What are The Early Signs of Schizophrenia

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Early signs of schizophrenia

Physical Symptoms

  • Slowing down of movements
  • Movement is sped up
  • Erratic eye movements – inability or difficulty in focusing on moving objects
  • Sleep changes whether insomnia or hypersomnolence
  • Sensitive senses – sounds appear to be too loud, lights appear to be too bright
  • Changes in gait
  • Involuntary movement of the tongue

Emotional symptoms

  • Loss of joy from previously pleasurable activities
  • Feeling of nothingness
  • Feeling of indifference to monumental events
  • Feeling of detachment from own body
  • Easily hurt from insults, criticism and feelings

Mood symptoms

  • Irritable
  • Easily angered
  • Hostile
  • Suspicious
  • Depressed
  • Unmotivated
  • Low energy
  • Little or no enthusiasm
  • Rapidly cycling mood – from happy to sad, to angry to peaceful
  • Anxious

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Sudden withdrawal from social activities and life in general
  • Difficulty engaging and maintain relationships
  • Isolates oneself from society
  • Dislikes human interaction and contact
  • Poor hygiene- neglect in self-care, no longer brushes teeth, no longer takes a bath, let’s appearances go
  • Talking to oneself in a manner that appears to be rehearsing a conversation over and over
  • Inability to deal with stressful situations
  • Inability to perform activities with purpose
  • Decline in work or school performance
  • Irrational reactions to certain events, for example crying while talking about a happy event
  • Extreme preoccupation with religion or spirituality
  • Drug and/or alcohol abuse
  • Wandering or walking that leads to no specific direction

Cognitive symptoms

  • Ruminating thoughts – thoughts that cycle in one’s mind over and over again that leads nowhere. Often about failed relationships, opportunities that were missed out on and disappointing past events.
  • Neologisms – Making up of new words
  • Word salad – stringing together words that are not related or incoherent
  • Loose association of thoughts – for example “I saw a red car, the band aid on my left finger is wet, the tree outside is dry from the heat of the sun. etc.”
  • Lack of goals or ability to achieve goals
  • Anosognosia – Lack of insight, they are unaware that they are becoming ill.
  • Racing thoughts
  • Alogia – poverty of words
  • Inability interpreting social cues like body language, eye contact, tone of voice and gestures properly
  • Poor concentration
  • Memory loss
  • Nonsensical Logic

Delusions

Paranoid delusions – persecutory in nature:

  • Unfounded belief that people are talking about you
  • Feeling of being watched and observed even spied on
  • Believing that someone is poisoning your food
  • Thinking that people are helping each other to harass you
  • Believing that something is controlling you – whether it be a speaker in the radio, an electronic implant
  • Believing that other people can read your thoughts and control your mind
  • Delusions of Reference – Random events contains a special meaning to you that you must figure out, for example a newspaper headline has a hidden message that is for you to find out
  • Delusions of grandeur – belief that you are on a mission to save the world, you are special and different compared to everyone else, you are a very famous person
  • Erotomania AKA de CLerembault Syndrome – delusions that some most of the time a famous individual is in love with you when in reality they are not

Hallucinations

  • 70% hear voices
  • Auditory hallucinations can be heard coming from the patient’s head or outside. If outside, it can be a disembodied voice, heard but apparently coming from no source or may be heard from a real person even when the said person didn’t really say anything.
  • Voices heard inside one’s head may appear to accompany one’s thoughts, giving the feeling of one’s thoughts to no longer be alone; the voices can talk to themselves, each other, or comment on one’s own thoughts and actions.
  • Visual hallucinations often start with the hypersensitivity of senses followed by illusions then full-blown hallucinations.



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