Schizophrenia: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to schizophrenia:

Q: My son constantly forgets his medication. How I can help?

A: Try organizing his medications with medication calendars or pillboxes that are marked with each day. Purchase an electronic timer that beeps when medications should be taken. Plan for him to takes the medication at a certain time – for example, with meals. Another option is to ask his doctor about long-acting injected forms of medication.

Q: Are people with schizophrenia likely to be violent?

A: The popular media tends to link mental illness such as schizophrenia with criminal violence. But the fact is that most people with schizophrenia are not violent; they are much more likely to be withdrawn. People with schizophrenia are not especially prone to violence. When violence does occur, it usually takes place at home and is directed at family members and friends.

Q: Does stress play a part in schizophrenia?

A: There is no evidence that stress is a cause of schizophrenia. Sometimes emotionally significant events in people’s lives will precede an episode of illness, but the basis for the illness must already be present.

Q: Can children develop schizophrenia?

A: Although it is extremely rare, children as young as age 5 have been diagnosed with the illness. They are often described as being different from other children from an early age. However, most people do not show symptoms until adolescence or young adulthood.

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