Am I Schizophrenic How Can You Tell
Am I a schizophrenic? Am I developing schizophrenia? Being concerned about your mental health is a good thing. It can lead to your seeking information and taking action to live well. This concern, though, can become very frightening when youre experiencing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that feel like theyre not normal. This fear can relate to the symptoms of schizophrenia.
How To Tell If Someone You Know Has Schizophrenia
There are many indications shown by individuals who have schizophrenia.
These signs are difficult to recognize in teenagers. A few symptoms include:
- Disorganized speech as a result of chaotic or cluttered thinking
- Delusions or false beliefs of events or incidences that may have occurred or not occurred at all
- Frequent episodes of hallucinations
- Abnormal motor behaviors
What Schizophrenia Looks Like
When you have schizophrenia, you may have some of these symptoms:
Hallucinations. You see things or hear voices that aren’t there.
Delusions. You totally believe something that isn’t true, like thinking someone’s out to get you.
Confused thoughts. Also called disorganized thinking, you can’t stay focused and might feel foggy or hazy. Your speech may also be hard to follow.
Behavior and thought changes. The way you act becomes less normal. You may shout for no clear reason. You may even think that someone’s taking over your body.
Unusual body movements. You may move in odd, disturbed ways or hold postures that don’t make sense.
You may also find that you no longer do things that you used to, such as:
- Enjoy activities
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What Is Schizophrenia Or Paranoid Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a challenging brain disorder that often makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, to think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. It affects the way a person behaves, thinks, and sees the world.
The most common form is paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as its often called. People with paranoid schizophrenia have an altered perception of reality. They may see or hear things that dont exist, speak in confusing ways, believe that others are trying to harm them, or feel like theyre being constantly watched. This can cause relationship problems, disrupt normal daily activities like bathing, eating, or running errands, and lead to alcohol and drug abuse in an attempt to self-medicate.
Many people with schizophrenia withdraw from the outside world, act out in confusion and fear, and are at an increased risk of attempting suicide, especially during psychotic episodes, periods of depression, and in the first six months after starting treatment.
Take any suicidal thoughts or talk very seriously
If you or someone you care about is suicidal, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in the U.S. at 1-800-273-TALK, visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country, or read Suicide Prevention.
Negative Symptoms Of Schizophrenia: Things That Might Stop Happening
Negative symptoms refer to an absence or lack of normal mental function involving thinking, behavior, and perception. You might notice:
- Lack of pleasure. The person may not seem to enjoy anything anymore. A doctor will call this anhedonia.
- Trouble with speech. They might not talk much or show any feelings. Doctors call this alogia.
- Flattening: The person with schizophrenia might seem like they have a terrible case of the blahs. When they talk, their voice can sound flat, like they have no emotions. They may not smile normally or show usual facial emotions in response to conversations or things happening around them. A doctor might call this affective flattening.
- Withdrawal. This might include no longer making plans with friends or becoming a hermit. Talking to the person can feel like pulling teeth: If you want an answer, you have to really work to pry it out of them. Doctors call this apathy.
- Struggling with the basics of daily life. They may stop bathing or taking care of themselves.
- No follow-through. People with schizophrenia have trouble staying on schedule or finishing what they start. Sometimes they can’t get started at all. A doctor might call this avolition.
Depression has some of the same symptoms, too. They can be hard to spot, especially in teens, because even healthy teens can have big emotional swings between highs and lows.
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What Myths Are There About Schizophrenia
There are some myths or mistaken beliefs about schizophrenia which come from the media. For example,
- Schizophrenia means someone has a split personality
This is not the case. The mistake may come from the fact that the name ‘schizophrenia’ comes from two Greek words meaning ‘split’ and ‘mind’.
- Schizophrenia causes people to be violent
Research shows that only a small number of people with the illness may become violent. The same way as a small minority of the general public may become violent.
People with schizophrenia are far more likely to be harmed by other people than other people are to be harmed by them. But as these incidents can be shocking, the media often report them in a way which emphasises the mental health diagnosis. This can create fear and stigma in the general public.
Its Easy To Live In Denial
Even though your loved one isnt functioning well, isnt meeting their own expectations in life, and is using alcohol or drugs to cope, they may not see theres a problem.
Because of the natural urge to protect those you love, families can stay in denial, as well.
Its often the college that sends a young adult to the hospital for the first time because of erratic behavior or an overdose. The parents get involved only because the college requests their child be evaluated by a psychiatrist.
