Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

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.

  • 01

    Physical Symptoms

    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.

  • 02

    Emotional Symptoms

    "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.

  • 03

    Symptoms Related to Mood

    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."

  • 04

    Behavioral Symptoms

    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.

  • 05

    Cognitive Symptoms

    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.


Final Thoughts

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.

Supporting Links

Comments

  • StephenPollington 8/25/2015 Flag This Comment

    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

  • StephenPollington 8/25/2015 Flag This Comment

    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

  • Katie 6/12/2011 Flag This Comment

    Great article and information

  • AJTyne 2/6/2011 Flag This Comment

    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.

  • Wasatch 2/3/2011 Flag This Comment

    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.

  • gerrielynn 1/23/2011 Flag This Comment

    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

  • MiddleSister 1/22/2011 Flag This Comment

    Important info.

  • clewand550 1/13/2011 Flag This Comment

    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.

  • MonikaWeise 1/12/2011 Flag This Comment

    Nicely done! I have friends that suffer from schizophrenia - I appreciate you educating the public on the subject.

  • Traqqer 1/12/2011 Flag This Comment

    Boy, I hope no-one I know gets this affliction...thanks for sharing these symptoms.

  • NancyHardin 1/11/2011 Flag This Comment

    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.

  • ListingToTheLeft 1/11/2011 Flag This Comment

    This explains a lot.
    What?
    You heard me.
    Seriously, Joyce, great article to bring awareness.

Post A Comment

Submit Comment



Need a Top Five List Idea?

select one here...

