The common early warning symptoms of schizophrenia are as follow:
- Irrational statements
- Forgetful; unable to concentrate
- Strange use of words or way of speaking
- Social withdrawal
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
- Expressionless gaze
- Inappropriate laughter or crying
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Extreme reaction to criticism
- Hallucinations : Hallucinations are false perceptions, inaccuracies that affect patient’s senses and cause him to hear, see, taste, touch or smell that are not real. Hallucinations are sounds or other sensations experienced as real but they exist only in their mind. While hallucinations can involve any of the five senses, auditory hallucinations (e.g. hearing voices or some other sound) are most common in schizophrenia. Visual hallucinations are also happen sometimes. Many times, the voices are those of someone they know. Hallucinations tend to be worse when the person is alone.
- Delusions : Delusions are false beliefs or misinterpretations of events and their significance. Likely, He may be awakened by noise from his neighbour’s apartment and may decide this is a planned attempt to interrupt his sleep. Delusions are extremely common in schizophrenia. These delusions involve illogical or bizarre ideas or fantasies. Common delusions of control include their inner-mind thought broadcasting (Their private thoughts are being transmitted to others), Thought Insertion (Someone is planting thoughts in their head) and thought withdrawal.
- Paranoia : Paranoia can also cause a person with schizophrenia to be suspicious of friends and family.
- Negative symptoms (absence of normal activities) : The negative symptoms of schizophrenia refer to the absence of normal behaviours found in healthy person. They have problems with motivation; lack of self-care. They get lack of interest in the world, apparent unawareness of the environment and finally social withdrawal.
- Disorganized Talking : Fragmented thinking is characteristic of schizophrenia. Externally, it can be observed in the way a person speaks. People with schizophrenia tend to have trouble concentrating. They may respond to queries with an unrelated answer, start sentences with one topic and end somewhere completely different, or say illogical things.
- Mood Disorders : Schizophrenia often involves changes in mood, including mania and depression.
- Aggressive Behaviour : This is not really a symptom of schizophrenia but when it does occur, it tends to occur in conjunction with delusions and hallucinations.
Causes of Schizophrenia
- Schizophrenia has strong hereditary component. Person with a first-degree relative (parent or sibling) who has schizophrenia have a 10 percent chance of developing the disorder.
- An imbalance of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is involved in the onset of schizophrenia. This imbalance is most probably caused by your genes making you susceptible to the illness.
- Neurotransmitters are needed to pass messages between brain cells. An altered balance of these may cause the symptoms.
- Schizophrenia usually results from a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors.
Continuous signs of schizophrenia for at least 6 months, with active symptoms (hallucinations, delusions, etc.) for at least 1 month.
With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy life.
- Some side effects of drugs are restlessness that begins after the patient is started on medication. This kind of restlessness usually appears as a shaking of the legs and hands. These movements are more difficult to control.
- Some people are not greatly helped by available treatments or may prematurely discontinue treatment because of unpleasant side effects.
- Weight gain may be a side-effect of antipsychotic medicines. All of these factors may lead to an increased chance of developing heart disease and diabetes in later life.
- Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell whether the symptoms are part of the development of schizophrenia or caused by something else like fake friends or addiction of social media.
- Auditory hallucinations that are unpleasant and may be cruel. Imagine sitting in your living room. You hear voices in the room, but no one else can hear them. You might hear one person’s voice or two or more people conversing. They may talk to you or about you amongst each other. They criticize you; cruelly poke fun at your real or perceived faults. Although, they are not real, but you are experiencing them as absolutely real.
- People with schizophrenia often have delusions of persecution, or false and irrational beliefs that they are being cheated, harassed, poisoned.
- Some people who experience delusions find different meanings in everyday events or occurrences. They may believe people on TV or in newspaper articles are communicating messages to them alone.
- Some people with schizophrenia appear to talk to themselves as they respond to the voices. They cannot distinguish what is real from what is unreal. The inner voices might describe activities taking place, discuss the person's thoughts and behaviour, give instructions, or talk directly to the person.
- People with schizophrenia may behave inappropriately or become extremely agitated and shout for no reason.
- Person with schizophrenia may believe that neighbours are spying on them with cameras in every room and delusions can be about anything.
- Sometime a person with schizophrenia may wear aluminium foil or try to hide himself in unknown store in the belief that it will stop one's thoughts from being broadcast and protect against malicious waves entering the brain.
- People with schizophrenia often do not realise or accept that they are ill. Therefore, some people are admitted to hospital for treatment against their will forcefully.
- Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30. Men tend to experience symptoms earlier than women.