Symptoms Of Schizophrenia In Children
In younger children, the symptoms of schizophrenia include long periods of inactivity, flopping the arms and legs, delayed milestones of crawling, walking and talking, presence of odd movements such as rocking and prolonged slumped posture. In older children, some of the symptoms of schizophrenia are intense fear that someone might harm them, hearing unnatural voices, seeing things that are not there, long bouts of moodiness or anxiety, absence of emotions, agitated and confused behaviour, inability to differentiate between what is the reality and stories or television programs and long duration of sitting and staring, trouble in concentrating on the studies, social withdrawal and acting like small children.
Schizophrenia: The Words Meaning
The word schizophrenia originates from the Greek Language. The meaning of Schizophrenia can be understood by the split Greek terms schizo, meaning split, and phrene, meaning mind, representing a persons fragmented thinking. Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, acts, perceives reality, and relates to others.
It involves psychosis, a mental illness wherein a person cant tell whats real from whats imagined. The complexity of schizophrenia may help explain some misconceptions about the disease. For instance, some people think it causes a split personality. In fact, schizophrenia and split personality, clinically known as dissociative identity disorder, are two different disorders.
A person with the disorder can show a sudden change in behavior due to the lack of control during a psychotic episode. The illness is not the same for everyone. Some people have only one psychotic episode, while others have many episodes during a lifetime but lead relatively everyday lives in between. Still, others may have more trouble functioning over time, with slight improvement between full-blown psychotic episodes.
How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed
Schizophrenia can be difficult to diagnose because there is no medical test that can be completed to obtain diagnosis. Doctors must be specially trained in psychiatry to diagnose and treat patients with schizophrenia due to the complexities of the mental health condition. In many first cases of schizophrenia, signs begin with negative symptoms, which can often delay diagnosis until positive symptoms arise.
To be assessed by a psychiatrist who can identify or attribute your symptoms to a particular condition, you will need to have experienced symptoms for a number of weeks prior to a diagnosis.
This means that psychiatric assessments are completed over a period of time, rather than a single doctorâs visit like most physical health conditions. The NHS advise that positive symptoms must be experienced for one month before a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be given.
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What Can I Do To Manage Schizophrenia
People deal with their experience in different ways. You might need to try different things before finding something that works.
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support. Hearing about the experiences of others can help you feel understood. This may help you feel less alone and boost your self-confidence.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area, or get help to set up your own support group if you follow this link:
Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525 for more information.
Recovery colleges are part of the NHS. They offer free courses about mental health to help you manage your experiences. They can help you to take control of your life and become an expert in your own wellbeing and recovery. You can usually self-refer to a recovery college. But the college may tell your care team.
Unfortunately, recovery colleges are not available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525 for more information.
Peer support through the NHS
- side effects,
- recognising and coping with symptoms,
- what to do in a crisis,
- meeting other people who can support you, and recovery.
Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Schizophrenia
In the latest edition of the DSM there are diagnostic criteria for a condition called schizoaffective disorder, sometimes called bipolar schizophrenia, which was previously described as more of a subtype of schizophrenia or mood disorders. Schizoaffective disorder is a combination of schizophrenia and either bipolar disorder or depression. A person with this diagnosis experiences symptoms of both conditions, often at the same time. Possible symptoms of schizoaffective disorder include:
- Hallucinations and delusions
- Inappropriate emotional responses and behaviors
- Extreme sadness and hopelessness
- Lethargy and fatigue, loss of interest in activities
- Changes in appetite or sleep
- Difficulty concentrating and thinking
- Inflated sense of self-esteem and abilities
- Risky behaviors
What Is The Treatment For Schizophrenia
Regarding treatment, the approach with psychotropic drugs is essential. These make it possible to control symptoms and avoid acute episodes and flare-ups. It is essential that patients take their medication continuously throughout life, as it is a chronic disease. In addition, an approach with psychological therapy can also be helpful. This can promote adherence to psychotropic drugs, increase the patient’s social skills and provide support to their family environment.
It should be noted that, contrary to popular belief, patients with schizophrenia are not generally aggressive or dangerous. Following the appropriate pharmacological treatment and with good psychosocial support, they can lead a fairly normalized life.
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.
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How Do Doctors Diagnose The Type Of Schizophrenia
If the patient is admitted, the psychiatrist talks to them and evaluates their behavior, considers whether any symptoms were triggered by alcohol or drugs, reviews any records from prior admissions, and talks to the family.
