Schizophrenia, PSTD and ADHD

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder affecting 20 million people worldwide. Schizophrenia is characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self and behaviour. Common experiences include hallucinations (hearing voices or seeing things that are not there) and delusions (fixed false beliefs). People with schizophrenia are 2-3 times more likely to die early than the general population. When coupled with substance addiction, these two conditions can be dangerous and even deadly. This co-occurrence has been a heavily debated topic for decades. Most researchers feel substances such as drugs and alcohol do not cause schizophrenia; instead, people living with mental illness use substances as a coping mechanism. However, some researchers have also concluded that it could occur the other way around and have found that substance abuse can increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. People with ADHD may also have trouble focusing their attention on a single task or sitting still for long periods of time. Both adults and children can have ADHD.

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