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10 things which you should know about psychoses

Most people have already heard of psychoses and especially of schizophrenia, frequently from the yellow press, although few of them actually know what these terms really mean. Although psychoses occur frequently, they are often presented incorrectly by the press and on television; this is particularly the case for schizophrenia. These illnesses thereby appear to be more frightening than they actually are. Therefore, it is important to know the 10 most important facts concerning schizophrenia as being representative for all persons who are afflicted with psychoses:

  1. bildSchizophrenia is easily treatable. The illness can be cured entirely within five years in one of four schizophrenia patients. For most of the others, the symptoms can be reduced and their condition can be improved to a certain degree.
  2. Persons with schizophrenia are able to achieve a lot. Consider the Nobel Prize winner and economist John Nash, the jazz trumpet player Tom Harrell or Peter Green, the guitarist from "Fleetwood Mac".
  3. Persons with schizophrenia do NOT have a "dual personality". Of course, they sometimes behave strangely, but they do not suddenly change into another person.
  4. Many persons, regardless of what illness they are suffering from, forget to take the medications which they have been prescribed. Forgetting to take the medication for treating schizophrenia, however, can lead to a relapse or to the reappearance of symptoms.
  5. Violent or dangerous behaviour is EXTREMELY RARE in those suffering from schizophrenia.
  6. Schizophrenia is NOT caused by "bad parents". Those suffering from schizophrenia can have good parents, bad parents or completely mediocre parents, like anyone else as well.
  7. Persons with schizophrenia are NOT lazy. A symptom of the illness is the lack of energy. The treatment of these symptoms can be carried out in day-care clinics, in ambulatory centres or even by structuring one's daily routine and occasionally even by returning to the job.
  8. The care of an individual suffering from schizophrenia can be rewarding, although it is certainly difficult. Occasionally, it is exhausting. Nearly always, it is frustrating. Helping somebody to set up their life once again, whether as members of the family, as a medical caregiver or as a friend, can bring you great personal satisfaction.
  9. That which those suffering from schizophrenia see or hear appears to them to be absolutely real – regardless of how incredible or unrealistic others might consider this to be.
  10. A relapse can make it difficult for persons with schizophrenia to once again reach their previous level of well-being. This means, that it is DECISIVE to continue the administration of medications and to continue with the therapeutic meetings, even if the symptoms appear to be under control.
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