Initially, we may only see that the patient is losing track of reality, says Dr. Bowers. We may need more time to see all the symptoms of schizophrenia. These symptoms include:
- Fixed, false beliefs.
- Seeing visions or shadows.
- Suspicion and distrust.
Government regulations require psychiatrists to diagnose a specific type of schizophrenia so that insurance companies get the green light to pay for care.
We hope to see enough symptoms during a three-, five- or 10-day hospital stay to clarify the type of schizophrenia, she says. But we may not see all of them, so the initial diagnosis may not be exactly right.
The 4 Most Common Types Of Schizophrenia
Its safe to conclude at this point that schizophrenia is a complex disease. Living with schizophrenia isnt easy, but understanding more about the disorder and its many ramifications can help you deal with your own issues or help a loved one who is struggling. Here is some valuable information about the four most common types of schizophrenia to get you started.
1. Paranoid Schizophrenia
Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common manifestation of the disorder. According to the International Classification of Diseases, its most prominent symptom is constituted by hallucinations and delusions. Due to the paranoid aspect, these usually consist of unusual feelings of being watched, followed or even hunted down.
Unlike the other common types, paranoid schizophrenia can also develop at a later age, while others usually start to show in early childhood. This was the case of Nobel prize laureate mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr., whose struggle with this particular illness has been documented in the biographic film A Beautiful Mind.
2. Catatonic Schizophrenia
Although its rarer than other types of schizophrenia, catatonic behavior is still widely exhibited by schizophrenics, as well as people who suffer from other mental conditions, such as depression or bipolar disorder. Catatonia implies falling into behavioral extremes, much like manic and depressive episodes.
3. Disorganized Schizophrenia
4. Undifferentiated Schizophrenia
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Types Of Paranoid Schizophrenia
There are several types of paranoid schizophrenia. These include:
This type of paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized thinking, behavior, and emotions.
People with this type of paranoid schizophrenia experience delusions and hallucinations, but they are not as severe.
People with this type of paranoid schizophrenia may have unusual motor behavior. They can sometimes become very still, resist being moved or repositioned, and remain in uncomfortable positions for long periods of time.
Simple Paranoid Schizophrenia
This type of paranoid schizophrenia is characterized by delusions and hallucinations that are not as severe as those experienced in other types of paranoid schizophrenia.
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Disorganized Or Hebephrenic Subtype
The disorganized subtypes predominant symptom is disorganization of thought processes.
Hallucinations and delusions may be less pronounced and do not usually form a coherent story, although there may be some evidence of these symptoms.
Symptoms of this subtype include:
- issues with speech and communication
- disorganized thoughts
- emotions and reactions that dont match the situation
- issues managing daily activities
People with disorganized symptoms may have difficulty navigating daily life, such as maintaining work or social relationships.
Even more routine tasks, such as dressing, bathing, or brushing teeth, can be troublesome.
Emotions may be significantly impacted. For example, someone living with disorganized schizophrenia may appear to have little or no emotions.Mental health professionals refer to this as a blunted or flat affect.
At other times, they may seem emotionally unstable, or their emotions may not seem appropriate for the situation.
People living with symptoms of this subtype also may not be able to communicate effectively. At times, their speech may become less understandable due to disorganized thinking it may be jumbled, or they may speak in sentences that dont make sense.
The predominant clinical features in the catatonic subtype involve problems with movement and responsiveness to other people or everyday situations. These include:
What Happens At The Hospital
About one-third of people with schizophrenia dont believe anything is wrong with them. Many more dont seek help on their own, for cultural reasons or because they lack resources.
So problems often come to light only when their erratic behavior or other troubles trigger a crisis. Patients are often brought to the hospital by family, teachers or the police, says Dr. Bowers.
To decide whether to admit someone, psychiatrists consider whether patients pose a risk to themselves or others whether they can take care of themselves and whether they could benefit from hospital treatment.
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Is It Possible To Recover From Schizophrenia
Many people who live with schizophrenia have recovery journeys that lead them to live meaningful lives.
Recovery can be thought of in terms of:
- clinical recovery, and
- personal recovery.
What is clinical recovery?
Your doctor might have talked to you about recovery. Some doctors and health professionals think of recovery as:
- no longer having mental illness symptoms, or
- where your symptoms are controlled by treatment to such a degree that they are not significantly a problem.
Sometimes this is called clinical recovery.
Everyones experience of clinical recovery is different.
- Some people completely recover from schizophrenia and go on to be symptom free.
- Some who live with schizophrenia can improve a great deal with ongoing treatment.
