Mental health disorders come with a lot of symptoms. But all these symptoms are easily avoidable to others. This is because people confuse it with normal human behaviour. Also, some symptoms can be mild and some can be really severe. Some symptoms grow over time. Hence, it is very important to detect the correct symptoms.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental health issue. Basically, in this condition, the patient struggles to think, feel, and behave clearly. This condition is termed as “severe”. As a result, the patient may experience and show some very unusual behaviour. Hearing voices (hallucinations) and distorted or false perception, often bizarre beliefs are some common feelings that a patient may experience. They are unable to distinguish between reality and imaginary events.
These events seem real to the patient whereas other people think that they are lost in their world. Hence, this creates a sense of insecurity for the patients suffering from Schizophrenia. Owing to the signs of schizophrenia, the patient interprets reality in a way that feels abnormal to others. The patient may feel like other people are trying to harm them or control them. Oras if they are compelled or forced to act in a certain way because according to them everything is a reality already. All these after feelings increase the mental stress and sense of fear in the patient.
Usually, the patient is not aware of the change in their behaviour. They may not even accept the fact they are behaving any differently or weirdly. This is because the line between internal and external reality is blurred for them and they are unable to distinguish between reality and imagination. All these factors somewhere cut them out from family and friends. Also, they may refuse medical support due to neglect in accepting the illness.
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Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Symptoms can also be categorized into two parts – Positive Symptoms and Negative Symptoms
Positive symptoms refer to the things that might start happening in a patient’s body and behaviour. Whereas negative symptoms refer to the things that might stop happening in a patient’s body or behaviour.
People usually focus more on the positive symptoms. But it is to observe both kinds as this can help the patient to seek help as soon as possible.
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Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia- Things That Might Start Happening
Delusions – These are false imaginations that seem to be real. For example, the patient may feel that someone is harassing them or trying to harm them, whereas in reality there is nothing like that. Or they may also feel like certain gestures or comments are directed towards them; they have exceptional ability or fame; another person is in love with them, or a major catastrophe is about to occur. These delusions are a common symptom of Schizophrenia. Types of Delusions-
- Persecutory delusions – The feeling of being followed, harmed by someone.
- Referential delusions– When the person thinks that the public mode of communication, like a song lyrics or a gesture by a TV anchor, is a message for them specifically.
- Somatic delusions – These delusions are about the body. The person feels that he is suffering from a fatal disease or bizarre health issue like worms under the skin or damage from cosmic rays.
- Erotomanic delusions – A person might be convinced a celebrity is in love with them or that their partner is cheating. Or they might think people they’re not attracted to are pursuing them.
- Religious delusions– When the person thinks that he has some special relationship with God or his body is possed by a demon.
- Grandiose delusions– The person considers himself as a big figure on stage like a politician or entertainer.
Hallucinations – This means seeing or hearing things that do not exist. But the force of effect on the brain is so strong when a person is suffering from Schizophrenia that it seems real to them. Not only this but the patient can experience the full force effect. Hallucinations can be in any of the senses, but hearing voices is the most common hallucination. Here are some types of Hallucinations-
- Auditory – The person most often hears voices in their head.
- Visual– Someone might see lights, objects, people, or patterns.
- Olfactory and gustatory -This can include good and bad smells and tastes.
- Tactile -This creates a feeling of things moving on your body, like hands or insects.
Disorganized thinking (speech) – A person usually finds it difficult to speak clearly with disorganized thoughts. It can be difficult for the patient to have effective communication and often end up speaking partially or completely unrelated things. In some rare cases, the patient may also find it difficult to speak words in a correct sequence. This is known as the word salad. Under this symptom, the person may shuffle the words which result in meaningless sentences.
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Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behaviour– This symptom might be seen in different ways. From childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation. There is no specific goal behind the behaviour, hence it goes without any direction. Hence, this makes it difficult to do tasks. Abnormalities in behaviour can include mismanagement in handling instruction, inappropriate or bizarre posture, a complete lack of response, or useless and excessive movement.
Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia: Things That Might Stop Happening
Lack of pleasure– The person may withdraw interest from all the things he liked to do.
The trouble with speech– Patients may not express what they have in their minds
Flattening – The person with schizophrenia might seem emotionally dull and flat. For example, they won’t smile or have expressions mos of the time. Their speech and actions may seem emotionless.
Withdrawal. This might include no longer making plans with friends or becoming a hermit.
Struggling with the basics of daily life.– They might maintain less hygiene than before.
No follow-through. People with schizophrenia have trouble staying on schedule or finishing what they start. Sometimes they can’t get started at all. A doctor might call this avolition.
These are some positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia. Make sure you seek medical assistance.