How people with schizophrenia find happiness
The term “schizophrenia” can sound scary to some who either have the disorder or who know someone who is dealing with this type of mental illness. But on the other hand, people with schizophrenia can still have a positive life with happiness.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that often is characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, thought and movement disorders, speaking little and trouble focusing. About one percent of Americans have this disorder.
In a recent study at the University of California, San Diego, researchers examined 72 schizophrenia patients between the ages of 23 to 70. Each patient was asked to answer survey questions regarding their behavior living with schizophrenia. Results show that 37 percent of the patients said that they were happy most of the time.
Experts noted that the ways these patients found happiness were due to positive mental and social characteristics such as optimism, resilience and lower stress levels.
Barb Moran, psychiatric consultation liaison at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, Ill., recommends for families with a schizophrenic member to provide them with as much love and support as any other member of their family.
“The schizophrenic family member will need additional support and monitoring to ensure that their symptoms are being managed effectively and also that they remain on their medications,” Moran explains.
Moran also states that with any other mental health challenge, schizophrenics have ebbs and flows with their illness.
“Their ability to feel happy with others in life may be dependent on their environment, medication management, support systems and severity of the illness,” Moran says.
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