Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can be hard to diagnose for a few reasons. One is that people with the disorder often don’t realize they’re ill, so they’re unlikely to go to a doctor for help.Another issue is that many of the changes leading up to schizophrenia, called the prodrome, can mirror other normal life changes. For example, a teen who’s developing the illness might drop their group of friends and take up with new ones. They may also have trouble sleeping or suddenly start coming home with poor grades.
Some research suggests that if a doctor strongly thinks someone is getting the disorder while still in this early phase, low doses of antipsychotic medication might delay it. More studies need to be done to know whether these drugs work for young people at risk for the disease. Cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and social skills training appear to have clearer benefits for them, at least in the short term, when used early on. Learn more about the prodrome phase of schizophrenia.
What Kind Of Symptoms Might People With Schizophrenia Have
People with schizophrenia may have a number of psychotic symptoms. These symptoms can come and go in phases, or they can happen only once or twice in a lifetime. When the illness begins, psychotic symptoms are usually sudden and severe.
During psychotic phases, the person may still understand parts of reality. He or she may lead a somewhat normal life, doing basic activities such as eating, working and getting around. In other cases, the person may be unable to function. Symptoms during psychotic phases include:
- Seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling things that are not real .
- Having strange beliefs that are not based on facts . For example, the person may believe that people can hear his or her thoughts, that he or she is God or the devil, or that people are putting thoughts into his or her head.
- Thinking in a confused way, being unable to make order out of the world, shifting quickly from one thought to the next.
- Having emotions, thoughts and moods that do not fit with events.
People with schizophrenia also may:
- Have a lot of energy or be overly active, or become “catatonic,” a state in which the body becomes rigid and cannot be moved.
- Talk in sentences that do not make sense.
- Not wash or groom.
- Cut themselves off from family, friends and the outside world.
- Be unable to function in school, work, or other activities.
- Lose interest in life.
- Be very sad or have mood swings.
- Have dulled emotions.
Risk Factors For Schizophrenia During Pregnancy And Delivery
Many pre- and perinatal risk factors for schizophrenia have been identified, although these tend to have a modest effect, with typical odds ratios or relative risks of 2. These factors include antenatal exposure to influenza, especially during second trimester, and other respiratory infections, rubella during pregnancy, hypoxia-related obstetric complications, low birth weight and prenatal growth retardation . So far, the evidence is less secure for antenatal stress and malnutrition in pregnancy.
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How To Treat Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can be treated with medication and psychotherapy, but it cannot be cured. Medication helps balance the chemicals in your brain that control moods, thoughts, and behavior. Psychotherapy enables you to manage symptoms like hallucinations or delusions by talking about them with a therapist.
Outlines Of The Microglial Hypothesis Of Schizophrenia
Microglia, which account for about 10% of the total number of cells in the CNS, are derived from the mesoderm like blood and immune system cells and were thought to be monocyte-macrophage lineage cells. However, it has recently been reported that microglia originate from precursor cells generated in embryonic oval sac and they have a gene expression pattern different from those of bone marrow-derived monocytes and macrophages. As brain macrophages, microglia play a central role in the innate immunity of the CNS, and activated microglia are a major source of cytokines and free radicals. There is also the idea of conveniently dividing the direction of activation into tissue-damaging M1 and tissue-protecting M2. Inactivated microglia are called resting microglia, and their role has been unknown for a long time, but recent studies have revealed that they also play an important role in the development of the CNS and maintenance of homeostasis and are now called surveying microglia . The conceptual scheme of microglia in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia is as shown in Figure 1. At present, the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and the neuroinflammation or neuroimmune system centered on microglia. Regarding the abnormalities of neuroimmnune systems in schizophrenia, the following points are mainly mentioned :
The higher the peripheral blood concentration of CRP, a typical inflammatory marker, the more remarkable the cognitive impairment of schizophrenia.
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What Are The 4 Types Of Bipolar
Here are the four types of bipolar disorder and how theyre characterized:Bipolar 1. This type of bipolar disorder is characterized by manic episodes, with or without depression symptoms. Bipolar 2. Bipolar 2 disorder is characterized by having both manic and depressive episodes. Cyclothymic disorder. Other types.
What Should You Do After You Have Been Diagnosed
After diagnosis, you may feel anxious and nervous about the future. This is normal and it is a stepping stone to getting the treatment and information you need to manage your condition.
Having knowledge of your condition is important, especially being aware of triggers that may cause your symptoms to get worse at certain times. Being aware of your triggers can help you prevent them and live a better quality of life.
The information in this article is written for general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment or care. It is incredibly important that you do not make decisions regarding any symptoms based on this information alone. If you are worried about any symptoms you may be having, or have any further questions about this condition, please speak to a qualified and trustworthy medical professional.
