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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, symptoms must last a minimum of six months. Specific symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations for one month. These warning signs can be considered normal responses to certain situations, however, the intensity of it is what distinguishes it from normal behavior to various mental illnesses. My mother knew something was wrong with me from observing my many changes, but she didn't know what. The symptoms gradually got worse as time passed. I didn't know what was wrong with me, I felt like I was losing myself, and I guess I was. The following behaviors were my early warning signs of schizophrenia, (there were much more symptoms as they got worse):

Intense Change of Mood
  • Severe anxiety- could not handle being around groups of people

  • Low motivation- lacked drive to go to school, whereas I was extremely involved earlier

  • Suspiciousness- suspicious of close friends, family, everyone!

  • Sleep disturbances- insomnia/excessive sleeping

Change of Behavior

  • Intense preoccupation with religion- would study the Bible for hours and would not acknowledge human contact

  • Decline in academic performance- would skip class, which was so unlike me

  • Social isolation and inability to keep relationships- would spend more time by myself

Cognitive
  • Lack short -term memory- forgetfulness

  • Trouble concentrating- could not focus on homework or work assignments

  • Racing thoughts- jumbled, random, extreme thoughts

  • Alogia or Poverty of speech- saying very little or nothing at all

Delusions

  • Thoughts that someone poisoned my food- I went to the extreme, I would not eat to the extent that I lost so much weight, I weighed under 100 pounds, and had to be hospitalized.

  • Thoughts that I was being watched or followed- I attempted to change my identity by getting rid of my glasses, Bible (that I carried with me everywhere), and even attempted to cut off all my hair!

  • Religious- I thought I was a prophet, or Jesus Himself

Hallucinations

  • Visual- I saw people that were not there. Later I realized they were hallucinations because when I turned around they really weren't there

  • Audible- male voices saying negative things
These early warning signs are also prevalent in many other illnesses, including but not limited to the following:
  • Bipolar Disorder

  • Major Depression

  • Paranoid Personality

  • Schizotypal Personality

  • Brain Tumors and Temporal Lobe

If these symptoms describe you, I strongly encourage you to see a psychiatrist before self-diagnosing yourself with schizophrenia or any other mental illness. If you think something is wrong, let the doctor tell you that it is normal or abnormal.

Resources:

14 comments:

Anonymous Drifter said...

a very helpful list. I have some of these symptoms and I'm bipolar. Like you say, it's very important to be evaluated by a professional.

Summer said...

That was very interesting to read about. I like being informed on the struggles of others... you never know when someone you love will get an illness of any kind... or even yourself.

Thank you for sharing.

Anonymous said...

i have most of them symptoms and im only 13 ive gone mad

cody said...

it's the same person as before im 13 and i have most of them symptoms what can i do about it?

cody serbert said...

i have most of these symptoms what shall i do but im 13

Anonymous said...

ey cody...im 17 about to turn 18 and i have almost all of them besides the hallucinations, from what i understand they tend to come last before full blown development. i believe it'll come out in a few years though, i can feel it, most definitely brought out by all the drugs i've used. if i could give any advice i'd say first go to a psychologist second dont ever fuck with weed or any psychedelic. anything besides alcohol is bad news for people like us. take it from me, it'll accelerate any sort of mental illness. peace

Anonymous said...

I have most of these, but the hallucinations aren't quite as intense. I just hear people conversing with each other when it is really quite and there is nobody around. I can't even make out any words, just distinct tone of voice. My mom talks about how she hears this, too. Were your hallucinations always that bad, or did they start out similar to mine?

Anonymous said...

I've been experiencing a lot of these symptoms for quite some times now and mild hallucinations are beginning to form. in fairness though I have been exposed and user a LOT of drugs of all sorts so I am honestly not sure if its the beginning onset or if I've just fried a lot of my brain :/... anywho yeah this page helped me out thank you

Anonymous said...

I have all of these except for believing I'm a biblical character or whatever. I rarely leave my house because I feel everyone staring at me and talking about me. I'm diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1 but they have re-tested me due to these issues and I will figure out what's wrong in the next 4 days. I hope they can help me out, these issues are making me suffer. i can't even keep a friendship because i can't trust anyone, i believe they're all out to hurt me emotionally. like they're always talking about me. even my own family.

Jada said...

Hello. Thank you for sharing your experience. I work with a young man who has always been good at his job. A couple weeks ago we all started noticing changes. Random comments, tangents, mumbling to himself. Sometimes I can make out what he says and it never makes any sense. One time I heard him repeating to himself a conversation him and I had a few minutes earlier. Ive noticed he has been drawing upside down crosses on his hands. Yesterday he almost quit because he said everyone was talking about him and laughing at him, including customers. How would you suggest I go about talking to him about seeing a professional? Something is very wrong. I don't think he will last at work much longer so I need some advice.

Anonymous said...

when i was seventeen, i started developing schizophrenia like symptoms..had them as a child but not near as severe...i thought maybe from drugs that i had used...i smoked pot with no problems when i was around 14 to 16..then i just decided it wasnt enough so i resorted to stronger hullucinagenic drugs...i "tripped" much harder and longer than any other people...i didnt do the drugs long because i started to have horrible trips which stuck with me for days and weeks...not im 21 and havent done drugs since i was 18 years old..there have been a few times where i will take a puff of pot and even if it sucks, i hallucinate...most people dont hallucinate from marijuana, especially one teenie hit..so my psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, i mean the works...then gave me medicine for schizophrenia which made me even more crazy so we decided i didnt have it...my great grandma was schizophrenia also..well ive become very used to my problems but the anxiety i get can be bad, but im very well at handling myself and not letting others notice...which is why they tell me that im fine and its all in my head...it is kinda in my head tho lol...sorry this probably doesnt make very much sense..i thought it was normal to suspect people of poisoning your food or talking to myself (like i have to assure myself or whoever is listening what my next moves are gunna be) ...i dont even realize i do it until after i say something...its all very hard to explain...how can i make this go away? sick of fighting myself...i dont feel happy about much and if i do get a happy feeling, i get very happy and almost cry , and it only last for like 5 seconds....i hate the feeling....i just realized myself that i REALLY do have schizophrenia (probably a very light case) and it was like an epiphony of upsetting realization...sorry for such a long comment...any advice from an experienced person????

Anonymous said...

My 25 year old son just commited suicide. There were no warning signs. Our family has always been very close and he was always normal acting.Did a great job at work and well liked by co-workers. We dont know for sure that it was schizophrenia. He had a book of notes that he had in his room with bible studies. The week before he died he came into his office and told them he was Jesus. Everyone thought it was a joke but he was serious. He also mentioned to a friend in a text that Satan was after him. He was showing signs of paranoia. Does this sound like schizophrenia?

Ashley Smith said...

Hi Anonymous,

I am very sorry to learn about the loss of your son to suicide. Thank you for your comment... I am not a health care professional to say whether your son had schizophrenia or another mental health concern.

Sincerely,
Ashley Smith

Anonymous said...

One of my love one is always doubting me that i am teaming up with her/his friends and trying to harm me.

recently i also noticed him/her suddenly shouting and accusing me of things which actually happened in the past but in this i am blamed for it.

Has very strong believe what is the truth and agressively defend them and see no logic and proof.

I am loosing my peace of mind. Should be seek medical help. The person here herself/himself is well verse as an phychologist. I am totally lost here.