- Some improve with treatment but need ongoing support from mental health and social services.
What is personal recovery?
Dealing with symptoms is important to a lot of people. But some people think that recovery is wider than this. We call this personal recovery.
Personal recovery means that you can live a meaningful life.
What you think of as being a meaningful life might be different to how other people see it. You can think about what you would like to do to live a meaningful life and work towards that goal.
Below are some ways you can think of recovery.
What can help me recover?
You may want to think about the following questions.
The following things can be important in recovery.
The Decision To Eliminate Types Of Schizophrenia
Mental health professionals found the schizophrenia subtypes unreliable in the diagnostic process. Aside from being inconsistent, clinicians found them ultimately unhelpful.
Most subtypes went unused, aside from paranoid and undifferentiated. While developing reliable diagnostic criteria was crucial in these changes, the highest priority was developing a more substantial clinical assessment and treatment system.
Another effort made to facilitate efficient treatment was clarifying the diagnostic criteria of schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder is a condition that has schizophrenic features alongside mood disorder symptoms. The schizoaffective disorder criteria shifted to include that indicators of a manic or depressive episode are consistently present for the duration of the illness.
People looking to learn more about schizophrenia may appreciate learning about the subtypes. While they are no longer used, they can provide deeper insight into how this illness has presented throughout the years.
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The Most Common Early Warning Signs Include:
While these warning signs can result from a number of problemsnot just schizophreniathey are cause for concern. When out-of-the-ordinary behavior is causing problems in your life or the life of a loved one, seek medical advice. If schizophrenia or another mental problem is the cause, getting treatment early will help.
The Risks Of Schizophrenia In Women Vs Men
While males and females both have about the same 1 in 100 chance of developing schizophrenia over the course of their lives. However, schizophrenia is a condition that more often men acquire than women. This may be due to the fact that some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, such as social withdrawal and lack of emotion, are more common in women.
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Positive And Negative Symptoms
The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually classified into:
- positive symptoms any change in behaviour or thoughts, such as hallucinations or delusions
- negative symptoms where people appear to withdraw from the world around then, take no interest in everyday social interactions, and often appear emotionless and flat
The Impact Of Eliminating Schizophrenia Subtypes
With the elimination of the schizophrenia subtypes came a more reliable treatment framework. This helps those in pain access support more efficiently, minimizing the suffering that occurs with this illness.
It also contributed to the constantly evolving research on schizophrenia, sparking studies that the elimination of the subtypes was a welcome change.
Between aiding treatment and expanding research, the elimination of schizophrenia subtypes ultimately had a positive impact.
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What Kinds Of Schizophrenia Are There
Now that we have drawn a definition of what schizophrenia is, it is time to talk about the types that exist, their symptoms and causes. However, it is important to indicate that, with the publication of the diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Society , it was decided to suppress the subtypes that had been collected in previous editions, considering them not very useful when taking clinical decisions. In any case, the use of these subtypes is still quite widespread and it is interesting to review them:
How Is Schizophrenia Treated
With early diagnosis, proper treatment and psychosocial therapy, most people with schizophrenia can lead productive and fulfilling lives. Treatment for schizophrenia may include
- Medication: Medications dont cure schizophrenia, but they can help relieve the most troubling symptoms. Medications include:
- Older antipsychotics such as chlorpromazine , haloperidol , etc.
- Newer antipsychotics such as risperidone , iloperidone , clozapine , etc. Clozapine is used to treat schizophrenia that is resistant to other treatments.
Signs And Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Some people start showing signs of schizophrenia immediately, while others begin exhibiting symptoms gradually over time. The severity of these symptoms can differ from person to person, especially if they are dealing with different types of schizophrenia.
The initial signs of schizophrenia can appear mild, with individuals showing behaviors such as:
- Appearing withdrawn
- Being disorganized
- Seeming suspicious of various things
These initial behavioral changes are often a precursor to an episode of psychosis, where a person might show the first symptoms of schizophrenia. Symptoms typically fall into three categories:
You may find your perception of things changing. People in this state often experience hallucinations, like hearing voices or seeing things that arent present. Some individuals fall into a delusional state where they cling to false beliefs without any supporting evidence. You may start to believe that people are looking to harm you, or think that you are receiving special signals through your TV or the internet.
Negative symptoms of schizophrenia can include losing the motivation to get things done or losing interest in activities you once enjoyed. Many people in this state begin withdrawing from social activities. It can become harder for you to show emotional responses or function as usual.