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Childhood Schizophrenia Signs And Symptoms
Some children who develop schizophrenia first go through a period called the prodrome or the prodromal phase. They might withdraw from daily life, with more anxiety and less interest in school or friends. Not all children who show these signs will have a psychotic disorder, so itâs important to talk to your doctor if you notice any issues.
Early childhood schizophrenia symptoms
The disorder affects how your child develops. You may notice things like:
- Long periods in which theyâre sluggish or not active
- Floppy arms or legs
- Delays in crawling, walking, or talking
- Odd movements such as rocking or flapping their arms
- A limp or slumped posture
Some of these symptoms show up in children with other problems besides schizophrenia. And some happen in kids without any mental health conditions. Only your child’s doctor can figure out what’s really going on.
Later childhood schizophrenia symptoms
In older kids, you might notice the behavior changes of schizophrenia over time or suddenly, as if out of nowhere. Your child may act withdrawn and clingy, or they may talk about strange and disturbed ideas and fears.
Tell your doctor as soon as you see symptoms of schizophrenia. It’s important to get a diagnosis and start treatment before your youngster shows signs of a break from reality, called psychosis.
Symptoms in older children include:
What Is The Main Cause Of Bipolar Disorder
Factors that may increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder or act as a trigger for the first episode include: Having a first-degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, with bipolar disorder. Periods of high stress, such as the death of a loved one or other traumatic event. Drug or alcohol abuse.
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Halting Schizophrenia Before It Starts
Meghan, 23, began experiencing hallucinations at 19. “Driving home, cars’ headlights turned into eyes. The grills on the cars turned into mouths and none of them looked happy. It would scare the crap out of me,” Meghan says.hide caption
Meghan, 23, began experiencing hallucinations at 19. “Driving home, cars’ headlights turned into eyes. The grills on the cars turned into mouths and none of them looked happy. It would scare the crap out of me,” Meghan says.
The important thing is that Meghan knew something was wrong.
When I met her, she was 23, a smart, wry young woman living with her mother and stepdad in Simi Valley, about an hour north of Los Angeles.
Meghan had just started a training program to become a respiratory therapist. Concerned about future job prospects, she asked NPR not to use her full name.
Five years ago, Meghan’s prospects weren’t nearly so bright. At 19, she had been severely depressed, on and off, for years. During the bad times, she’d hide out in her room making thin, neat cuts with a razor on her upper arm.
Meghan had been depressed off and on for years, but the hallucinations signaled a subtle shift in her symptoms.hide caption
“I didn’t do much of anything,” Meghan recalls. “It required too much brain power.”
“Her depression just sucked the life out of you,” Kathy, Meghan’s mother, recalls. “I had no idea what to do or where to go with it.”
Kathy tried to reason with her.
What Environmental Factors Increase The Risk Of Developing Schizophrenia
Environmental factors include everything the person experiences from being inside the womb, right the way through childhood and into adulthood.
There are considered to be many pregnancy-related schizophrenia risk factors. High levels of maternal stress can lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia later in life, and this includes bereavement, maternal depression, and any other situation that places the mother under stress. Infections such as rubella and toxoplasmosis caught during pregnancy can also increase the risk factor for schizophrenia. Complications during the birth have also been shown to increase the risk factor for schizophrenia. These include pre-eclampsia and Hypoxia.
The schizophrenia risk factors associated with children and adults are varied. Any child growing up in a dysfunctional family is at a higher risk of developing a mental illness , whereas a happy and stable childhood can significantly reduce the chances of developing schizophrenia later in life. In particular, there is a strong link between physical, sexual and emotional abuse during childhood and many serious mental health disorders, including schizophrenia.
Drug use, in particular cannabis, has been shown to significantly increase the chances of developing a mental illness such as schizophrenia. Other schizophrenia risk factors for children and adults include head injuries, social isolation during the formative years of childhood and early adulthood, and social stress.
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Differences In Brain Chemistry
Studies show that people can be more likely to experience schizophrenia if their brain development was disrupted during pregnancy or early childhood. Changes in brain structure do not appear in everyone with schizophrenia though.
Some chemicals also seem to behave differently in the brains of people who experience schizophrenia. These chemicals are thought to include dopamine, which helps to carry messages between brain cells.
Some research suggests that an imbalance between certain neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin, may be one of the causes behind schizophrenia.
Antipsychotics, which are sometimes used to treat schizophrenia, can help to lower dopamine levels.
For more information see our pages on antipsychotics.
“More recently my physical health has deteriorated. I have become more agoraphobic and find group settings harder than before.”
How Is Schizophrenia Treated
There are different types of treatment available. Medical professionals should work with you to find the right treatment for you. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that you should be offered a combination of medication and talking therapies.
People who live with schizophrenia can respond to treatment differently.
For many treatment helps to reduce symptoms to help make daily life easier. You may find that you need to continue with treatment to keep well. For every 5 people with schizophrenia:
- 1 will get better within 5 years of their first obvious symptoms.
