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:
What Conditions Fall Under The Schizophrenia Spectrum
According to the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition , the disorders in the schizophrenia spectrum are:
- Schizoaffective disorder.
- Catatonia is a syndrome that can include a lack of movement, unusual movements, unusual repetitive behaviors, not speaking and social withdrawal. It can also complicate schizophrenia, as well as other psychiatric and medical conditions.
- Other schizophrenia spectrum disorders . This diagnosis allows healthcare providers to diagnose unusual variations of schizophrenia.
What Are Schizophrenia Negative And Positive Symptoms
Schizophrenia symptoms are often classified as negative or positive symptoms. These symptoms are grouped based on whether they reflect diminished or excess function. Positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms have been seen ever since schizophrenia was first noted in medical literature over 100 years ago.
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Early Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia
In some people, schizophrenia appears suddenly and without warning. But for most, it comes on slowly, with subtle warning signs and a gradual decline in functioning, long before the first severe episode. Often, friends or family members will know early on that something is wrong, without knowing exactly what.
In this early phase of schizophrenia, you may seem eccentric, unmotivated, emotionless, and reclusive to others. You may start to isolate yourself, begin neglecting your appearance, say peculiar things, and show a general indifference to life. You may abandon hobbies and activities, and your performance at work or school can deteriorate.
How Do I Take Care Of Myself
People with schizophrenia should do the following to help care for themselves and manage their condition:
- Take medications as prescribed. One of the most critical things a person with schizophrenia can do to help themselves is to take their medications. If you have schizophrenia, you should not stop your medication without talking to your healthcare provider. Sudden stopping of medication often speeds up the return of psychosis symptoms. Side effects are common with antipsychotics. However, there are many antipsychotic medications, so its often possible to work with your healthcare provider to find one that both works well for you and has minimal or no side effects.
- See your healthcare provider as recommended. Your healthcare provider will set up a schedule for you to see them. These visits are especially important to help with managing your condition.
- Dont ignore or avoid symptoms. Schizophrenia is more likely to respond and have a good outcome with early diagnosis and treatment.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drug use. Alcohol and drug use can make schizophrenia symptoms worse and can lead to other issues. This includes using prescription medications in a way other than prescribed.
- Consider seeking support. Organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness can offer resources and information that can help.
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Positive Symptoms Of Schizophrenia: Things That Might Start Happening
Positive symptoms are highly exaggerated ideas, perceptions, or actions that show the person canât tell whatâs real from what isnât. Here the word “positive” means the presence of symptoms. They can include:
- Hallucinations. People with schizophrenia might hear, see, smell, or feel things no one else does. The types of hallucinations in schizophrenia include:
- Auditory. The person most often hears voices in their head. They might be angry or urgent and demand that they do things. It can sound like one voice or many. They might whisper, murmur, or be angry and demanding.
- Visual. Someone might see lights, objects, people, or patterns. Often itâs loved ones or friends who are no longer alive. They may also have trouble with depth perception and distance.
- Olfactory and gustatory. This can include good and bad smells and tastes. Someone might believe theyâre being poisoned and refuse to eat.
- Tactile. This creates a feeling of things moving on your body, like hands or insects.
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
- recognising and coping with symptoms,
- what to do in a crisis,
- meeting other people who can support you, and recovery.
- talk back to them,
What Medications Or Treatments Are Used
Treating schizophrenia and related conditions typically involves multiple methods. Those methods can happen in combinations or steps.
There are two main types of medications that treat schizophrenia.
- Typical antipsychotics. Also known as first-generation antipsychotics, these medications block how your brain uses dopamine, a chemical your brain uses for cell-to-cell communication.
- Atypical antipsychotics. These medications, also called second-generation antipsychotics, work differently from first-generation antipsychotics. These block both dopamine and serotonin, two key communication chemicals in your brain. Clozapine is a particularly effective medication that can treat symptoms of schizophrenia when other drugs dont work. However, it has a rare serious side effect that requires frequent blood monitoring to keep people safe, which is why healthcare providers usually recommend other antipsychotics first.
There are other medications your healthcare provider might also prescribe to treat other symptoms that happen alongside or because of your schizophrenia symptoms. They might also prescribe medications to help reduce side effects of antipsychotic medications such as tremors.
In general, your healthcare provider is the best person to talk to about the medications they might prescribe. They can give you more specific information related to your specific situation, including your life circumstances, medical history and personal preferences.
Extremely Disorganized Or Catatonic Behavior
Disorganized behavior can include odd behaviors like smiling or laughing for no apparent reason, or talking to yourself. It can also include movements that seem to happen for no reason, or even being stressed or annoyed without a clear cause.
People with schizophrenia may have a childlike silliness about them. Or, they may be disheveled or oddly dressed. In some cases, they might also demonstrate inappropriate sexual behaviors, like public masturbation.
Catatonic behavior can include not moving much or at all, or refusing to do things or speak.
Someone might also do a lot of unusual movements that dont seem to have a purpose. You may find them purposely in strange positions or notice their unusual gestures or grimacing.
People with schizophrenia may also have echolalia or echopraxia .
