Monday, June 17, 2024

What Does Schizophrenia Look Like In A Person

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What’s it like to live with #schizophrenia?

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.

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.

The Turning Point: Adolescence

An interaction between something in your genes and something in your environment probably causes the disease. Researchers still have a lot to learn about it, but it’s likely that many things play a role. Some, like exposure to a virus or malnutrition , might have happened while you were still in your mother’s womb. For vulnerable individuals, cannabis use can increase the risk of developing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

No one knows exactly why it usually crops up in late adolescence, but there are many theories.

Your brain changes and develops a lot during puberty. These shifts might trigger the disease in people who are at risk for it.

Some scientists believe it has to do with development in an area of the brain called the frontal cortex. Others think it has to do with too many connections between nerve cells being eliminated as the brain matures.

Hormones also play a major role in puberty. One theory is that women get schizophrenia later than men because they go through puberty earlier and the hormone estrogen might somehow protect them. Know how to recognize the signs of schizophrenia in teens.

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What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose This Condition

There arent any diagnostic tests for schizophrenia-spectrum conditions. But healthcare providers will likely run tests to rule out other conditions before diagnosing schizophrenia. The most likely types of tests include:

  • Imaging tests. Healthcare providers will often use computerized tomography , magnetic resonance imaging and other imaging tests to rule out problems like stroke, brain injuries, tumors and other changes to your brain structure.
  • Blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid tests. These tests look for chemical changes in bodily fluids that might explain changes in your behavior. They can rule out heavy metal toxicity or other causes of poisoning, infections and more.
  • Brain activity testing. An electroencephalogram detects and records the electrical activity in your brain. This test can help rule out conditions like epilepsy.

What Causes Schizophrenia And Its Spectrum Of Conditions

What places in the human brain does schizophrenia affect and originate ...

Schizophrenia and the related spectrum of conditions dont have a single confirmed cause. Several factors and circumstances increase a persons risk of developing it, but none of them is a guarantee that youll eventually have it.

Experts suspect schizophrenia happens for different reasons. The three main reasons include:

  • Imbalances in chemical signals your brain uses for cell-to-cell communication.
  • Brain development problems before birth.
  • Loss of connections between different areas of your brain.

Risk factors

While there arent any confirmed causes of schizophrenia, there are several factors and circumstances that researchers have connected to the condition.

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What About Side Effects

  • You may have side effects from some medications, so your healthcare provider may have you try several different medications before finding the one that works best

  • So if a side effect is bothering you, tell your healthcare provider. They may want to change your medication

  • Finding the right medication is important, and following your healthcare provider’s instructions can help you manage your schizophrenia

How You Can Help Someone With Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

Due to the nature of schizophrenia, people with the disorder rarely recognize that they need professional help or that anything is wrong. They may also be fearful or paranoid about mental health professionals. As such, people with the disorder need their loved ones to steer them toward treatment.

Although you cannot force your loved one to receive the care they deserve, you can help guide them. Here are five ways to help someone manage the symptoms of schizophrenia:

  • Be calm and sympathetic when you approach the subject of getting help.
  • Reinforce the idea that they deserve to be happy and healthy.
  • Remind them that you will love them no matter the diagnosis.
  • Offer help in finding a qualified professional and making the appointment.
  • Offer to go to the appointments with them.
  • If someone poses a danger to anyone, call 9-1-1 immediately. Although you may not see your loved one as someone who could hurt another person, schizophrenia can make people act in ways that are against their character. If your loved one is suicidal, you may also call 9-1-1 or take them to the nearest emergency room.

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    How Common Is This Condition

    Here are some statistics about how common schizophrenia is worldwide:

    • New cases: There are about 2.77 million new schizophrenia diagnoses every year worldwide.
    • Average number of worldwide cases: There are about 22.1 million cases globally at any time .
    • Odds of developing it at some point in your lifetime: About 0.85% of the global population will experience schizophrenia at some point in their life.

