What are some early warning signs of a schizophrenia relapse?ANSWER
Be alert to these early signs of a schizophrenia relapse:
What are some later warning signs of a schizophrenia relapse?ANSWER
Some later signs may include:
It's important to avoid relapses, because each one can raise the chance of future relapses. And when relapses happen, symptoms may become harder to treat.
What is the connection between schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder?ANSWER
Having multiple personalities is one of the biggest misunderstandings about schizophrenia. One poll found that 64% of Americans believe the condition involves a split personality, which means someone acts like they're two separate people. In actuality, a person with schizophrenia doesn't have two different personalities. Instead, he has false ideas or has lost touch with reality. Multiple personality disorder is unrelated.
What are some causes of schizophrenia?ANSWER
Mothers, in particular, often get blamed when their children develop schizophrenia, but schizophrenia is a mental illness. It has many causes, including genes, trauma, and drug abuse. Mistakes you've made as a parent won't give your child this condition
What is the relationship between schizophrenia and intelligence?ANSWER
Some studies have that found that people with the condition have more trouble on tests of mental skills such as attention, learning, and memory -- but that doesn't mean they're not intelligent. In fact, many creative and smart people throughout history have had schizophrenia, such as Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky and Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash. Scientists are even looking into links between genes that may be related to both psychosis and creativity.
How difficult is it for someone with schizophrenia to hold down a job?ANSWER
Schizophrenia can make it harder for you to land a job and go to work every day, but with the right treatment, many people can find a position that fits their skills and abilities.
How difficult is it for someone with schizophrenia to do daily tasks?ANSWER
Schizophrenia can make it harder for someone to take care of their daily needs, such as dressing and bathing. This doesn’t mean they're lazy. They just need some help with their daily routine.
How many people can recover completely or see improvements with schizophrenia?ANSWER
Schizophrenia can be hard to treat, but it's not impossible to cure. With the right medicine and therapy, about 25% of people with this disease will recover completely. Another 50% will see some improvement in their symptoms. Many people with the condition can live full, productive lives.
How can you recognize schizophrenia in teens?ANSWER
Schizophrenia can be hard to spot in teens. Sometimes, it can be tough to see the difference between ordinary teenage moodiness and signs of more serious illness, although this disease usually begins in late adolescence or young adulthood.
It helps to know what symptoms to watch for and when you should check with your doctor.
What symptoms of schizophrenia should you look for?ANSWER
Schizophrenia symptoms in teens can come on gradually over 9 months or more. They can sometimes look like those of other problems such as anxiety or depression.
Especially at first, symptoms may look like the stuff of typical teen years: bad grades, changing friends, trouble sleeping, or irritability. That said, some early warning signs in teens show up as changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior.
What are the symptoms of changes in thinking related to schizophrenia?ANSWER
Schizophrenia-related changes in thinking include:
What are the symptoms of changes in emotion related to schizophrenia?ANSWER
Schizophrenia-related changes in emotion include:
What are the symptoms of changes in behavior related to schizophrenia?ANSWER
Behavioral changes related to schizophrenia include:
What is paranoid schizophrenia?ANSWER
Paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as doctors now call it, is the most common example of this mental illness.
Schizophrenia is a kind of psychosis, which means your mind doesn't agree with reality. It affects how you think and behave. This can show up in different ways and at different times, even in the same person. The illness usually starts in late adolescence or young adulthood.
People with paranoid delusions are unreasonably suspicious of others. This can make it hard for them to hold a job, run errands, have friendships, and even go to the doctor.
Although it's a lifelong illness, you can take medicines and find help to stop symptoms or make them easier to live with.
What are the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia?ANSWER
Are paranoid schizophrenics usually violent?ANSWER
People with schizophrenia aren't usually violent. But sometimes, paranoid delusions can make them feel threatened and angry. If someone is pushed over the edge, their actions usually focus on family members, not the public, and it happens at home.
Does paranoid schizophrenia cause hallucinations?ANSWER
Paranoid schizophrenia can lead to hallucinations. For example, you may hear voices that make fun of you or insult you. They might also tell you to do harmful things. Or you might see things that aren’t really there.
What would a doctor give a patient with paranoid schizophrenia?ANSWER
Your doctor may prescribe an antipsychotic drug to make the delusions go away. It could be pills, a liquid, or shots. It can take a few weeks for these drugs to work fully, but you could start to feel a little calmer quickly. You might need to try more than one to find a medication or combination that's right for you.
What are guidelines for taking medication for paranoid schizophrenia?ANSWER
Even when you feel better, keep taking your medicine. If you stop, your delusions will probably come back.
Avoid using marijuana, or nicotine, cocaine, or other stimulants. They can keep antipsychotic drugs from working well. They can also cause paranoia or make it worse.
You might have to take different kinds of drugs for other symptoms, too.
How can counseling help treat paranoid schizophrenics?ANSWER
Once your delusions are under control, counseling can help you get along with others, hold a job, go to school, take care of yourself, and have friends.
