Schizophrenia can affect the way a person thinks, feels, and acts. It is a fairly common disorder – about one in every hundred people (1%) develop schizophrenia.
Some common symptoms of schizophrenia are:
Some ideas about what causes schizophrenia are:
The current thinking is that a combination of these factors causes schizophrenia, and the combination can differ from person to person.
People with schizophrenia can lead full and productive lives. Recovery is possible! A combination of helpful therapies, education in managing one’s illness, and supports to provide assistance and encouragement can lead to experiencing fewer symptoms, improving relationships with other people, and achieving meaningful and fulfilling life goals.
Treatment for schizophrenia involves working with mental health professionals to gain support and talk through challenges, learn how medications can help reduce symptoms, communicate about distressing symptoms and side effects, and learn strategies for managing important aspects of life. Talking with others who have schizophrenia and who “get” what one is going through is also critical. Family members can be involved in treatment decisions too.
There are many VA programs and services dedicated to helping Veterans with schizophrenia find treatments that are best for them. No one treatment is best for all Veterans. Programs and services at the VA treat each Veteran as an individual and work to determine which treatments and programs fit best with each Veterans’ personal needs and goals.