Hello Reader from Pakistan,
Thank you for reaching out! And, thank you for your question about schizophrenia.
It is interesting that you ask this question, as I have been recently asked a similar question by a wonderful friend from Pakistan. She explained the symptoms of a family member and told me the sad story of how his family ended up believing he was possessed by demons. They used a variety of “supernatural” treatments/interventions. He ended up dying. I suspect that he was actually experiencing schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a biologically based mental illness that usually presents itself in late adolescence. It is affects a certain a part of the brain and results in symptoms that include hallucinations (like hearing voices), delusions (like believing you are being persecuted) and disorganized thinking. Below, you will find more information about the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. It is as much an illness as diabetes or heart disease—and it is treatable! In Canada, many young people are diagnosed with schizophrenia and successfully treated each year. These people continue to live a full and enriched life. The key is early diagnosis, proper treatment, and family/community understanding and support.
The movie "A Beautiful Mind" starring Russel Crowe depicts the life of a person living with schizophrenia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Beautiful_Mind_(film)
If you suspect that someone you know may be experiencing schizophrenia, I would urge you to seek a consult from a licenced psychologist or psychiatrist in your area. They would be able to guide you as to the best next steps. Please note that information about psychologists in Pakistan can be obtained from the Pakistan Psychological Association (http://ppapak.org).
I hope this is of help!
Dr Jillian Roberts
PS At the bottom, families living with schizophrenia will find a helpful resource.
“Schizophrenia is the prototypical psychotic disorder. Not only is it the most common psychosis, but schizophrenia tends to involve abnormalities in all five of the emphasized symptom domains: hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking (speech), grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior (including catatonia), and negative symptoms [like depressed mood—added by Dr. Jillian Roberts]. Like the DSM-5 neurodevelopmental disorders, schizophrenia is viewed as a neuropsychiatric disorder with complex genetics and a clinical course that tends to begin during a predictable stage of development. Whereas the neurodevelopmental disorders tend to begin during childhood, symptoms of schizophrenia tend to reliably develop during late adolescence and early adulthood.”