5 Frightening Symptoms Of Schizophrenia: How To Recognize This Terrifying Condition Early On?

Arguably, the most frightening diseases are the ones which you don’t know you have. What it feels like to have a condition that affects the way you think, feel and act? The condition that basically turns you into a different person (or maybe it is a part of your personality in a way). We are talking about schizophrenia - the most disabling, lifelong, incurable mental illness.

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What are the risk factors?

You might’ve heard that Vincent van Gogh struggled with schizophrenia. Or maybe you’ve seen A Beautiful Mind, a biographical drama film about one of the greatest mathematicians ever, John Nash, who also had schizophrenia? Ever wondered how a person can develop the disorder?

Scientists believe there’s a whole variety of genes and environmental factors that can lead to the development of schizophrenia. Although hereditary factor is also present, it's not significant. The disease begins to manifest itself during teen years or 20s. It is rare for a person to have first symptoms in their middle age or beyond.

What are the symptoms?

The condition severely affects cognitive, behavioral and emotional departments. Typically, people with early schizophrenia don’t realize they have it. They are unable to recognize the symptoms. Moreover, they can be unaware of the disease even when something goes terribly wrong. The telltale symptoms of schizophrenia include the following:

1. Delusions.

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These include all sorts of false beliefs that do not correspond with reality. For instance, a person can think they have extraordinary, superhero abilities. Or they may believe another person is in love with them (or hate them) when it simply cannot be true because they have never even met each other. Another common delusion is that a person believes he or she's someone else (like a famous singer or the president).

2. Hallucinations.

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Another telltale symptom of schizophrenia includes different types of hallucinations. The most common type is hearing voices. The person with the condition perceives these voices as real. The voices might talk to each other, say mean things to a person or even command to do something.

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3. Confused thoughts and speech.

People with the condition can have hard times following someone’s speech, their answers may be irrelative. They might seem zoned out or distracted during a conversation. Their speech can be incoherent and contain random meaningless words.

4. Troubles with concentration.

It is extremely hard to concentrate when you're hearing different voices or seeing something that isn’t there. People with schizophrenia often lose concentration during different attention-required processes.

5. Abnormal behavior.

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People who have schizophrenia can be very active even when it is inappropriate or unnecessary. Others can stay still for hours (being catatonic). Typically, people with the condition are not violent.

Symptoms to look for in a teenager

As schizophrenia typically starts in teen years, it is important to know the following symptoms that can indicate early development of the condition:

  • withdrawal from family and friends;
  • losing interest in things they used to like;
  • worsening of grades at school;
  • issues with sleep;
  • depressed mood, irritability, apathy;
  • difficulties with paying attention;
  • speaking little;
  • issues with short-term memory;
  • hallucinations.

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Although the cure for schizophrenia is yet to be found, proper therapy and medication can help a person affected by the disease manage the symptoms and improve their quality of life. Schizophrenia is indeed a horrible diagnosis, but many people with the disease are able to live their life fully and happily.

                                                                          Source: Mayo Clinic, American Psychological Association, Web MD

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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