With Jane still off enjoying the glorious weather, it is my pleasure to introduce Wellbeing Wednesday this week. The focus this time is on Schizophrenia which is much more prevalent than you might think. There are lots of misconceptions about schizophrenia which are clarified in this week’s update, and some really helpful resources on supporting people living with schizophrenia, so please take a read.
Also covered this week is the Samaritans Talk to us campaign, and information about butefest which will be taking place from Friday 29th July and sounds like a brilliant event. Fingers crossed the lovely weather continues for it!
As always if there is anything you would like to see featured in our wellbeing Wednesday updates please contact the wellbeing team with your suggestions
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complicated mental health problem related to psychosis. There’s lots of misconceptions about it, even mental health professionals don’t all agree about it, but the reality is that about 1 in every 100 people get this diagnosis at some point in their life.
Professionals sometimes talk about schizophrenia symptoms as being ‘positive’ and ‘negative’. But this doesn’t mean ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
- Positive symptoms are experiences or behaviours that the condition adds to your life, like hearing or seeing things that others don’t, or having a belief that something is real or true when it isn’t.
- Negative symptoms are experiences or behaviours that the condition takes away from your life, like finding things less interesting or enjoyable, moving your body less, or having less motivation.
Misconceptions about Schizophrenia
There’s lots of misinformation in the media about schizophrenia. Stories in the news and on TV shows are often sensationalised and misleading. The truth is:
It does not mean someone has a ‘split personality’. These experiences are more associated with dissociative identity disorder.
It does not mean that someone is dangerous or violent. Most people with schizophrenia do not commit violent crimes. Some research suggests that the risk may be slightly higher among people who have this diagnosis than people who don’t, but it’s not clear that schizophrenia is the cause. Evidence shows that factors like drug and alcohol misuse are far more likely to play a part in violence. People with schizophrenia are more likely to be victims of crime – or to harm themselves – than to harm someone else.
Supporting someone with Schizophrenia
You might feel unsure what to say or do when someone sees or believes something you don’t – but it’s important to remember that their experiences feel real to them.
It can help if you focus on how they are feeling, rather than talking about what is real or true. Instead of denying their experience it can help to say something like “That sounds really frightening, is there somebody you could talk to about it?”.
It can be hard seeing someone close to you experience schizophrenia. They might find it hard to think clearly, have problems understanding what is real, stop taking care of themselves or avoid seeing people. Try to notice positive things too. It can help to set small, realistic goals to aim for rather than focusing on what they can’t do. It’s also important to remember that losing interest and motivation are part of having schizophrenia and not something the person is choosing to do.
Source – What is schizophrenia? – Mind
For more information and advice on supporting someone with Schizophrenia please see:
24 July (24/7) is Samaritans Awareness Day, because they’re here to listen 24/7.
Whatever you are going through you can call free, anytime.
Fri, 29 July 2022 – Sun, 31 July 2022
10:00 AM – 18:00 PM
A fabulous weekend of music, food and fun on the Isle of Bute. This is a family-friendly festival with great music, local food, superb drink and best of all, a wonderful setting. All this on a Bute-i-ful island!
As always, please let us know your thoughts and ideas about the items featured in our Wellbeing Wednesdays each week and send us your suggestions for future topics – we love to hear from you.
The Wellbeing Team: email@example.com