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Some common and uncommon signs of schizophrenia that shouldn’t be ignored

Some common and uncommon signs of schizophrenia that shouldn’t be ignored

The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 24 million people suffer from schizophrenia. It often surfaces during late adolescence and the twenties, and men are more prone to it than women. The condition is usually attributed to significantly distressed personal or professional life. People with schizophrenia have an increased mortality risk due to chronic health issues. Thus, it is necessary to recognize its symptoms for proper diagnosis and cure. Some of these include

Hallucinations

This is one of the most commonly recognized symptoms of schizophrenia. A person is said to be hallucinating when they claim to see, hear, taste, or feel things that are not present in their real environment. Auditory hallucinations or hearing voices is the most common state of hallucinations. Those with this condition will claim that they hear voices inside their heads. These voices may comment on their behavior, make criticizing remark, or even communicate with the person. These hallucinations can happen even when a person is fully awake and is not inebriated.

Delusions

Delusions are regarded as beliefs that a schizophrenic person may possess that are difficult to comprehend and, at times, feel strange. There are different types of delusions that people may feel

  • Referential delusion: This is when a person believes that any public communication, be it a song or a news item, is meant exclusively to them.
  • Persecutory delusion: Patients will feel someone stalking, framing, or attempting to hurt them.
  • Somatic delusions: This makes patients believe that they suffer from unnatural health conditions.
  • Grandiose delusions happen when schizophrenia patients believe themselves to be prominent world figures such as renowned politicians or actors.

Unusual Movements

An uncommon symptom of schizophrenia, this leads to the patient making abrupt, silly, or childish movements. Since an objective/goal doesn’t direct their behaviour, the patient may be unable to control their body movements. Some examples of such unusual movements include assuming a bizarre posture, having a complete lack of response, or making excessive or disconnected movements.

Disorganized Speech or Thinking

Patients with schizophrenia often exhibit this symptom. Disorganized speech and thinking are interrelated and may lead to ineffective communication, especially in social settings. For instance, you may ask the patient a question and get a completely unrelated answer. Or, they may put together some unrelated words that are difficult to comprehend.

Flat Emotions

Another unusual symptom of schizophrenia is ‘flattening’ or flat emotions and expressions. The patient may have a flat-sounding voice or facial expressions. For instance, their facial expressions may not correlate with the discussions happening around them. They may also show little response to situations relating to a non-patient.

Difficulty in Structuring Their Activities

Schizophrenic people tend to have reduced executive functioning of the brain. This means that their cognitive abilities don’t permit them to structure activities. It is difficult for them to identify and execute the steps required to complete the task at hand in a particular order.

Lack of Insight

One of the most unusual symptoms of patients with schizophrenia is a lack of insight, commonly known as anosognosia. This means the patient will not be aware that they have a problem or illness. This is one of the main reasons why this condition is hard to diagnose and cure. Though often confused with being in denial, the patient is, in reality, incapable of recognizing the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. This often leads them to believe that they don’t require attention.

Negative Symptoms

These are some unusual symptoms of schizophrenia, meaning that certain standard behavior patterns are negated. When suffering from these symptoms, a patient may start neglecting personal hygiene. They may also appear to be lacking emotions, make no eye contact, or speak in a monotone. These people may also lose interest in routine, daily activities, withdraw socially, and are unable to experience pleasure in activities that used to interest them before.

Since people diagnosed with schizophrenia often lack awareness regarding their symptoms, their family or friends need to know about the unusual and usual symptoms pertaining to the condition. If you think someone you know has any of these symptoms, talk to them and encourage them to seek professional help.