Families often dont seek help on their own, says Dr. Bowers.
They may continue to struggle try to understand their loved ones symptoms. Or ignore those symptoms until they escalate, sometimes into violent behavior.
But early, continuous treatment is critical, she stresses. Without help, a young adults problems will continue especially if they use drugs or alcohol.
If you find them up all hours of the night, or painting their room black, or too irritable without their meds, or scaring their little sister, call the doctor, she says. And encourage them to keep their appointments.
Recommended Reading: Prodromal Definition Schizophrenia
Tests Used To Diagnose Schizophrenia
Theyâll also do tests to measure how much the person understands , personality tests, and open-ended tests like the inkblot test .
Getting the diagnosis as early as possible will improve your loved oneâs chances of managing the illness. If they get the proper care, which will probably include medication and psychotherapy, a kind of talk therapy, they are likely to do better.
American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, text revision , American Psychiatric Association, 2000.
Keith, S. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 1991.
Andreasen, N. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 1991.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: âSchizophrenia.â
Mayo Clinic: âSchizophrenia, tests and diagnosis.â
Articles On What Is Schizophrenia Prodrome
If you have schizophrenia or know someone who does, you’re probably familiar with symptoms like hallucinations and delusions. But you may not realize that warning signs can show up before a full-blown episode. When that happens, it’s called a prodrome or prodromal period.
About 75% of people with schizophrenia go through a prodrome phase. It may last a few weeks, but for some people, these signs slowly worsen over several years.
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Difficulty With Abstract Thinking
Another classic sign of schizophrenia is the struggle to form generalizations or think beyond a solid idea or concept.
People with the condition may have a hard time understanding things that arent physical or real. They may also have difficulty understanding a proverb, simile, or metaphor because they can only interpret things literally.
They tend to get distracted by whats real and literal, and may be unable to understand what a story means or the comparison thats being made.
Risk Factors For Schizophrenia
Different factors combine to heighten the risk of schizophrenia, says Dr. Bowers:
- Genetics: Having a relative with schizophrenia or one who displays schizophrenic behaviors increases risk.
- Life stressors: Extreme poverty homelessness traumatic events early in life early isolation or deprivation or a constant fight for survival heighten risk.
- Hallucinogens: The use of crystal meth, LSD, PCP or psilocybin mushrooms increases risk in the vulnerable.
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If You Have Schizophrenia How Are You Suposed To Know
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Hi.. my name is.. well i can’t really give you my name.. i am 15 years old my family is falling apart an nobody notices me in school..really they don’t 🙁 the only thing they know about me is i am a freal 😥 all they say is that i am a cutter and a skitzo.i just can’t take my crappy life anymore 🙁 maybe i am skitzo.i can’t controll my anger. i am afraid of myself..i know i will snap soon.
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In reply to korisx on 2010-08-17 – click to read
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Isolation And Social Withdrawal:
As the disease progresses, people with schizophrenia are more apt to isolate themselves from others. Social withdrawal may be both a symptom of the disease and a conscious decision by someone suffering from the disease. Those with schizophrenia are often embarrassed by their behavior when cognizant. Therefore, they choose to limit their interactions with other people.
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What Type Of Schizophrenia Has The Most Favorable Diagnosis
The prognosis of schizophrenia is more dependent on the factors relating to the individual themselves, rather than the sub-type of schizophrenia they are diagnosed with. Research suggests multiple factors are associated with a more favorable prognosis: being female, rapid onset of symptoms, older age of first episode, and the presence of predominantly positive symptoms are all examples of such factors.
Community Mental Health Team
If a diagnosis of schizophrenia is suspected, the GP should refer you to your local community mental health team .
CMHTs are made up of different mental health professionals who support people with complex mental health conditions.
A member of the CMHT team, usually a psychiatrist or a specialist nurse, will carry out a more detailed assessment of your symptoms. They’ll also want to know your personal history and current circumstances.
To make a diagnosis, most mental healthcare professionals use a diagnostic checklist.
Schizophrenia can usually be diagnosed if:
- you’ve experienced 1 or more of the following symptoms most of the time for a month: delusions, hallucinations, hearing voices, incoherent speech, or negative symptoms, such as a flattening of emotions
- your symptoms have had a significant impact on your ability to work, study or perform daily tasks
- all other possible causes, such as recreational drug use or bipolar disorder, have been ruled out
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What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service
You can find out more about:
Recognizing The Signs Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can cause hallucinations, delusions, and unusual behaviors, as well as cognitive challenges, such as problems with memory, attention, and concentration.
