Introduction:Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that needs to be addressed vigorously as a public health issue. When the early warning signs go unrecognized, the results are damaging to the individual and family members -- and possibly the public. The onset of schizophrenia typically does not present until the person is in his late teens or early twenties; it can come on gradually or be triggered by an event. By age eighteen the person is of legal age; even if family members want to get help for the person, state laws often prevent an individual from taking prescribed medications or from being hospitalized against his will.* Delusions and hallucinations are early signs of schizophrenia; however, this list will focus on the external signs that family members and others may be able to detect.
Blank facial expressions are typical. "Affective flattening" or "blunt affect" is the name given to this inability to show emotions with one's face. Staring for long periods of time without blinking is also characteristic of schizophrenics. Take note if the young person seems overly sensitive to loud sounds or bright lights. Some other physical symptoms may include an awkward way of walking, involuntary movement of the tongue or mouth and a rigidity of the body. Disturbed sleep patterns -- too much or too little sleep-- may be observed by family members.
"Anhedonia" is the term to describe the young person's inability to derive pleasure from activities that used to bring him joy. If he appears to be not responding at all to an activity, then he probably is disengaged emotionally. He may come across as indifferent to important events. On the other hand, there may be a hypersensitive response on the person's part to any criticisms real or imagined. His emotional state may be accurately ascertainable if he begins to come across as a loner who disengages from outsiders.
Sudden bursts of anger, hostility and irritability are common and may be the most obvious clue to outsiders that something is wrong. Combine these outbursts with rapid mood changes, i.e. from from sad, to happy, to angry, for example, and you have what is called "labile mood." Mood disorders that are difficult to detect by the public are suicidal ideation, low motivation and anxiety. Some individuals are so troubled by their unstable moods that they choose "suicide by cop."
Dropping out of society is the number one behavioral symptom of schizophrenia. Neighbors and friends may be the first to take note of the young person's increasing isolation since immediate family may still be engaged by him. Academic performance may plummet to the point the person drops out of school. Noticeable would be a neglect in self-care, i.e. infrequent showering, wearing the same clothing for days on end, etc. An excessive interest in religion or spirituality may take hold. Drug abuse is common. In fact, drug abuse in and of itself may be a trigger for schizophrenia in those with a predisposition to the disease. Related to drug abuse is the use of nicotine; seventy to ninety percent of schizophrenics smoke, a rate much higher than that of the general public.
Inappropriate or nonsensical use of the language is the key to detectable, cognitive symptoms. The making up of new words, "neologisms," may occur, as well as the stringing together of phrases that are nonsensical, "word salad." Some schizophrenics will say very little during a conversation, "alogia," or perhaps will suddenly stop speaking mid-sentence. Another cognitive symptom that is discernible is the individual's inability to read social cues, such as body language or other physical gestures. An inability to maintain eye contact often exists in the young person affected by schizophrenia.
About one-percent of the public suffers from schizophrenia, and of that one-percent very few pose a danger to others. The type of individual prone to "go off" in public is typically a male suffering from a specific form of schizophrenia called paranoid schizophrenia. (*If you are concerned for your personal safety, check with the mental-health facilitator at your local hospital. Some states will allow an individual to petition the appropriate authorities to order a psychological evaluation of an individual whose actions are troubling.) Please note: the above symptoms are meant only as a guide, not a diagnosis; these symptoms may occur in other mental health conditions even a brain tumor. For more schizophrenia information, visit schizophrenia.com. The site is non-profit, accepts donations and is looking for volunteers.
Schizophrenia is typically caused by a wheat allergy or drug induced damage to the brain.
Glutens trigger the bodies immune system to attack selected systems but invariably it always attacks the nervous system and this is especially so with those who suffer from schizophrenia.
Not everyone with a wheat allergy aka celiacs disease develops schizophrenia. With schizophrenia, the brain's tissues are under physical attack by the T-cells and schizophrenia symptoms progress as the brain tissue becomes damaged and destroyed. It's important to note that even though schizophrenia is classified as a mental disorder, the cause of it is physical damage to the brain resulting in the inability for parts of the brain to function correctly or properly produce chemicals that balance thought, reason and emotion.
The same thing is true for those who have street drug induced schizophrenia. They physically fried parts of their brain and now how schizophrenia for life.
If you know someone who has symptom
Schizophrenia is typically caused a wheat allergy. Glutens trigger the bodies immune system to attack selected systems but invariably it always attacks the nervous system. Not everyone with celiacs disease aka wheat allergy develops schizophrenia. The brain is under physical attack by the T-cells and schizophrenia symptoms progress as the brain tissue becomes damaged and destroyed. It's important to note that even though schizophrenia is classified as a mental disorder, the cause of it is physical damage to the brain resulting in the inability for parts of the brain to function correctly or properly produce chemicals that balance thought, reason and emotion. The same thing is true for those who have street drug induced schizophrenia. They physically fried parts of their brain and now how schizophrenia for life.
If you know someone who has symptoms, get them on a gluten free diet immediately.
Reference autoimmune diseases and immune related disorders on wikipedia or google for more inf
Great article and information
This is very helpful and informative. Once a disease or disorder gets into the public eye, there is a lot of misinformation about it, but you've done a great job of providing solid facts.
Good list, Scary topic. The few people I know who are really paranoid schizophrenic were kids who used drugs in high school. May not be a correlation always, but I know more than one LSD user who is way over the edge 20 years later.
Such a terribly sad disorder. Thank you so much for addressing the early wrning signs of schizophrenia in such a clear and concise way. Excellent! High 5
Great list to help bring awareness out in the open. We may each know someone that we can help them get help. Thanks for the nice list.
Nicely done! I have friends that suffer from schizophrenia - I appreciate you educating the public on the subject.
Boy, I hope no-one I know gets this affliction...thanks for sharing these symptoms.
My dear friend, you are so well-informed and able to put your information into an article that anyone is able to understand. This is an excellent list. Highfived only because there is no 10. Thank you.
This explains a lot.
You heard me.
Seriously, Joyce, great article to bring awareness.
select one here...