    What Should I Know About Psychosis

    Schizophrenia: What’s in my head?
    • Anyone can have a psychotic episode.

    • Psychosis does not discriminate across cultures, races, or social classes.

    • At this time it is still unknown exactly what causes psychosis, but it is known that psychosis is treatable and that the earlier it is identified and treated the more successful remission is.

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    What Do Schizophrenia Hallucinations Look Like

    Just like in our What Do The Hallucinations Say? video, we also discuss why it can be inappropriate to ask someone what their hallucinations look like. Having a person repeat what their hallucinations look like can be triggering. It is better to focus on how you can help the individual or how they feel rather than to get the inside scoop on what the hallucinations look like. Focus on the person first. If they feel comfortable sharing, let them volunteer that information do not impose or burden it on them. This week Michelle Hammer from Schizophrenic.NYC and Cecilia McGough from Students With Psychosis describe what their visual hallucinations look like

    S1 E10 What Do Schizophrenia Hallucinations Look Like

    Just like in our What Do The Hallucinations Say? video, we also discuss why it can be inappropriate to ask someone what their hallucinations look like. Having a person repeat what their hallucinations look like can be triggering. It is better to focus on how you can help the individual or how they feel rather than to get the inside scoop on what the hallucinations look like. Focus on the person first. If they feel comfortable sharing, let them volunteer that information do not impose or burden it on them. This week Michelle Hammer from Schizophrenic.NYC and Cecilia McGough from Students With Psychosis describe what their visual hallucinations look like

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    Dont Take It Personally

    Schizophrenia can be a difficult illnessfor everyone. During episodes of psychosis, your loved one may experience frightening sensations that you cant understand. They may act in ways that you dont understand. Other symptoms of schizophrenia can make it hard for people to express emotions or feelings, communicate clearly, or seem interested in others. Its important to know that these are symptoms of an illness. They are no ones fault, but they can still be hard to cope with. Consider reaching out to a family and friends support group for your own support. The BC Schizophrenia Society has a directory of groups around BC at

    Talking About Your Diagnosis

    What is schizophrenia?

    People with schizophrenia may feel reluctant to talk about it with people they dont know well. Sharing ones mental health condition may feel risky, particularly if the response of the other person is in question. Those who are managing this disorder may wonder how to tell someone you have schizophrenia. While there is no predetermined way to do this, it can be helpful to gauge their understanding of the condition. Often when people have knowledge about a condition, they are better able to respond to it appropriately and with compassion.

    Teach people how to help you when you are experiencing a flare-up with your symptoms. Most people want to help and may simply need to be educated about how to do that. Whom you share your personal information with is entirely your decision. You can share or withhold your medical and mental health information with whomever you would like.

    It can also be helpful to enlist the assistance of someone you trust to help you share information about your diagnosis with others. Schizophrenia support groups can be a great way to do this. Meeting up with others who manage a similar condition can help in identifying coping strategies and methods of communicating about it with others.

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    What Is The Difference Between Schizophrenia And Psychosis

    Schizophrenia and psychosis are two strongly connected terms, but they also have significant differences.

    • Psychosis: This is a grouping of symptoms that involve a disconnection from reality and the world around you . Psychosis can happen with other medical conditions and mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder.
    • Schizophrenia: This is a spectrum of conditions that involve psychotic symptoms.

    Schizophrenia: The 7 Keys To Self

    Seek social support. Friends and family vital to helping you get the right treatment and keeping your symptoms under control. Regularly connecting with others face-to-face is also the most effective way to calm your nervous system and relieve stress. Stay involved with others by continuing your work or education. If thats not possible, consider volunteering, joining a schizophrenia support group, or taking a class or joining a club to spend time with people who have common interests. As well as keeping you socially connected, it can help you feel good about yourself.

    Manage stress. High levels of stress are believed to trigger schizophrenic episodes by increasing the bodys production of the hormone cortisol. As well as staying socially connected, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your stress levels. Try adopting a regular relaxation practice such as yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.