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What Can I Do If A Loved One Shows Signs Of Schizophrenia Or A Similar Condition
Because people with schizophrenia often cant recognize their symptoms or condition, they often dont believe they need medical care or treatment. That can be frustrating or frightening for both the person with the symptoms and those who care about them.
If you notice a loved one showing signs of schizophrenia or a related condition, you can try helping them by doing the following:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Schizophrenia can be a frightening condition for the people who have it and their loved ones. Despite stereotypes, this isnt a condition where any thought of recovery or living a happy, fulfilling life is impossible. If you think you have symptoms of schizophrenia, its important to talk to a healthcare provider as soon as you can. Their job is to help you, and healthcare providers especially those who specialize in mental health conditions like schizophrenia have the training to help you not feel judged, ashamed or embarrassed. If you notice a loved one struggling with symptoms of psychosis or schizophrenia, encourage them gently and supportively to get care. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in helping people recover and manage this condition.
Getting Help For Others
Experiencing psychosis can be extremely frightening, but many people who experience it dont always talk about it initially.
If you believe someone you know may be experiencing psychosis or may soon experience symptoms, contact their healthcare team right away if they have one. If they dont, reach out to a local hospital.
If you believe they may be a danger to themselves or others, you can call 911 or take them to the emergency room.
If you feel unsure or nervous about their behavior or what they might do, get a professional involved as soon as you can.
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What Is The Flat Affect
Flat affect: A severe reduction in emotional expressiveness. People with depression and schizophrenia often show flat affect. A person with schizophrenia may not show the signs of normal emotion, perhaps may speak in a monotonous voice, have diminished facial expressions, and appear extremely apathetic.
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.
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What Is Psychosis About Symptoms And Disorders
As such, psychosis in current psychiatric classification systems is restricted to psychotic symptomscomprising hallucinations and delusionsand psychotic disorders, syndromes where psychotic symptoms dominate. Therefore, psychosis is characterized by what is grossly observedlikewise the other diagnostic categories in DSM-5. More subtle notions of psychosis like Bleulers four As and the phenomenological approach are abandoned.
Using a phenomenic rather than a phenomenological approach, for instance, has some advantages for research, communication, and legal purposes. Nevertheless, there are some serious problems inherent to this method.
Example Question #: Schizophrenia
If Lucy believes that every plane flying overhead is trying to bomb her, and every whispering stranger is plotting to kill her, what type of schizophrenic symptom is she having?
delusion of persecution
A delusion of persecution is when a person believes everyone is trying to hurt him or her Lucyâs belief about random planes bombing her and strangers plotting to hurt her are two examples of such perceived persecution.
Which is an example of a negative symptom of schizophrenia?
Positive symptoms are the presence of emotions or behaviors that are usually absent in a healthy patient. Negative symptoms are the absence of emotions or behaviors that are usually present in a healthy patient.
Flat affect is a negative symptom of schizophrenia, since it is a disruption in normal emotional functioning. Delusions, hallucinations, and catatonia are examples of positive symptoms, whereas impaired executive functioning is an example of a cognitive symptom.
Which of the following is not a commonly recognized symptom of schizophrenia?
All of these are commonly recognized symptoms of schizophrenia
All of these are commonly recognized symptoms of schizophrenia
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Why Are Schizophrenics So Angry
Multiple factors, including insufficient social support, substance abuse, and symptom exacerbations, can precipitate aggressive behavior. Moreover, failure to treat schizophrenic patients adequately is a major risk factor for aggression. Patients may be more aggressive and violent during acute episodes.
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:
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Risk Factors For Developing Psychosis
Its not currently possible to precisely identify who is likely to develop psychosis. However, research has shown that genetics may play a role.
People are more likely to develop a psychotic disorder if they have a close family member, such as a parent or sibling, who has a psychotic disorder.
Children born with the genetic mutation known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome are at risk of developing a psychotic disorder, especially schizophrenia.
Some kinds of psychosis are brought on by specific conditions or circumstances.
What Is Deficit Schizophrenia
Deficit schizophrenia, which is not synonymous with deficit symptoms or negative symptoms, is diagnosed when patients have:
- At least two out of the six negative symptoms
- The symptoms are persistent, or present for at least one year, and the patient experiences them even during times of clinical stability
- The symptoms are primary, or not due to other causes like medication or other conditions
People with deficit schizophrenia have a poorer response to treatment, social and occupational functioning, and overall quality of life than people with non-deficit schizophrenia.
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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
Types Of Negative Symptoms
The first step in managing the negative symptoms of schizophrenia is to understand the different types, which typically have one of four defining features:
- Affective deficits:lack of facial expression, eye contact, gestures, and variations in voice pattern
- Avolition deficits: severe lack of motivation or initiative to accomplish purposeful tasks
- Communicative deficits:speech lacking in quantity or information
- Relational deficits:lack of interest in social activities and relationships
Because negative symptoms can include deficits in cognitive, emotional, and social abilities, there can be a large number of potential symptoms. The most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders describes negative symptoms as restricted emotional expression and avolition, and includes the following five types.
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