What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complicated, long-term mental illness that should not be ignored. It can affect the way a person perceives reality, experiences appropriate emotions, or makes sound decisions. Early diagnosis and management are critical. Minor changes in mood and daily activities may be the only initial signs people possess with this mental disorder making it that much more difficult to recognize early on.
Who suffers from this type of disorder?
The precise number of people diagnosed with schizophrenia is hard to calculate, but it is believed that about 1 percent of Americans suffer from this disease. Schizophrenia can occur in men and women equally, but symptoms tend to occur earlier in men. Men can experience symptoms of schizophrenia as early as their late teens, whereas women usually do not have signs and symptoms until early adulthood. Younger children may also experience schizophrenia. However, this is a rarity. It is also uncommon to have a new diagnosis of schizophrenia after the age of 40.
What are cultural differences in regards to the acceptance of schizophrenia?
There is research that believes schizophrenia may be underdiagnosed in minority communities. African Americans and Hispanics are some of the most common ethnic groups underrepresented with this mental illness due to the cultural stigma regarding this disease. They also tend to lack resources for treatment.