The concept of schizophrenia has its origin in two Greek terms: schizo (“division”, “cleavage”) and phrenos (“mind”). Those who suffer from this disorder present, in short, a mind divided in two: a portion that is related to reality and another that interacts, to a greater or lesser degree, with an imaginary world.

SchizophreniaIt is often believed that the first manifestations of this disease They occur in early adolescence, but several cases of children with schizophrenia have come to light in recent years. The difficulty of diagnosis in young people is that the symptoms are often confused with those of the autism or, in mild cases, with a lack of school adaptation.

In 2009, Oprah Winfrey, a well-known American television presenter, broadcast a documentary about a 7-year-old girl, Jani Schofield, with an especially severe degree of schizophrenia. This creature claimed live with dozens of beingsespecially animals, which actively related to her, despite being invisible to other people. Each and every one of them had their own name and lived in a place called «Calalini», which was, in Jani’s words, in the limit between his world and the real one. As is often the case, some of these imaginary beings used to ask the girl to perform acts violent, like hurting other people or breaking things.

But to detect schizophrenia, it is not necessary to wait for such characteristic attitudes to emerge. When reviewing footage from when Jani was just months old, for example, you can see that the girl used to fix your eyes on a point where there seemed to be nothing. Furthermore, contrary to normal in a newborn baby, he slept for periods no longer than 30 minutes and a total of no more than 4 hours a day, against the expected 16 hours. Another interesting fact is that at 5 years old, she suddenly began to demand that she be called by another name, assuring that Jani was not the correct one.

SchizophreniaSchizophrenics tend to be delirious, have problems with conduct and emotional and thinking illogically. Contact with people who do not suffer from this disease is very difficult, since the influence of the imaginary world is very strong and impossible to ignore. The hallucinations, which involve a distortion of what is perceived, can be visual or sound, and patients tend to have fluid conversations and interact with them as if they were really present. The fear of potential attacks by relatives and the feeling of a plot against the person are very common and are the characters of the mind who warn them of these dangers.

It is possible to distinguish different types of schizophrenia, among which are:

* Paranoid schizophrenia: the most common, characterized by delusions and auditory hallucinations. The sensation of persecution is frequent, distorting irrelevant situations to turn them into ridicule or acts of contempt on the part of close or unknown people.

* Disorganized schizophrenia: often people who cannot help themselves, present behaviors typical of regression and communicate incoherently, easily losing the thread of a conversation.

* catatonic schizophrenia: characterized by motor dysfunctions, poor sleep hours and hyperactivity. Acts of violence are frequent, as well as the adoption of strange poses for long periods, in which they often skip meals and lose bladder and bowel control.

Although the origins of schizophrenia have not yet been determined, it has been recognized that genes, social conditioning, stress and certain pathologies that develop during the pregnancy stage have an impact. However, there are as many contradictions as theories, which difficult both its detection and the appropriate choice of treatments.

Importantly, although schizophrenia is a chronic condition, it is absolutely possible to improve the quality of life of the patient. The psychotherapy and the supply of certain drugs they are part of the medical recommendations to treat schizophrenic symptoms and achieve the highest possible degree of social integration. It is essential to keep these people connected to reality through constant stimulation, which is very difficult, given the absorbing nature of the imaginary world and its manipulative characters.