    Get regular exercise. As well as all the emotional and physical benefits, exercise may help reduce symptoms of schizophrenia, improve your focus and energy, and help you feel calmer. Aim for 30 minutes of activity on most days, or if its easier, three 10-minute sessions. Try rhythmic exercise that engages both your arms and legs, such as walking, running, swimming, or dancing.

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    Schizophrenia And The City Hosts

    Schizophrenia And The City is a podcast and video series hosted by two New York City women.

    Michelle Hammer is a Schizophrenia Activist and spends her time passionately fighting stigma. At 27, Michelle decided to use her artistic talents and fearless personality to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded a mental health focused clothing brand. Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing brand with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle has also been featured in many publications such as Mashable, The Daily Mail, Stylist, and Buzzfeed.

    Cecilia McGough is a New York City-based mental health activist, writer, media consultant, and radio astronomer. Cecilia also happens to have schizophrenia but does not let her diagnosis define her. Cecilia is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Students With Psychosis and content creator for the I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia project. As a TEDx speaker and Special Books By Special Kids interviewee, Cecilias videos have been viewed over 20 million times over multiple platforms across the globe and featured in Forbes, Glamour UK, Barcroft TV, and CBS This Morning national news.

    Changes In Behaviour And Thoughts

    What it’s like to have schizophrenia

    A personâs behaviour may become more disorganised and unpredictable.

    Some people describe their thoughts as being controlled by someone else, that their thoughts are not their own, or that thoughts have been planted in their mind by someone else.

    Another feeling is that thoughts are disappearing, as though someone is removing them from their mind.

    Some people feel their body is being taken over and someone else is directing their movements and actions.

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    A Look Inside The Mind Of Schizophrenia

    To better understand schizophrenia, its best to learn more about both the science behind the symptoms and the stories of those whove experienced them.

    Our understanding of schizophrenia has improved dramatically over the last century.

    Advances in medicine have led to a better understanding of how the disorder works, leading to the development of more effective treatments.

    But having scientific knowledge of schizophrenia is quite different from knowing how it feels on a personal level.

    Approximately 20 million people around the world live with schizophrenia. Theyre the ones who truly understand what the condition feels like from the inside.

    Learning more about the scientific evidence behind the major symptoms as well as the deeply personal experiences of some of those whove lived with the disorder may allow you to better understand this challenging and chronic condition.

    Schizophrenia is a complex psychological disorder affecting approximately 1.5 million people in the United States. It impairs thoughts, judgment, behavior, and the ability to interpret reality.

    Schizophrenia symptoms may be divided into positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms.

    Positive symptoms add something extra to how the person felt before onset. These are the symptoms of psychosis we most often associate with schizophrenia, including:

    Negative symptoms take away from the individuals personality and may seem less like symptoms of a mental disorder. These may include:

    What Is Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia is a severe mental health disorder that can affect anyone during their adult lifetime.

    Most symptoms of Schizophrenia appear during early adulthood when someone is in their mid to late 20s.

    This means you could be a nursing student or even already working as a nurse before you begin to notice symptoms of this disorder.

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    How Is It Diagnosed

    Your healthcare provider can diagnose schizophrenia or its related disorders based on a combination of questions they ask, the symptoms you describe or by observing your actions. Theyll also ask questions to rule out causes other than schizophrenia. They then compare what they find to the criteria required for a schizophrenia diagnosis.

    According to the DSM-5, a schizophrenia diagnosis requires the following:

    • At least two of five main symptoms. Those symptoms, explained above, are delusions, hallucinations, disorganized or incoherent speaking, disorganized or unusual movements and negative symptoms.
    • Duration of symptoms and effects. The key symptoms you have must last for at least one month. The conditions effects must also last for at least six months.
    • Social or occupational dysfunction. This means the condition disrupts either your ability to work or your relationships .

    Is It Possible To Recover From Schizophrenia

    Schizophrenia and the Risks of Substance Abuse

    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.

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