What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally because it causes disturbances in thoughts, perceptions, emotions, and behaviour. People with Schizophrenia can sometimes find it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal. It may be difficult to think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others and deal with everyday life. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking and behaviour that impairs daily functioning and can be disabling.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The earlier Schizophrenia is detected and treated, the better the chances of recovery.
Some symptoms of Schizophrenia are listed below. It’s important to remember that having one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have Schizophrenia. Diagnosis is a lengthy process and can only be undertaken by trained professionals.
Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking (cognition), behaviour and emotions. Signs and symptoms may vary, but usually involve delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech, and reflect an impaired ability to function.
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Symptoms May Include
These are false beliefs that are not based in reality. Delusions are strong beliefs that are unlikely to be true. To you they will be very real, but they seem odd or not real to others. For example, if you are experiencing delusions you may believe that thoughts are being inserted into your mind or that you have special powers or are someone famous. You might have thoughts about being spied on, tormented, followed or tricked, or you might believe that gestures or comments are directed specifically at you. You might have thoughts about being spied on, tormented, followed or tricked, or you might think that you're being harmed or harassed; and certain gestures or comments are directed specifically at you; you may also think you have exceptional ability or fame; that another person is in love with you; or a major catastrophe is about to occur. Delusions occur in most people with schizophrenia.
These usually involve seeing or hearing things that don't exist. Yet for the person with schizophrenia, they have the full force and impact of a normal experience. Hallucinations can be in any of the senses, but hearing voices is the most common hallucination. For example, lights and colours may appear brighter or noises and voices louder than they appear to others.
Negative sympptoms refers to reduced or lack of ability to function normally. For example, the person may neglect personal hygiene or appear to lack emotion (doesn't make eye contact, doesn't change facial expressions or speaks in a monotone). Also, the person may lose interest in everyday activities, socially withdraw or lack the ability to experience pleasure. ‘Negative’ symptoms tend to be longer-lasting than positive symptoms, and they may be treated in a different way.
Disorganised thinking (speech).
Disorganised thinking is inferred from disorganised speech. This is a change in thought patterns and is usually expressed through abnormal spoken language. For example, you might start talking quickly or slowly, and the things you say might not make sense to other people. Your conversation might jump from one topic to another, you might create new words and your normal way of speaking might break down therefore communication can be impaired, and answers to questions may be partially or completely unrelated.
Extremely disorganized or abnormal motor behaviour
This may show in a number of ways, from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation. Behaviour isn't focused on a goal, so it's hard to do tasks. Behaviour can include resistance to instructions, inappropriate or bizarre posture, a complete lack of response, or useless and excessive movement.
If you feel you have experienced or are experiencing Schizophrenia or Psychosis symptoms, please speak with your Doctor or any Medical Health Professional. If you feel you are at risk to yourself or others, please call 999 immediately or your local emergency number.
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