by their condition, acting as though the illnesses portrayed by these actors is nothing more than a viable form of entertainment.
In reality, schizophrenia is among the most common of mental illnesses, occurring in about 1% of the American population. This condition can develop in all races and cultures and at any age, though it typically appears in the teenage years or early twenties among men and women. Oftentimes confused with dissociative identity disorder (split personality), schizophrenia effectively distorts the way a person thinks, expresses emotions and actions, relates to others, and perceives reality. This results in a condition that, if left untreated, can leave the sufferer seriously disabled. Schizophrenics are not, contrary to popular belief, as dangerous as the movie industry makes them out to be; rather, most sufferers are not violent. Sufferers do, however, require varying levels of care.
There are several variations of schizophrenia based on symptoms exhibited:
Paranoid schizophrenia causes people to become distracted by delusions. However, their thinking, speech, and emotions remain relatively normal, allowing these individuals to live relatively normal lives with proper treatment.
Disorganized schizophrenia results in sufferers exhibiting jumbled speech and confusion. Their behavior may be emotionless or childlike, and their disorganized tendencies may disrupt their ability to complete normal daily tasks.
Catatonic schizophrenia is the most physically apparent type of the disorder. Catatonic schizophrenics are typically immobile, unresponsive, and require constant care in order to be provided with nutrition and personal safety.
Undifferentiated schizophrenia occurs when the individual’s symptoms cannot be grouped into the above three variants.
Though there is no cure for schizophrenia, there are many treatments that can reduce its symptoms and decrease the chance of symptom relapse. A qualified doctor will recommend an effective treatment plan, but medication and psychosocial therapy are most commonly prescribed. As a caregiver, it can be a burden to take care of a loved one with schizophrenia. However, many patients diagnosed with this condition can lead productive and satisfying lives with your help. Proper medication, support, and realistic goals are key in ensuring a winning hand in the battle of mental illness.
Alongside family education on how to cope with this disorder, tools like GPS bracelets are a viable option to ensure the safety of your loved one. For suffers of schizophrenia, it’s a very real possibility that they might wander off or get lost during an unpredictable psychotic episode. Depending on the severity of your loved one’s disorder, the S-911 GPS Bracelet very well may be a viable option. The GPS bracelet offered by Adiant Solutions is a peg above the competition because of its ability to work indoors, unlike standard GPS devices. It contains a shock sensor and can automatically make emergency calls, even in areas with no cell phone coverage. It provides two-way communication, tamper detection, and real-time GPS tracking.
In regards to the safety of your loved one, peace-of-mind is priceless. The S-911 is an example of a GPS bracelet that will make life easier. In the quest to keep your loved one safe, Adiant Solutions is here to help.