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Terms to know

Communication is key when working together on your recovery plan, so it’s important to understand the terms your Treatment Team may use.

A

Active listening

A way of listening where someone can show interest in what another person is saying and communicate that they understand what the other person is saying.

Affective flattening

When a person doesn't show or have an emotional response or has an inappropriate response to what's going on around them.

Agitated

Feeling nervous, restless, and anxious.

Alogia

When someone has difficulty speaking with others or sometimes just gives short answers.

Atypical (or second-generation) antipsychotics

A class of medications that were first used in the 1990s that can help control the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Avolition

When a person doesn't feel like doing anything at all. A person may sit for long periods of time and show little interest in participating in work or daily activities.

C

Caregivers

People who take care of a loved one in need of some help.

Catatonic behavior

Not being active in any way at all.

D

Delusions

When someone strongly believes in ideas that are false, although they feel real in their own reality.

Disorganized behavior

When someone behaves in a way that seems unpredictable or nonsensical to other people.

Disorganized speech

Ongoing, rambling speech that does not make any sense.

E

Episode

When the symptoms of schizophrenia are present and/or uncontrolled after a person in treatment appeared to have their symptoms managed.

H

Hallucinations

Hearing, seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling something that other people aren't experiencing. The most common hallucinations are those that affect hearing, such as hearing imaginary voices.

Healthcare professional

Someone who is professionally trained to treat those living with schizophrenia and other medical and psychiatric disorders.

I

Impulsive

Doing something without thinking about the consequences first.

L

Long-acting antipsychotic injectable (LAI) medication

A type of medication that is designed to be released slowly in the body, allowing the medicine to work for weeks at a time. As a result, the medicine does not need to be taken every day.

M

Motivation

The reason for doing or saying something.

N

Negative symptoms

A lack of behaviors or feelings that are normally present, such as when a person loses interest in their normal activities; feels out of touch with people; and lacks feelings and emotions.

Neuron

A specialized cell that is the building block for transmitting and receiving nerve impulses around the body’s nervous system.

Neurotransmitter

A substance that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse. Common examples you may have heard of are dopamine or glutamate.

O

Oral medication

A type of medication taken by mouth. It can come in a form such as a pill or liquid.

P

Peer support

A group of people who either live with or care for people living with schizophrenia. Because they have similar experiences, they meet to socialize and support each other, since they understand what each other is going through.

Personal hygiene

Taking care of your body, including taking showers, combing hair, and brushing teeth.

Positive symptoms

Extra feelings or behaviors that are not normally present, like seeing, feeling, hearing, or tasting things that other people aren't experiencing; believing things that are not true or real; and disorganized speech and behavior.

Psychotic episode

A sudden appearance of symptoms in which a person is not able to tell the difference between what is real and unreal.

R

Recovery process

An ongoing personal process of working to achieve your goals while keeping an illness under control.

S

Schizophrenia

A mental illness that can affect a person's ability to think clearly, manage feelings, make decisions, and relate to others.

Sensory overload

When too much is happening at once around a person, causing them to feel overwhelmed.

T

Treatment plan

A comprehensive care plan made with your Treatment Team that can include medication, therapy, and support.

Typical (or first-generation) antipsychotic

A class of medications that were first used over 50 years ago to help control the symptoms of schizophrenia.