Understanding Schizophrenia SymptomsOct 12
Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder which affects the behavior of a person. This disease will affect the way a person acts, sees and thinks. The person with schizophrenia loses contact with reality and will live in an imaginary world. They will start to hear and see things which do not exist in reality. They will speak in strange and confusing ways. The people with this disease will find it frightening to cope up with the daily activities of life. In most cases the disease appears in the late teen or early adulthood. In rare cases Schizophrenia can appear in childhood or in middle age. Though this is a chronic disorder with medication and support from the family members the disease can be kept under control. If you seek help when you are identified with the symptoms, the chances of recovery are more.
Early Warning Signs
In some people Schizophrenia symptoms appears suddenly without any prior warning. In most of the cases the disease
appears slowly with subtle warnings and with slow decline in functioning of daily activities. In the early phase the person may seem unmotivated, emotionless and reclusive. Some shows eccentricity and start neglecting their physical appearance. A general indifference to life is a very common symptom. They will be disinterested in their hobbies and other activities. The most common early signs include social with drawl, suspiciousness, hostility, deterioration of personal hygiene, expression less gaze, depression, sleeping disorders, and extreme reaction to criticism, strange way of speaking, inappropriate laughter or crying. These warnings are not limited to Schizophrenia and hence it is necessary to seek medical advice if your loved
one shows these types of behavior.
This disease is characterized by disruption in the cognitive and emotional control. it affects the fundamental attributes like language, thought perception, sense of self etc. the symptoms are wide ranging but the common symptoms include psychotic manifestations, hearing internal voices, hallucinations, delusions, impaired occupational and social functioning etc. The symptoms are divided in to positive and negative symptoms according to the impact on diagnosis and treatment of Schizophrenia. The positive symptoms reflect the distortion or increase of normal func
tions. It requires at least two- or more of these symptoms within duration of one month to diagnose the disease as Schizophrenia. The negative symptoms are those reflect loss of normal functions. It is difficult to evaluate the negative symptoms as they are not very distinctive like positive symptoms.
Delusions are the erroneous belief that a person with schizophrenia has due to the misinterpretation of experiences or perceptions. It is common among Schizophrenic people to have delusions of being watched or followed by others. Hallucinations are exaggerations of what they see. Auditory hallucinations as well as visual hallucinations are common. Another important symptom is disorganized speech and thinking. It is also known as “thought disorder”. Incoherent speech which creates problems in effective communication is an important aspect of this disease. Disorganized behavior with unpredictable agitations, social inhibitions and other bizarre behaviors are other symptoms. The catatonic behavior includes decreased reaction to the surrounding environment, rigid and aim less motor activity etc. They will be motionless and will be unaware of their surroundings.
The major negative symptoms of Schizophrenia are affective flattening, alogia, avolition etc. The reduction in the intensity of emotions is known as affective flattening. There won’t be any eye contact or facial expressions while you are talking to the person. Alogia is otherwise known as “poverty of speech”. This includes reduced speech fluency and productivity. The person will give short empty replies to the questions. Avolition is the inability of the patient to initiate goal- directed behaviors. The person will not be interested in going out or mingling with friends. They will lose interest in their hobbies. They prefer to sit in their room for hours and days.
The symptoms may vary according to the type of Schizophrenia in a person. There are currently no physical tests available which confirms the presence of schizophrenia, and because schizophrenia shares significant number symptoms with other disorders, misdiagnosis is a common problem. If you suspect that you are having the symptoms or any of your loved ones are having the symptoms of schizophrenia then it is necessary to start the treatment as early as possible.