December 13, 2007

Personal Blogs on Coping With Schizophrenia

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
We encourage personal chronicles of schizophrenia through blogs or vlogs. The following are descriptions of a couple of personal blogs focused on the authors' experiences with schizophrenia: This first blog, titled Stiffen The Sinews, is the journal of a young woman who suffers from schizophrenia. On it, she chronicles her experiences in living with and managing her illness. Many of her postings concern the symptoms of her illness and how she copes with them. Here's an excerpt from one of her postings: I've Grown I read my first post this morning, correcting the mistakes, and I've realized that I am Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 08:51 PM | Comments (4)

Technical Problems With Discussion Board Posts

We're aware of the current technical problems you're experiencing (that prevent you from posting messages in the discussion boards), and we're working hard on getting things back to normal right now. We've run into a number of problems. This may take a little while, but we hope to have things running as normal by sometime on Friday, December 14th. When we do succeed - we will announce it here on this blog. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you, our audience, and appreciate your patience as we work to fix the problem. The Team Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 08:46 PM | Comments (14)

December 11, 2007

Schizophrenia: Psychological and Social Causes and Treatments

As we've reported in the past, research is revealing the specific aspects of family and environmental stressors that interact continually over time with a biologically predisposed brain to eventually trigger schizophrenia. Related to this topic, Researcher William McFarlane, M.D., a Maine Medical Center-based researcher we've mentioned before, was recently awarded the APA/American Psychiatric Foundation 2007 Alexander Gralnick Award for Research in Schizophrenia. After receiving the award, Dr. McFarlane presented a lecture, titled "Biosocial Treatment of Schizophrenia". In his lecture Dr. McFarlane made some interesting points on the subject of the development and outcomes in schizophrenia. Some of his points are Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 09:59 PM | Comments (9)

1970's Tale of Schizophrenia (Kristin's Blog)

This is a short film about a guy named Gary who became schizophrenic among the decadence and bright lights of the disco era. In this video he gives a good description of the strange associations that people with schizophrenia often make--things like thinking numbers have mystical meanings and thinking that there are bizarre, super-spiritual connections to things that most people would consider benign. It is not clear whether or not his schizophrenia was brought on by drug use and it is also not clear what happened after his onset of symptoms. To see more stories by and about other people Read More...
Posted by Kristin at 05:26 PM | Comments (2)

Stress and Schizophrenia: How Do You Deal?

Hi Everyone! It is me, Kristin, again! Since some of us are people living with schizophrenia, I wanted to talk about different ways of dealing with stress in day to day life. In these first two videos I talk about the stress of "normal" living as opposed to how we live when we are fully psychotic. In the first video I discuss basic living issues that we need to keep in mind: eating, taking meds, sleeping, bathing, not doing drugs or alcohol, the kind of stuff every doctor will remind you about. In the second video, I talk about some Read More...
Posted by Kristin at 11:24 AM | Comments (6)

December 10, 2007

Schizophrenia: The Value of Realizing Risk Factors Before Becoming a Parent

Yesterday, The New York Times, published an interesting article relevant to our website. The article, begins with the story of a boy diagnosed with high-functioning autism and discusses the increase in psychiatric and developmental diagnoses many children are receiving and the connection of these disorders to the functioning of the parents of the diagnosed children. The article discusses the idea that when a child is diagnosed with a disorder (ranging from autism to schizophrenia), parents of the child may examine their own behavior, history and functioning and realize risk factors that increased the likelihood of their child's disorder. In the Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 04:45 PM | Comments (8)

People With Schizophrenia Less Likely To Develop Cancer?

Read more... Schizophrenia Biology
Several new studies which were presented last week at the yearly meeting of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ANCP) demonstrated that a genetic link exists between cancer and schizophrenia. Specifically, the studies found that people who suffer from schizophrenia are less likely than are the rest of the population to develop cancer. The findings are particularly interesting when considering the unhealthy lifestyles many people who suffer from schizophrenia engage in. Though we've discussed how these poor lifestyle habits put people with schizophrenia at a much higher risk for developing health problems such as heart and cardiovascular disease, it seems that Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 01:41 PM | Comments (3)

Teen Perspectives on Schizophrenia

Recently, we've come across a website called Teen Ink. It's a website that, as implied by its name, focuses on writing and art created by teens. On it, we've found perspectives of teenagers who either suffer from mental illness themselves or have loved ones who do. This is an age group we don't usually hear from on the subject of mental illness and we find these perspectives informative and difficult, yet still positive. Below are a couple of summaries of two personal perspectives on mental illness we've found on Teen Ink, along with links to the full stories: My Schizophrenic Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 11:21 AM | Comments (2)

December 07, 2007

"Special K" and Possible New Therapies For Treating Schizophrenia

It's known that the street drug "Special K", proper name ketamine, though initially created for anesthetic purposes, because of its hallucinogenic qualities is used as a recreational drug. Unfortunately, and as we've covered in the past, ketamine is known to induce psychosis including schizophrenia-like symptoms in its users. Interestingly enough, scientists have been able to use the psychosis-inducing aspects of ketamine to better understand the way schizophrenia effects certain functions of the brain. Scientists are saying that this increased understanding may lend itself to the development of new treatments for the illness. In order to study the effects of psychosis Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 11:28 AM | Comments (2)

December 06, 2007

Mental Health Starts During Pregnancy: Lower Birth Weight Babies Have More Mental Problems

A new research study has confirmed the relationship between low birth weight and the later development of mental health problems. The study, which is published in this month's issue of the journal, Biological Psychiatry, looked at data collected during a large and long-running study. Over 4,600 participants of the original study, which was conducted in survey form, were " Great Britain...for symptoms of anxiety and depression over a 40-year period" beginning with their births in 1946. Researchers of the recent study analyzed this data and found that participants with low birth weights were more likely to later exhibit symptoms of Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:10 PM | Comments (2)

Join Me, Kristin Bell, In Schizophrenia Research Participation!

