Identifying Schizophrenia Isn't Always Easy

Schizophrenia is a dangerous and often misunderstood mental condition. People with schizophrenia often interpret reality in a different fashion from those around them. They are known for their suffering of hallucinations and delusions which can make them seem scary or dangerous to others. The truth is that it’s just a mental condition affecting their thought processes and that people with schizophrenia just need treatment and support.

Recognizing the symptoms of schizophrenia early can lead to early treatment. While there’s no cure, treatment can often reduce or remove the day to day issues that schizophrenics face. This allows for a return to something approximating a normal life. However, in order to recognize symptoms in yourself or someone else, you need to know what those symptoms and signs are in the first place. 

Symptoms in Adults

Symptoms for most people will usually begin in their 20s. Men often show them earlier in their 20s, while women are later in their 20s. Usually, schizophrenia will not begin for someone who is over the age of 45, so there’s really a window for it to develop. Many of the symptoms of schizophrenia can result in severe changes in behavior and difficulty in life. Schizophrenia symptoms should quickly lead to a visit to a medical professional in order to get help. The symptoms to try to identify and look out for include: 

  • Hallucinations - In most cases, hallucinations are in visual or audio form. People will see things that are not there or hear things that aren’t occurring. The problem is that hallucinations seem perfectly real to those with schizophrenia. Many hear voices that aren’t there, but believe they are real. 
  • Delusions - This is the other main symptom of schizophrenia. Reality becomes bent to those with schizophrenia and they may suffer from false beliefs. A lot of people become paranoid. They believe people are out to get them and are harassing them. They can also believe that everyone is talking about them, which often is combined with the hallucination symptom. It’s also possible for people to believe incorrect things about themselves. Some may see themselves as a celebrity, superhero or the only person who can stop a worldwide catastrophe. 
  • Odd Motor Behavior or Being Disorganized - This can show up in a bunch of different ways. Behavior may revert to a more childlike or agitated state. Focusing on a task becomes difficult and tasks remain uncompleted. Many can take weird physical postures and don’t respond to words or physical cues. Movement may become wild, or become almost none whatsoever. 
  • Communication Impairment - Issues with disorganized thoughts turn into problems with speech. Many people struggle with questions and answers. Sometimes speech can turn into a sort of word salad of nonsense. 
  • Negative Behavior - Those with schizophrenia will likely display some odd social choices and behaviors. Personal hygiene can be disregarded. Some people often show no emotion and avoid eye contact. They may speak in a very monotone way. There’s no longer interest in their normal everyday life and the things that give them pleasure as the schizophrenic withdraws from their social life. 

Symptoms in Teens

It can be more difficult to identify schizophrenia in teenagers. It’s not because they don’t show symptoms. It’s due to the fact that many teenagers show similar symptoms as they go through puberty and adjust the hormones in their body. The symptoms can easily be written off as “typical teenager stuff” or “it’s just a phase”. Teens will often: 

  • Struggle with school and grades drop. 
  • Pull away from their friends and family while spending more time alone. 
  • Have issues sleeping, either sleeping too little or too much. 
  • Feeling depressed or irritable more often than usual. 
  • Struggling to get the motivation to perform tasks. 

There’s also a caveat however. Teenagers are less likely to suffer from the trademark delusions that so many people have to deal with in their adult days. The same is true for visual hallucinations. In most cases, these are dealt with later in life. 

Why Get Treatment? 

Quite simply, there’s plenty of reasons to see a doctor for treatment. Schizophrenia has a lot of complications that the person may need to deal with. Untreated, working is difficult, as is acting socially. Many suffer from depression, anxiety or suicidal tendencies. Often due to these issues, people with schizophrenia may become homeless and are often victimized by scammers or other people looking to profit on human suffering. 

It may be difficult to help someone with schizophrenia seek treatment. There’s no way to force someone to visit a medical professional if they don’t want to. The key is encouragement and support. Help them find a doctor that they can feel safe with. It should be noted that if your friend or family member is displaying thoughts or feelings of suicide, that more urgent help can be required. Dial 911 to get help or take your friend to the emergency room for assistance if dialing 911 is somehow not an option. 

Disclaimer: The articles on this website are not meant to encourage the self-management of any health or wellness issue. Nor are they meant to encourage any one type of medical treatment. Treatment or advice used by a reader may have varying results, as each individual is different. Any article reader with a health-related question, is encouraged to seek a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider. The articles on this website should not be used to disregard any medical or health-related advice, nor should they be the root cause for delay in seeing a doctor or a certified health provider.

The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.

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