  • The Top Five Ways to Earn Money as a Colleg ...
  • The Top Five Songs About Love
  • The Top Five Places to Get a Student Loan
  • The Top Five Jewelry Stores
  • The Top Five NFL Football Stadiums With A D ...
  • The Top Five Five Music Genres
  • The Top Five Board Games for Groups
  • The Top Five Skills Needed for a Career in ...
  • The Top Five Spyware Removal Systems
  • The Top Five Traditional Thanksgiving Dishe ...
  • The Top Five Helpful Hints to Get Pregnant  ...
  • The Top Five Motivational Speakers
  • The Top Five Financial Mistakes People Make ...
  • The Top Five Places to get a Free Credit Re ...
  • The Top Five Hair Products Women Must Have
  • The Top Five Tax Mistakes People Commonly M ...
  • The Top Five Online Gaming Sites
  • The Top Five Business Marketing Tips
  • The Top Five Career Moves for Teachers
  • The Top Five Designer Shoe Brands for Women ...
  • The Top Five Websites for Music
  • The Top Five Things to do at Disneyland
  • The Top Five Cities to Live in
  • The Top Five Healthiest Fruits
  • The Top Five Funniest People
  • The Top Five Makeup Tips for Teens
  • The Top Five Soft Drinks
  • The Top Five Greatest NBA Players of All Ti ...
  • The Top Five Harry Potter Movies
  • The Top Five Reasons to Vote During Electio ...
  • The Top Five Home Air Purifiers
  • The Top Five Creative Ways to Ask a Girl to ...
  • The Top Five Ways to Get a Phone Number
  • The Top Five Steps to Home Security
  • The Top Five Talk Shows on TV
  • The Top Five Places to get French Fries
  • The Top Five Ways to Turn Down a Job Offer
  • The Top Five Foods to Avoid when Trying to ...
  • The Top Five Tips for Newlyweds
  • The Top Five Ways to Avoid Unemployment
  • The Top Five Ideas for Anniversary Gifts
  • The Top Five Sporting Events
  • The Top Five Ways to Improve your Health
  • The Top Five Movies of All Time
  • The Top Five Ways to Find Cheap Flights Onl ...
  • The Top Five Reasons Smoking is Bad
  • The Top Five Healthiest Snacks
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Avoid Credit C ...
  • The Top Five Funniest Movies For Kids
  • The Top Five Sources for Vitamin D
  • The Top Five Places to Find Cheap Books
  • The Top Five Pasta Recipes
  • The Top Five Michael Jackson Songs
  • The Top Five Websites for Photographers
  • The Top Five Ways to Keep Track of Spending ...
  • The Top Five Places to Mountain Bike
  • The Top Five Advice for New Moms
  • The Top Five Nuts that go in Salad
  • The Top Five Superheroes
  • The Top Five Healthy Meals For Under 5 Doll ...
  • The Top Five Places for Discount Furniture ...
  • The Top Five Wedding Gowns
  • The Top Five Safest Cities in America
  • The Top Five Commercials
  • The Top Five Simple Smart Phones
  • The Top Five Schools for Business Managemen ...
  • The Top Five Free Places for Veterans to Ea ...
  • The Top Five Walt Disney Movies
  • The Top Five Youtube Videos for 2010 
  • The Top Five iPhone Apps
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Save Money
  • The Top Five New York Hotels
  • The Top Five Ways to Workout your Upper Bod ...
  • The Top Five Reasons to Invest in Running S ...
  • The Top Five Attractions in the USA
  • The Top Five Paint Colors for a Home
  • The Top Five Things to See in Dallas Texas
  • The Top Five Foods That Help you Lose Weigh ...
  • The Top Five Overseas Bed and Breakfast Sto ...
  • The Top Five Places to Buy Electronics
  • The Top Five Websites for Kids
  • The Top Five Steps to Internet Security
  • The Top Five Ways to Relieve Stress
  • The Top Five Quotes to Live by
  • The Top Five Pets you Should Own
  • The Top Five Holidays
  • The Top Five Wedding Websites
  • The Top Five Clues for Crossword Puzzles
  • The Top Five Xbox 360 Games
  • The Top Five Tips for New Parents
  • The Top Five Professions
  • The Top Five Online Social Networks
  • The Top Five Most Trusted Cars
  • The Top Five Job Opportunities for People W ...
  • The Top Five Smart Phones of the Year
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Make a Website ...
  • The Top Five Knock Knock Jokes
  • The Top Five Educational Websites for Kids
  • The Top Five Luxury Cars
  • The Top Five Wedding Favors
  • The Top Five Unhealthy Foods for Dogs 
  • The Top Five Things you Should Not do in an ...
  • The Top Five Mistakes Parents Make With Kid ...
  • The Top Five Bealtes Songs beatles songs Wr ...
  • The Top Five Healthiest Choices for Breakfa ...
  • The Top Five Tips on How to Make Money Onli ...
  • The Top Five People you Would Want to Meet
  • The Top Five Book Series for Young Adults