I wanted to let you all know that I recently found out about a research project funded by the National Institute of Mental Health through the site here at and I am hoping that any of you out there who might qualify for the research study will join me in being a research participant. I am going to be documenting as much of my journey through the research process as I can, so stay tuned for further videos! In the following video I talk about the benefits of volunteering for research and a little bit about what the research Read More...
Posted by Kristin at 01:27 PM | Comments (10)

December 05, 2007

New Treatment Guidelines for Mental Health Problems in Pre-School Children

A statement by a child psychiatry research group today announced that even though little research supports it, recently, there has been a rise in the numbers of children being prescribed stimulants and psychiatric drugs including, antidepressants. In hopes of providing the best treatment for young children, mental health professionals at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center (a teaching hospital affiliated with Brown Medical School) in Rhode Island are combining their efforts with other mental health professionals from 11 other mental health institutions to create recommendations for clinicians planning on prescribing medications to children aged 3 to 6 years. The treatment Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 02:18 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2007

In Germany, Approximately 30% of People With Schizophrenia Able to Work

A new study examines the factors associated with employment rates of people suffering from schizophrenia in Germany, the UK and France. The study finds that employment rates for people suffering from schizophrenia are higher in Germany than they are in either the UK or France. Though work is often a goal many people with schizophrenia hope to meet, the employment rate for people suffering from the illness is often low. In the United States, recent estimates show that only about 10% of the schizophrenic population is employed. In Europe, the employment rate ranges from 8 to 30 percent. The goal Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 03:22 PM | Comments (10)

Schizophrenia and Drug Addiction may Co-Occur Due to Disturbance in Part of the Brain

Psychiatric problems often occur comorbidly, or in association with one another. A common comorbid disorder in association with mental illness is drug addiction. It has been hypothesized that this may be because people who suffer from mental illness are more susceptible to drug use and addiction because of their compromised mental state and/or the difficulty they experience in dealing with their illness. A new study further investigated this comorbidity, and found that a connection between mental illness and drug addiction may exist prior to the development of either. Specifically, the study examined rats and found that those with a damaged Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)

Nine Genetic Markers Identified that can Increase a Person's Risk for Schizophrenia

Scientists in New York have identified nine genetic markers that can increase a person's risk for schizophrenia. The research team uncovered original evidence that this disabling disorder can be inherited in a recessive manner. A recessive trait is one that is inherited from both parents. "If a person inherits identical copies of these markers from each parent, his or her risk for schizophrenia increases substantially," said Todd Lencz, PhD, associate director of research at Zucker Hillside Hospital and the lead author of the study. "If these results are confirmed, they could open up new avenues for research in schizophrenia and Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 10:10 AM | Comments (3)

December 03, 2007

Emerging Schizophrenia / Psychosis in Young People - New Treatment Guidelines in UK

Past research has identified the importance of early identification and treatment of schizophrenia and early psychosis symptoms. This month the UK came out with a new treatment guideline for these early symptoms of schizophrenia. To our knowledge only Canada, the UK and Australia have published these early treatment guidelines for psychosis / schizophrenia. No similar guideline exists in the US (and the US isn't the leader in this field) so this is the best that you can do to understand the best treatment approaches. Guidance to help front line practitioners achieve earlier diagnosis of psychosis in young people has been Read More...
Posted by szadmin at 05:11 PM | Comments (1)

Slower Early Childhood Growth in Female Children Correlated With the Later Development of Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorder

A new study, which appears in this month's issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry, has found a connection between slow growth in early life and the later development of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder, in women. They study involved comparisons of measurements between people that had schizophrenia and those that did not. The participants were children born in the city of Alameda, in California, between the years 1959 and 1967; their mothers had agreed to participate in a Child Health and Development Study. "Measurements of height, weight and body mass index (BMI) were analyzed to compare growth patterns during early life and Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 03:07 PM | Comments (0)

A More Accurate Way of Diagnosing Schizophrenia?

The chances of diagnosing schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders correctly during the first visit to a doctor are small, says a news story. Apparently, as many as 70% of first-time psychiatric patients suffering from a range of disorders such as depression and schizophrenia, are incorrectly diagnosed. This is a major problem (though understandable because of the overlap in symptoms with many mental illnesses), and a new patent written by University of Queensland Professor of physiology, John Pettigrew, suggests that it may be helpful in correcting this problem. The idea behind the patent has to do with a viewer's response to Read More...
Posted by szwriter at 01:57 PM | Comments (2)

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