Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a lifelong and serious psychiatric disorder that severely impacts people’s ability to interpret reality, impacting their thoughts, feelings and behavior. The prevalence of this condition is estimated at 1.5 million people per year.

Although schizophrenia has profound health and life effects, the therapies that do exist allow many to manage their condition and live independent, productive lives.

How are those with schizophrenia utilizing social media to demystify the condition and support one another?

Search Trends

The Trends Section provides an overview of some of the most recent and relevant topics that relate to particular health conditions.

It features a selection of the topics that have the fastest growing Google search interest across the last three months, and reflects the inquiries of patients, healthcare providers, scientists, and others who are invested in the topic.

This is valuable to understand people’s interests and concerns at the present moment, and often include the U.S. states that have the highest interest in a topic. 

Quilt.AI brings these trends to life through an analysis that incorporates both cultural and scientific lenses.

When it comes to drugs to manage symptoms of Schizophrenia, what are people searching for?

What is trending on search for Schizophrenia?

Search interest for “schizophrenia cure” increased by 52% in the past 3 month, from May to July 2022

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1. Seeking a ‘cure’ for Schizophrenia

Treating schizophrenia involves managing its various symptoms. Diagnostic techniques include physical exams, tests & screenings, and psychiatric evaluations. 

Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment, even after the symptoms have been managed. Treatment typically also involves the use of first- or second-generation antipsychotics. First-generation antipsychotics are less preferred due to the potentially significant neurological side effects — which in many cases are not reversible. 

Hospitalization for schizophrenia peaks twice during the year – in January and then again in June. This pattern likely drives the overall increase in search interest in schizophrenia from May to July. 

2. A dangerous mental illness combination 

Schizoaffective bipolar disorder is a subtype of a very serious mental health condition called schizoaffective disorder. This condition manifests as a combination of schizophrenia and mood disorder symptoms.

Since this condition shows symptoms of two different mental illnesses that require different treatments, it is important to get professional and accurate diagnosis.   

Searches for this condition revolve around general inquiries on what it is, and its causes. Interest in this disorder has risen over the past three months, alongside the increase in overall interest in schizophrenia.

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Search interest for “Bipolar Schizoaffective Disorder” has increased by 65% in the past 3 months, from May to July 2022

Search interest for anosognosia has increased by 41% in the last 3 months, from May to July 2022

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3. A common condition among schizophrenia patients  

Anosognosia is a severe mental condition where an individual is unable to understand and perceive their illness. It is commonly known as “lack of insight” or “denial of deficit”. 

Anosognosia is common among patients with certain mental health conditions - HCPs have estimated that it affects between 50% to 98% of schizophrenia patients. 

Although this condition does not pose serious health hazards on its own, people with anosognosia are likely to avoid and resist treatment of their other health conditions. Interest in anosognosia has risen over the past three months, alongside the increase in overall interest in schizophrenia.

4. Seeking knowledge about the subtypes of schizophrenia  

Paranoia is a symptom commonly associated with schizophrenia. It is a pattern of behavior wherein people feel distrustful and suspicious of others. Delusions and hallucinations are some of the common symptoms associated with paranoia.

Paranoid schizophrenia was once considered a subtype of the overall condition, but is increasingly framed as a specific set of presenting symptoms within schizophrenia. 

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Search interest for “paranoid schizophrenia meaning”  increased by  21% in the last 3 months, from May to July 2022

Schizophrenia in Culture

The Culture Section highlights emerging cultural trends, new products, and notable dialogue about a variety of health conditions. The purpose of this section is to zoom in on what has been happening within the cultural and professional landscape of a particular health condition–stories that are often missed by quantitative searches.

By featuring influential social media items, patient discourse, professional dialogue, product innovations, and impactful news items, this section illuminates the lived experiences of many patients, while also providing a snapshot of the developments happening around them. 

Here, Quilt.AI offers a detailed and nuanced perspective of what is new and what is meaningful.

1. The art of schizophrenia 

Besides spasms and seizures, epilepsy comes with many lifestyle and mental health challenges – challenges that are often left unspoken. Several TikTokers have been active in shedding light on these “dark sides” as an effort to raise empathy for those with the condition. 

Challenges related to epilepsy include feelings of being trapped, isolation, depression, and even medical gaslighting from doctors. Videos talking about these challenges have provoked strong emotion from viewers, and have encouraged even more epileptics to share their stories in the comments section.

HCPs and drug brands can amplify this important conversation across major social media platforms.

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2. Walking a mile in schizophrenics’ shoes

People with schizophrenia are using audio- and video-based platforms to simulate their experiences with anxiety, stress and paranoia. These posts allow people who don’t have the condition to understand it more deeply, and hopefully empathize better with schizophrenia sufferers.

As with artistic expressions of the schizophrenia experience, these posts can help clinicians better empathize with patients so they can offer more effective treatments.

3.  Demystifying schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia are using social media platforms to debunk popular misconceptions about the causes, symptoms and treatment of the condition.

These posts express personal frustrations at being misunderstood by people who are not familiar with schizophrenia. Many include encouragement for viewers to seek professional help early if they suspect that they might suffer from the condition. These posts are a good reminder of the social problems that people with schizophrenia can face – problems that might exacerbate their mental health struggles, and that need to be better addressed by clinicians and the culture at large.

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4. Treating and tweeting schizophrenia

Even though schizophrenia is an incurable condition, there are more and more treatments that can reduce its effects on the body and mind. 

Twitter is the major social media platform for sharing news about new developments in the treatment of schizophrenia. Importantly, Twitter users also share their experiences with these treatment methods, and provide feedback through tweets. 

Twitter can be an important source of additional information on possible treatment options, for both patients and HCPs.

5. Cleaning up the schizophrenia conversation

Though a serious mental illness, schizophrenia is often used on social media platforms mockingly to describe behavior that is deemed strange or unacceptable. This is a serious problem for people looking to spread awareness and increase empathy for the condition, as important discourse on the condition and its treatment can get lost in the mix.

People with schizophrenia and their allies are urging others to use this term more carefully and respectfully, to maintain the dignity of the patients and their community.