- 3 will get better but will have times when they get worse again.
- 1 will have troublesome symptoms for long periods of time.
What medication should I be offered?
Your doctor may offer you medication known as an antipsychotic. These reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, but dont cure the illness. Your healthcare professionals should work with you to help choose a medication. If you want, your carer can also help you make the decision. Doctors should explain the benefits and side effects of each drug.
In the past, some antipsychotics had negative side effects. Some people find that the side effects of newer antipsychotic drugs are easier to manage.
Your medication should be reviewed at least once a year.
What type of psychosocial treatment will I be offered?
Family intervention is where you and your family work with mental health professionals to help to manage relationships.
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Rarer Types Of Bipolar Disorder
There are two other types of the disorder that are less common than bipolar I and II. Cyclothymic disorder involves changes in mood and shifts similar to bipolar I and II, but the shifts are often less dramatic in nature. A person with cyclothymic disorder can often function normally without medication, though it may be hard. Over time, a persons changes in mood may develop into a diagnosis of bipolar I or II.
Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified is a general category for a person who only has some symptoms of bipolar disorder. These symptoms are not enough to make a diagnosis of one of the other three types.
While bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose, once its identified, it can be treated.
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Do Early Intervention And Prevention Efforts Work
It has been recognized for some time that the duration of untreated illness in schizophrenia is correlated with the prognosis for the disease, such that those with the longest period of untreated psychosis experience the least favorable outcomes . Recently, it has also been discovered that outcome correlates with the duration of illness as measured from the onset of the prodrome rather than only from the onset of frank psychosis. From this line of evidence, the rationale for early-intervention efforts was born. It was reasoned that, if early treatment of the illness led to a more favorable outcome, early intervention even before the onset of the illness might further inhibit the progression of the illness, either delaying its onset, decreasing its severity, or both.
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Molecular PsychiatryDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth EditionDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text RevisionIndian Journal of PsychiatryPsychiatric ServicesClinical Child Psychology and PsychiatryPsychiatric TimesFrontiers in PsychiatryPsychiatry ResearchJournal of the American Medical AssociationBritish Journal of PsychiatryAmerican Academy of Social Work and Social WelfareScience DailyClinical NeuropsychiatryCurrent Antipsychotics, Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, Vol. 212Molecular PsychiatryPsychiatria DanubinaSchizophrenia BulletinBritish Journal of PsychiatryScienceSocial Studies of ScienceThe British Journal of PsychiatryAmerican Journal of PsychiatryPatient CareAm J PsychiatryMen and MasculinitiesHistory of PsychiatrySchizophrenia Research TreatmentGerman Journal of PsychiatryLancetPsychiatric ServicesCurrent Opinion in PsychiatryEpidemiologic ReviewsPsychiatric ServicesNeuropsychopharmacology: The Fifth Generation of Progress, Fifth EdClinical Schizophrenia and Related PsychosesPsychological BulletinSchizophrenia ResearchClinical TherapeuticsHarvard Mental Health LettAmerican Journal of PsychiatryAmerican Journal of PsychiatrySchizophrenia BulletinJournal of PsychopharmacologySchizophrenia BulletinAmerican Journal of PsychiatryPsychiatric TimesSchizophrenia BulletinAutismAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
What Is Schizophrenia Anyway
Schizophrenia is a well-known term. Unfortunately, thats about all thats well-known. There is a great deal of misunderstanding and stigma around schizophrenia, and some of the confusion might be making you ask, Am I schizophrenic?
Society throws around the word schizophrenic when it makes no sense. Casual statements such as these might make you question whether you have schizophrenia when youre unsure about what youre experiencing:
- Shes so psychotic.
- Hes out of his mind.
- Youre delusional.
- Look at him. Hes so schizophrenic.
These statements can make you question your own sanity. An important thing to question is what these statements mean in relationship to schizophrenia. Its helpful to know a little bit about schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is an illness of the brain that involves what is known as positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms . Together, these include experiences such as:
- Disorganized speech, behavior
- Blunted emotions, lack of motivation, withdrawal
- Memory problems, difficulty with rational thoughts, problem-solving
So if someone accuses you of being psychotic for example, check with yourself to see if you are experiencing hallucinations and/or delusions. If you are, you can investigate further. If youre not, dismiss the person as ignorant.
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What If I Am A Carer Friend Or Relative
It can be distressing if you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who has schizophrenia. You can get support.
How can I get support for myself?
You can do the following.
- Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
- Speak to your relatives care team about family intervention. For more information about family intervention see the further up this page.
- Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
- Ask for a carers assessment.
- Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
- Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.
What is a carers assessment?NICE guidelines state that you should be given your own assessment through the community mental health team to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.
The CMHT should tell you about your right to have a carers assessment through your local authority. To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.
How do I get support from my peers?You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525. They will search for you.
How can I support the person I care for?
You can do the following.
There is no definition for what high risk means. It could include: