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About Schizophrenia

How do we support someone with Schizophrenia?

Guys Cross is a specialist care home and provides care in a small scale domestic environment that facilitates quality on-going recovery focused care.

We assist people with Schizophrenia to maximise their potential and improve their quality of living by:

  • Providing flexible, individualised care packages,
  • Providing Psychosocial treatments (talking therapies)

Work with the person to develop strategies for:

  • Managing symptoms e.g. hearing voices support
  • Recognising risk factors and how to respond
  • Maintaining medication regimes
  • Developing communication skills
  • Developing social skills
  • Meeting nutritional needs /  preparation of meals
  • Meeting personal care
  • Meeting domestic skills needs – shopping, cleaning, laundry

We also help people to learn how to manage:

  • challenging behaviour
  • anger issues
  • sleeping problems

What is Schizophrenia?

One common misconception is that schizophrenia is the result of ‘split personality’. In fact ‘Multiple Personality Disorder’, the correct term, is very rare and has nothing to do with schizophrenia. The mistake comes from the fact that the name ‘schizophrenia’ was coined from two Greek words meaning ‘split’ and ‘mind’.

Scizophrenia is a disorder that is generally characterised by  a breakdown of the individuals thought processes. The individual’s will display characteristic  distortions of thinking and perception and may also experience a change to their mood  (affect) which may become inappropriate or blunted.

What are the symptoms of Schizophrenia?

The symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into two groups; positive and negative symptoms.

Positive symptoms

Hallucinations are perceptions that occur without connection to an appropriate source. Hallucinations can occur in any sensory form – auditory (sound), visual (sight), tactile (touch), gustatory (taste) and olfactory (smell) – however hearing voices that other people do not hear is the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia.

Voices are usually thoughts that are in the mind of the person. The person affected may hear the voices describe activities taking place, carry on a conversation, warn of dangers, or even issue orders to that person. The thoughts (voices), can appear to be so loud that the person may believe that people nearby will also be able to hear them.

The mind usually adjusts to this very rapidly and as a result the thoughts then appear to the person to come from some external source. It is possible, using a medical imaging technique, to see changes in the speech area of the brain at the time when a person says that s/he is hearing the voices. This is a real experience, it is not imaginary.

Illusions

Illusions occur when a sensory stimulus is present but is incorrectly interpreted by an individual e.g. looking a coat stand in the corner of a room and seeing it as a person and not a coat stand.

Delusions

Delusions are false personal beliefs that are not subject to reason or contradictory evidence and are not explained by a person’s usual cultural beliefs.

Delusions may take on different themes:

Paranoid delusion – roughly one-third of people with schizophrenia – has delusions of persecution, or false and irrational beliefs that they are being cheated, harassed, poisoned or conspired against. These people often believe that a member of their family or someone close to them is making this happen.

Delusions of grandeur – a person believes he or she is a famous or important person with very important connections and / or powers.

Strange Thinking

A person may be unable to follow a logical sequence of thought; their ideas may seem jumbled and make little sense to others. Conversation may be very difficult and this may contribute to a sense of loneliness and isolation.

Negative Symptoms

Very often a person’s behaviour may change over a period of time in subtle ways. They may for instance have become slower to think, talk and move, and may become indifferent to social contact, their sleeping patterns may have changed so that they are happy to remain up all night and sleep all day.

The overall result is often a reduction of motivation, the effect of which varies from minor to severe.

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