'Perception' And Paranoid Schizophrenia: TNT Show Brings Mental Condition Into The Public Eye

TNT's 'Perception' And Paranoid Schizophrenia

"Perception," the TNT series about a neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia, debuted Monday night (July 9), bringing the mental condition into the public eye.

On the show, viewers are introduced to Daniel, played by "Will and Grace"'s Eric McCormack, whose hallucinations from his condition help him to solve crimes.

According to the National Institutes of Health, schizophrenia is experienced by about 1.1 percent of adults in the United States. Among people with schizophrenia, 60 percent have used some sort of health care service to help with their condition, and 64.3 percent have used any sort of service to help with their condition.

People with paranoid-type schizophrenia believe that someone is out to get them, and they are unable to be convinced otherwise. Therefore, they may feel especially guarded, feel incredibly jealous and/or feel incredibly self-important, according to the National Institutes of Health.

People with the condition may also hear things that aren't there (called auditory hallucinations), the Mayo Clinic explains:

The voices are usually unpleasant. They may make ongoing criticisms of what you're thinking or doing, or make cruel comments about your real or imagined faults. Voices may also command you to do things that can be harmful to yourself or to others.

According to the Mayo Clinic, for someone to be diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, he or she must meet all the requirements in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Requirements for a diagnosis include frequently having auditory hallucinations and being preoccupied with at least one delusion.

People with paranoid schizophrenia often don't experience some of the cognitive deficits experienced by people with other kinds of schizophrenia, according to the Mayo Clinic.

There is no one cause of schizophrenia as far as experts know, but it appears to be a result of a mix of environmental factors, genetics and possibly even changes in hormones in the brain, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Brain scans have also shown that people with schizophrenia actually have differences in brain structure.

People with schizophrenia typically develop it when they are teens or young adults, or in their 40s, although it can happen at anytime in life, the University of Maryland Medical Center reported. Specifically, onset schizophrenia is most commonly seen between ages 15 and 24 in men, and between ages 25 and 34 in women.

Schizophrenia is typically treated with a combination of therapies, depending on the person. Therapies include antipsychotic drugs, psychotherapy and counseling, electroconvulsive therapy (which uses electric currents) and independent living training, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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