People with schizophrenia who get counseling are also more likely to stick with their medications.
Positive, encouraging support from family and friends really helps, too.
What are the problems with taking schizophrenia drugs every day?ANSWER
Keeping up with your schizophrenia medicine makes all the difference. It curbs symptoms like seeing and hearing things that aren't there. Along with psychiatric therapy, a pill you take every day can put you on the path to a stable, successful life.
However, there's a catch: A lot of folks quit their meds.
Sometimes they just forget to take them, or they may think they're well enough that they don't need them anymore.
That's where long-lasting drugs can help. You need to take them as a shot only once or twice a month.
How do long-lasting schizophrenia drugs work?ANSWER
Long-lasting drugs, which your doctor may call long-acting injectables, improve symptoms the same way as pills called anti-psychotics. They change how some of your brain chemicals act, but since you take them every 2 to 4 weeks (or sometimes even as long as every 3 months) instead of every day, the medicine stays in your body longer.
Which schizophrenia drugs come in a long-lasting form?ANSWER
How often does someone with schizophrenia take paliperidone?ANSWER
Paliperidone also comes in a newer formula, marketed as Invega Trinza, that you take just four times a year. To get a prescription for this medicine, you first need to use Invega Sustenna, which you take monthly, for at least 4 months.
How do the side effects of daily pills differ from those associated with long-acting injectable drugs for schizophrenia?ANSWER
Anti-psychotic medicines can also make you sleepy or dizzy, and they can cause skin rashes, rapid heartbeat, blurred vision, and muscle shakiness or stiffness. Some can also make you gain weight and put you at risk for diabetes or high cholesterol.
These side effects can happen whether you take the daily pill or the shot. The difference is that the long-acting type takes more time to leave your body. Your doctor can stop or change the dosage of daily medicine that's causing a bad reaction, but you'll have to wait weeks for a long-lasting drug to run its course.
When do schizophrenia symptoms usually start?ANSWER
Schizophrenia usually takes hold after puberty. Most people are diagnosed in their late teens to early 30s.
Why does schizophrenia usually show up in late adolescence?ANSWER
Your brain changes and develops a lot during puberty. These shifts might trigger the disease in people who are at risk for it.
Some scientists believe it has to do with development in an area of the brain called the frontal cortex. Others think it has to do with too many connections between nerve cells being eliminated as the brain matures.
Hormones also play a major role in puberty. One theory is that women get schizophrenia later than men because they go through puberty earlier and the hormone estrogen might somehow protect them.
Why is schizophrenia hard to diagnose?ANSWER
Schizophrenia can be hard to diagnose for a few reasons. One is that people with the disorder often don't realize they're ill, so they're unlikely to go to a doctor for help.
Another issue is that many of the changes leading up to schizophrenia can mirror other normal life changes. For example, a teen who's developing the illness might drop a group of friends and take up with new ones. The same teen may also have trouble sleeping or suddenly start coming home with poor grades
How do thought disorders happen in schizophrenia?ANSWER
You might have trouble organizing your thoughts, and you might speak in a way that's hard for others to understand. Perhaps you stop talking in the middle of a thought because you feel like it’s been taken out of your head. This is called thought blocking.
How do movement disorders happen in schizophrenia?ANSWER
You might move your body over and over again as if you're upset, or you might stop moving and responding. Doctors call this catatonia.
What is psychosis?ANSWER
When you lose touch with reality and see, hear, or believe things that aren’t real, doctors call that psychosis.
What does it mean if you have psychosis?ANSWER
You may have delusions. That means you hold on to untrue or strange beliefs. You might also have hallucinations. That’s when you imagine you hear or see something that doesn’t exist.
Psychosis is a symptom, not an illness. A mental or physical illness, substance abuse, or extreme stress or trauma can cause it.
Psychotic disorders, like schizophrenia, are mental illnesses that involve psychosis that usually happens for the first time in the late teen years or early adulthood. Young people are especially vulnerable for reasons doctors don’t fully understand.
What is it like if you have psychosis?ANSWER
You can’t tell the difference between what’s real and what’s not. In addition, your speech might be unclear and your behavior disorganized.
You may also have depression, anxiety, and sleep problems. It could be a struggle just to get through your day.
There are often warning signs leading up to psychosis. You may start to act differently. Your work or school performance could start to slip.
You might also feel paranoid, avoid others, have trouble expressing ideas, or slack off in your personal hygiene.
What causes psychosis?ANSWER
There are many causes of psychosis. They include too little sleep, some prescription medications, and abuse of alcohol or drugs like marijuana and LSD.
Traumatic events, like the death of a loved one or a sexual assault, can lead to psychosis in people who are vulnerable to it -- so can traumatic brain injuries, brain tumors, strokes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Psychosis can also be a symptom of a mental illness, like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
What are the symptoms of tardive dyskinesia?ANSWER
How can tardive dyskinesia affect your body?ANSWER
Tardive dyskinesia can also affect your arms, legs, fingers, and toes. That can cause you to: