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Living with Schizophrenia

It is common – very common. One in about 100 people will experience it, yet no one talks about it openly.

 

5 Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

  1. Becoming more withdrawn and avoiding conversations or contact with others.
  2. Hearing voices in your head, which sound like someone is talking to you or about you.
  3. Feelings of paranoia such as the feeling of being watched, followed or talked about by others.
  4. Deterioration in self-care – not wanting to bathe, shave, get a haircut or dress properly.
  5. Violent or angry outbursts which come suddenly for no apparent reason.

 

Can schizophrenia be prevented?

That’s a question researchers are still trying to answer, says Dr Adrian Wang, Consultant Psychiatrist at Gleneagles Hospital. “It is mostly a genetic condition, with possible environmental triggers. Some researchers think that if we can identify the triggers and treat the illness early, we may be able to prevent it from progressing. But the jury’s still out on that and research is ongoing.”

 

Can it be cured?

“For mild cases, symptoms may be completely eliminated. More serious cases may not be curable, but their symptoms can be reduced or controlled. The challenge is to prevent a relapse, which involves long-term medication in many cases,” says Dr Wang.

 

Where to get help

Consult your GP. A referral to see a psychiatrist is usually required. All government hospitals have psychiatrists available. Or you could seek advice from a psychiatrist in private practice if you prefer. The Singapore Association for Mental Health and Silver Ribbon (Singapore) are volunteer groups with resources that may be of help.

 

By The Singapore Women’s Weekly, May 2015

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