Recognizing the signs of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a treatable serious mental illness that affects a persons thoughts, feelings, mood, and overall functioning. This disorder can cause hallucinations, delusions, and unusual behaviors. People with the disorder might also have cognitive challenges, such as problems with memory, attention, and concentration.
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Use Empathy Not Arguments
Symptoms of schizophrenia like hallucinations or delusions can take some time to stop even when people are receiving treatment and following their treatment plan. As a group, these very distressing symptoms are called psychosis. Many people have a hard time responding to a loved ones hallucinations or delusions. Its best to avoid arguing about these experiences. Remember that delusion are symptoms of schizophreniathey are not thoughts that you can talk someone out of. Telling someone that their experiences arent real or arent true doesnt help when the experiences feel very real to that person! A better approach is to empathize with the feelings that hallucinations or delusions bring upwithout confirming or denying the hallucination or delusion. For example, if a loved one is frustrated or upset when they hear voices, it isnt helpful to say something like, Youre okay! It isnt real. I dont hear anything. Instead, you might say, I can only image how upsetting that voice must be. I can see the voice makes you feel scared. Know that with good treatment and support, symptoms like hallucinations and delusions become much easier for people to manage and lose importance.
Articles On Schizophrenia Overview
To get an official diagnosis of schizophrenia, a person has to show at least two of the following symptoms most of the time for a month, and some mental disturbance over 6 months:
- Disorganized speech and behavior
- Catatonic or coma-like daze
- Bizarre or hyperactive behavior
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Can People With Schizophrenia Live A Normal Life Without Medication
The two pillars of schizophrenia treatment are medications and therapy.
However, a minimal number of patients are able to live a normal life without antipsychotic medications.
The reason for this is that they well-functioning individuals and can cope better with the condition.
This also reduces the side-effects anti-psychotics can have on the individual due to their long-term use.
Can Someone With Schizophrenia Live A Normal Life
While schizophrenia cannot be cured, with the right treatment plan many people with schizophrenia can live relatively normal lives outside of a healthcare setting. The treatment must be ongoing for the person with schizophrenia to continue to live a productive, fulfilling life, including maintaining a job or socializing with friends and family.
Recommended Reading: Prodromal Phase Schizophrenia
Famous Personalities Who Suffered From Schizophrenia
Like any other disease, schizophrenia doesnt pick and choose its patients based on if one is famous or not.
You would be surprised to know that many famous, high-achieving people have the condition.
Some of them include John Forbes Nash Jr , Tom Harrel , Dr. James Watsons Son, Albert Einsteins son, Syd Barrett from the band Pink Floyd, and Mary Todd Lincoln .
What Are The Early Signs Of Schizophrenia
The most common early signs of schizophrenia may include social withdrawal, depression, hostility, oversleeping or insomnia, inability to cry or express joy, and deterioration of personal hygiene. The early stage of the schizophrenia is called the prodromal phase. It is difficult to diagnose schizophrenia during this early stage, as these symptoms could result from a number of other problems.
Read Also: Scale Of Prodromal Symptoms
Encourage Your Loved One To Keep Up With Their Treatment And Recovery Plan
This is very important! You are not responsible for your loved ones treatment , but you can support them. Schizophrenia can make it difficult for people to make and go to appointments and follow their treatment plan. With your loved ones permission, you may choose to help by reminding them of appointments, taking them to appointments, or whatever helps in your situation. If your loved one isnt happy with their treatment or would like to try a new approach, you can encourage them to talk with their care team, like their doctor or mental health teamit can be dangerous to stop or change a treatment without a doctors support.
Treatment can be a difficult area for loved ones. Its hard to see someone you love in pain. You might be scared of the things your loved one is experiencing. You want to help. But in order for any treatment to work, your loved one needs to be active in their care. Forcing or threatening treatment generally doesnt work and can often hurt everyone involved. In most cases, anyone 19 years of age and older and not at risk of harm is free to make their own choices. And their choices may include refusing treatment or choosing a treatment that you disagree with. It helps everyone if you can be respectful and keep honest communication open between you. You can learn more about dealing with this situation in Q& A: An adult in my life seems ill and wont find help. What can I do?.