Title: Schizophrenia: Stolen Minds, Stolen Lives
Running Time: 52 Minutes
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schizophrenia may have difficulty distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary; may be unresponsive or withdrawn; and may have difficulty expressing normal emotions in social situations.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.
Schizophrenia is not caused by childhood experiences, poor parenting or lack of willpower, nor are the symptoms identical for each person.
This program examines schizophrenia, an often heartbreaking mental illness that can rob people of the chance to pursue normal goals.
After noting that one percent of the world’s population suffers from this disability and describing its symptoms, experts discuss how this insidious disease affects the human brain and a person’s ability to function socially.
Fortunately, some afflicted individuals are able to achieve a high state of functioning, including Dr. John Nash Jr., who won a Nobel Prize in Economics. However, most spend their lives struggling to cope with hallucinatory voices and the potent drugs designed to control all of the troubling symptoms of the illness.
Case studies and interviews help illustrate how various people are trying to live with this disease.
The signs of schizophrenia are different for everyone. Symptoms may develop slowly over months or years, or may appear very abruptly. The disease may come and go in cycles of relapse and remission.
Behaviors that are early warning signs of schizophrenia include:
Hearing or seeing something that isn’t there
A constant feeling of being watched
Peculiar or nonsensical way of speaking or writing
Strange body positioning
Feeling indifferent to very important situations
Deterioration of academic or work performance
A change in personal hygiene and appearance
A change in personality
Increasing withdrawal from social situations
Irrational, angry or fearful response to loved ones
Inability to sleep or concentrate
Inappropriate or bizarre behavior
Extreme preoccupation with religion or the occult
Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the world population. In the United States one in a hundred people, about 2.5 million, have this disease. It knows no racial, cultural or economic boundaries. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 13 and 25, but often appear earlier in males than females.
If you or a loved one experience several of these symptoms for more than two weeks, seek help immediately.
IRI shares these videos to help people better understand themselves, their relationships, and their environment.