Schizophrenia is a complex clinical diagnosis with a very controversial history. You cannot diagnose yourself with schizophrenia. You should consult with a trained clinician, such as a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. Only a trained mental health professional can make an accurate diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, if you are worried that you might have schizophrenia, you can learn some criteria that can help you understand what schizophrenia looks like and whether you are at risk.
Check out some of the real life experiences shared by Schizophrenics (identities hidden). This will give you insights on what happens to them.
Male 24. I’m an extreme paranoid schizophrenic and I alsi have depressive personality disorders and DID (disociative identity disorder) Having a long range of mental illnesses I still feel my schizophrenia affects me most because I get so paranoid at people I lose relationships with people I really care about and it seems I have a dullness of happiness, and sympathy for certain things, not to mention my hallucinations of demons haunting me and one making home inside my head, voices telling me to do things that are morally wrong to. Most people but I. Feel it isn’t wrong, my. Beliefs are totally distorted but right I feel death is the only fairness in life I feel the only way for. People to not be in pain is to die, countless suicide attempts and loads of guilt. This is why I believe schizophrenia is by far the worst mental illness.
Male 18. I am a schizophrenic… It’s the worst thing that has happened to me so far but also the best thing. Losing the sense of reality has made me appreciate what other people take for granted. Never piety a person with a mental illness, physical illness or any negative aspect they are born with as a human being, pity the ones who embrace negativity through their lifetime and die without humanity.
Female 25. I might have schizophrenia (not totally sure) and it sucks I have constant hallucination and delusions. I hear bombs guns screaming mumbling sometimes talking. I see little images that are not there, large light flashes, people chasing me, menacing shadows, people staring at me. I know that people are plotting against me, that I am being spied on, my thoughts are probably being broadcasted on radios, I am afraid to go on computers sometimes (obviously sometimes I can otherwise I wouldn’t be here) because I think there might be built in guns.
Female 13. I’m 13 not to mention my speech is horrible people usually understand me never and it’s just really hard I can’t show to sympathy even emotions I don’t even have them it’s bad I can’t stand it I just want it to go away. I have been delusional since I was 6.
What is Schizophrenia
Early Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The presence of two or more of the following symptoms for at least 30 days
- Disorganized speech.
- Disorganized or catatonic behavior.
- Negative symptoms (emotional flatness, apathy, lack of speech)
Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.
Warning Symptoms of Schizophrenia
These are alarming symptoms, if these exceed more than 60 days:
- Social withdrawal
- Hostility or suspiciousness
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
- Flat, expressionless gaze
- Inability to cry or express joy
- Inappropriate laughter or crying
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Odd or irrational statements
- Forgetful; unable to concentrate
- Extreme reaction to criticism
- Strange use of words or way of speaking
Premeditated Reasons of Schizophrenia
Research points to several stress-inducing environmental factors that may be involved in schizophrenia, including:
- Prenatal exposure to a viral infection
- Low oxygen levels during birth (from prolonged labor or premature birth)
- Exposure to a virus during infancy
- Early parental loss or separation
- Physical or sexual abuse in childhood
A diagnosis of schizophrenia is made based on a full psychiatric evaluation, medical history, physical exam, and lab tests.
- Psychiatric evaluation – The doctor or psychiatrist will ask a series of questions about you or your loved one’s symptoms, psychiatric history, and family history of mental health problems.
- Medical history and exam – Your doctor will ask about your personal and family health history. He or she will also perform a complete physical examination to check for medical issues that could be causing or contributing to the problem.
- Laboratory tests – While there are no laboratory tests that can diagnose schizophrenia, simple blood and urine tests can rule out other medical causes of symptoms. The doctor may also order brain-imaging studies, such as an MRI or a CT scan, in order to look for brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia.
Medications and Treatment of Schizophrenia
Medications are the cornerstone of schizophrenia treatment. However, because medications for schizophrenia can cause serious but rare side effects, people with schizophrenia may be reluctant to take them.
Antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat schizophrenia. They’re thought to control symptoms by affecting the brain neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.
Willingness to cooperate with treatment may affect medication choice. Someone who is resistant to taking medication consistently may need to be given injections instead of taking a pill. Someone who is agitated may need to be calmed initially with a benzodiazepine such as lorazepam (Ativan), which may be combined with an antipsychotic.
These newer, second-generation medications are generally preferred because they pose a lower risk of serious side effects than do conventional medications. They include:
- Aripiprazole (Abilify)
- Asenapine (Saphris)
- Clozapine (Clozaril)
- Iloperidone (Fanapt)
- Lurasidone (Latuda)
- Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
- Paliperidone (Invega)
- Quetiapine (Seroquel)
- Risperidone (Risperdal)
- Ziprasidone (Geodon)
Ask your doctor about the benefits and side effects of any medication that’s prescribed.
Conventional, or typical, antipsychotics
These first-generation medications have frequent and potentially significant neurological side effects, including the possibility of developing a movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia) that may or may not be reversible. This group of medications includes:
- Haloperidol (Haldol)
These antipsychotics are often cheaper than newer counterparts, especially the generic versions, which can be an important consideration when long-term treatment is necessary.
It can take several weeks after first starting a medication to notice an improvement in symptoms. In general, the goal of treatment with antipsychotic medications is to effectively control signs and symptoms at the lowest possible dosage. The psychiatrist may try different medications, different dosages or combinations over time to achieve the desired result. Other medications also may help, such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.