  • The Top Five Funniest Websites
  • The Top Five Ways to Invest in Real Estate
  • The Top Five Places to See in the World
  • The Top Five Ways to Stay in Shape
  • The Top Five Ways to Stop Smoking
  • The Top Five Reason to Rent
  • The Top Five Things I've Learned from Britt ...
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Get a Date
  • The Top Five Candle Scents for Summer Time
  • The Top Five Candle Scents for Winter 
  • The Top Five Tips for Healthy Blood Pressur ...
  • The Top Five Computers for College Students ...
  • The Top Five Budget Mistakes Most People Ma ...
  • The Top Five Planets in the Solar System
  • The Top Five Five Smart Phones
  • The Top Five Nascar Drivers
  • The Top Five Vitamins for Hair Growth
  • The Top Five Creative Ways to Announce a Pr ...
  • The Top Five Auto Insurance Companies
  • The Top Five Ways to Update your Home Witho ...
  • The Top Five Funniest Jokes
  • The Top Five Items you Can’t Live Without
  • The Top Five Chicken Recipes
  • The Top Five Funniest Movies Ever
  • The Top Five Quotes From the Movie Elf
  • The Top Five Carpet Cleaning Tips
  • The Top Five Online Flower Delivery Compani ...
  • The Top Five Places to Find Crazy Video Cli ...
  • The Top Five Books for the Kindle
  • The Top Five Home Improvement Tips for Sell ...
  • The Top Five Hair Removal Options
  • The Top Five Most Hated Celebrities
  • The Top Five Ways to Keep Unwanted Pests Ou ...
  • The Top Five Songs About Texas
  • The Top Five Shampoos
  • The Top Five Steps on How to Potty Train Yo ...
  • The Top Five Teeth Whitening Tips
  • The Top Five Places to Find a Job
  • The Top Five Most Influential Sports Figure ...
  • The Top Five Vacation Spots
  • The Top Five Tips for New Businesses
  • The Top Five Diet Pills
  • The Top Five Cell Phones Under 50 Dollars
  • The Top Five Ways to Get a Grant
  • The Top Five Presidents of the United State ...
  • The Top Five Ways to Prevent Skin Cancer
  • The Top Five Must See Events in Las Vegas
  • The Top Five California Landmarks
  • The Top Five Signs that You are in Love
  • The Top Five Ways to Save Money
  • The Top Five Restaurants
  • The Top Five Baby Bags for Moms
  • The Top Five Car Maintenance Checklist
  • The Top Five HDTV brands
  • The Top Five Places for Kids Birthday Parti ...
  • The Top Five Candy Bars With Peanut Butter
  • The Top Five Ways to Get a Loan
  • The Top Five Tips for Staying Positive
  • The Top Five Movies With a Twist
  • The Top Five Books to Read This Year
  • The Top Five Rules for a Strong Relationshi ...
  • The Top Five Universities for MBA
  • The Top Five Foods For an Upset Stomach 
  • The Top Five Xbox 360 Kinect Games for Exer ...
  • The Top Five Things to do Before your 60 Ye ...
  • The Top Five Cartoons for Toddlers
  • The Top Five Stresses of Home Ownership
  • The Top Five Clothing Lines for Modest Clot ...
  • The Top Five Ways to Build Muscle
  • The Top Five Ways to Improve your Resume
  • The Top Five Tips for Planting a Garden
  • The Top Five Healthy Recipes
  • The Top Five Pasta Recipes for Kids
  • The Top Five Movies of 2010
  • The Top Five Ways to Cope With Stress
  • The Top Five Gaming Consoles
  • The Top Five Dog Breeds for Kids
  • The Top Five Outdoor Activities
  • The Top Five Items you Never want to Lose
  • The Top Five TV Shows of All Time
  • The Top Five Websites for Discount Vacation ...
  • The Top Five Hair Products
  • The Top Five Prom Dresses
  • The Top Five Websites for Artists
  • The Top Five Facts About the Sun
  • The Top Five Google Apps
  • The Top Five Health Insurance Companies
  • The Top Five Card Games for Four Players
  • The Top Five Car Seat Safety Tips
  • The Top Five Fast Food Restaurants
  • The Top Five Causes of Road Rage
  • The Top Five Ways to Keep your Lawn Green
  • The Top Five Bedroom Decorating Ideas
  • The Top Five Reasons you Should Play Fantas ...
  • The Top Five Video Games
  • The Top Five Most Influential Speeches
  • The Top Five Country Singers of All Time
  • The Top Five Dessert Recipes
  • The Top Five Reasons For Leaving a Job
  • The Top Five States to Live In
  • The Top Five Foods for Diabetics
  • The Top Five Places to Retire
  • The Top Five Photo Editing Websites
  • The Top Five 4th of July Party Ideas
  • The Top Five Designer Handbags
  • The Top Five Inventions That Changed the Wo ...
  • The Top Five Golfing Tips
  • The Top Five Days During the Year
  • The Top Five Places to Live
  • The Top Five Ways to Earn Money Online
  • The Top Five PGA Golfers
  • The Top Five Wedding Themes