Schizophrenia is a major health problem in the United Kingdom, a relatively common condition where the first acute symptoms usually occur in early adult and are typically followed by a gradual deteriorating course. Most people asked to describe their archetypal ‘madman’ would describe someone with a disorder similar to schizophrenia. Unfortunately they are also not likely to understand what schizophrenia is and to mention ‘violence’ and ‘split personality’ both of which are highly stigmatic terms and inaccurate.


Schizophrenia handout (.pdf)

Link to blog posts featuring schizophrenia

Internal video resources
Jo’s story: “I’m disgusting”

Grant’s story: “I just knew…”

Created by as part of his SSC by Matthew Higgins; Stage 4 medical student

The patient’s description of a delusional mood and atmosphere is typical of the prodromal phases of schizophrenia. In the video he describes simply not feeling right and a strong sense that something bad was about to happen, but despite his certainty, he is unable to explain what made him feel this way at that time.

He describes the moment when he first realised the significance of his delusional mood during a brief encounter with a neighbour. He attaches delusional meaning to a normal perception, demonstrating delusional perception. He is convinced as to the significance of this seemingly innocent everyday interaction and his absolute conviction is impervious to the interviewer’s logical reasoning.

Subsequent to this encounter the patient develops delusions of persecution and experiences persecutory 3rd person auditory hallucinations.

Auditory hallucinations


Delusional perception

Thought block

Acute dystonia


External links
— The BMJ Group has produced an educational resource
— Schizophrenia Podcast from the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Janey Antoniou, a service user and trainer, talks to Dr Raj Persaud about her experience of severe mental illness.
Schizophrenia information leaflet from the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Wikipedia article on schizophrenia
— From The Independent “The mad doctor: The extraordinary story of Dr Rufus May, the former psychiatric patient. At the age of 18, Rufus May was diagnosed as an incurable schizophrenic and locked up in a psychiatric hospital. Now, he is a respected psychologist and a passionate campaigner on mental health issues… Here, he tells his extraordinary tale”

Two clips on YouTube from the NIMH in Washington DC including interviews with the patient, Gerald and his mother. There are also comments from a psychiatrist who is seen interviewing and appears to have been the originator of this teaching resource.

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The Onion posted this funny but perceptive video which actually describes several aspects of psychopathology seen in schizophrenia well.