One of the most misused psychiatric terms is the word "schizophrenia". Referring to schizophrenia as a "split personality" is just one of the many misconceptions people have regarding this illness which affects 1% of South Africans.
We gave Health24 users the opportunity to post questions to Dr Henk Temmingh, a specialist in psychosis-related disorders at Valkenburg Hospital. Cape Support for Mental Health, a support group for family members and caregivers of people with schizophrenia, also participated.
Here are some of the interesting questions users asked:
Is schizophrenia a split personality?
How is a diagnosis made?
What are the causes?
Is it true that Ritalin can cause schizophrenia?
Is it possible to recover from schizophrenia?
Meds: Are you allowed to drive?
What is the difference between twasa and schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia or just normal teen rebellious behaviour?
Should I be worried about my friend?
Dr Henk Temmingh, senior lecturer and specialist at Valkenburg Hospital's Acute Admissions Unit, was one of our guest experts. He mostly deals with psychosis-related disorders and has an interest in dual diagnosis and the epidemiology of psychosis.
For more information on schizophrenia, click here
For information on psychosis, click here
Useful contact numbers:
Cape Support for Mental Health (021) 671 1573
Mental Health Information Centre (021) 938 9229
(Health24, August 2008, updated July 2012)