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How to determine schizophrenia in humans: signs and symptoms, treatment methods

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Read before starting the test.

The test is designed to determine a predisposition to schizophrenia, but does not make an accurate medical diagnosis.

To evaluate, you are invited to 20 questions for which you need to give the same answers (by selecting them from the list of proposed options).

The test was developed by the Tyumen Institute of Social Psychology and is provided free of charge.

Schizophrenia Test Schizophrenie Test Test de la schizophrenie
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© 2010 Institute of Social Psychology (Tyumen).
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What is schizophrenia?

This is a chronic disease, a severe mental disorder. Often it proceeds with a disabling character. Schizophrenia is found in all countries. Statistical information indicates that from 1 thousand people during the life of this disease from 7 to 9 people.

Many myths have been invented about schizophrenia. For example, the essence of one of them is that the disease is inherited. This is incorrect information. Not the disease itself is inherited, but a predisposition to its occurrence. If a husband and wife are sick with schizophrenia in a married couple, this does not mean that they will have a sick child. A baby can be born completely healthy.

Another myth is that people with schizophrenia are dangerous, crazy, or inferior members of society. This is also not true. Modern medicine has in its arsenal ways of treating this mental disorder. Many people diagnosed with schizophrenia lead a normal life.

Before considering the question of how to determine schizophrenia in a person by appearance, eyes, behavior, speech, thoughts, mood, we will also pay attention to the causes of this disease. Psychiatrists cannot identify any specific cause. Various factors and mechanisms are considered: heredity, an autoimmune process, structural and functional damage to certain brain structures, etc. The most popular among specialists is the biopsychosocial model of schizophrenia. According to this model, a disease develops due to the combined effect of biological, psychological and social factors on the body.

How to determine schizophrenia in humans?

Scientific studies have shown that both women and men are equally affected by this disease. How to determine if a person is sick with schizophrenia or not? The disease may produce strange speech. People with schizophrenia claim to hear voices. Some patients say that they have enemies who intrigue against them, are going to kill them.

Certain changes occur in appearance. How to determine a person’s schizophrenia in appearance is the question that cannot be answered. Patients may be different. At times they are calm, depressed, irritable, inadequately angry, overly cheerful and active.

You can also determine schizophrenia in the eyes. As a rule, patients do not like to look in the eyes. The gaze seems aloof, empty, cold. No friendliness, eye play. It seems that the person is looking inward. He cannot concentrate on something.

Much more depends on the form of the disease. For example:

  1. With sluggish schizophrenia, signs in women and men include shallow personality changes. There is no productive symptomatology characteristic of schizophrenic psychoses.
  2. With the paranoid form, the patient is delirious, hallucinations are detected, there is no incoherence in speech, significant disturbances in the emotional sphere.
  3. Hebephrenic schizophrenia is characterized by inappropriate emotions, silly behavior, torn thinking.

Classification of symptoms of schizophrenia

All the symptoms that occur with schizophrenia are usually combined into syndromes. Syndromes exist 3 types:

  1. Positive. They include symptoms that were previously absent in the psyche and which normally should not be observed in a healthy person.
  2. Negative. These are symptoms that reflect a person’s loss of certain functions.
  3. Cognitive. This is a deterioration in cognitive functions (complex brain functions).

Positive syndromes

And how to determine schizophrenia in humans? Recognize positive syndromes. They are noticeable, because they are usually associated with a loss of reality. These include hallucinations, delusions, thinking disorders, etc.

Hallucination is an illusion, a deception that does not exist in reality. Such hallucinations in which commanding voices are heard are dangerous for the patient and others. A person with schizophrenia can obey instructions and commit a crime or suicide. Signs indicative of hallucinations:

  • the patient is talking to himself
  • laughing for no reason
  • falls silent and listens to something or looks closely.

Speaking of suicides. A person suffering from schizophrenia decides to take such a step not only because of hallucinations. Often depression leads to this act, accompanied by suicidal thoughts, self-accusation. Statistics show that approximately 40% of people with a diagnosis are trying to commit suicide. In 10–20% of cases, an attempt leads to death.

If the treatment manages to drown out some of the symptoms of schizophrenia, then this does not mean that the likelihood of suicide becomes zero. The patient in spite of everything can attend suicidal thoughts. There are certain risk factors for suicide. These include:

  • depression,
  • the presence of suicide attempts in the past,
  • young age
  • male,
  • drug use
  • the prevalence of positive symptoms over negative,
  • poor social support, etc.

Now let's talk about delirium, because by this sign it is possible to determine that a person has schizophrenia. As a rule, this symptom is observed often. Delirium is persistent inferences or beliefs that are not true. It is impossible to convince the patient. Delirium is different in content. For example, allocate:

  • nonsense of a special relationship, when it seems to the patient that the people around him think negatively about him, treat him badly,
  • hypochondriacal delirium, when a person with schizophrenia seems to be sick with an incurable disease, but not mental.

With schizophrenia, some people get confused thoughts, memory is lost. A patient, taking some object, can forget why he did it. With an unfavorable course of the disease, illogical thinking is observed.

Negative syndromes

To the question of how to determine schizophrenia in humans, there is another answer. This can be done by identifying negative symptoms. Modern experts attribute passivity to it. The patient weakens volitional activity. His motivation to perform any actions is reduced. The patient does not want to go to work, go shopping. He seeks to be at home. However, in his own housing, a person does not want to do anything. Even the elementary rules of personal hygiene the patient ceases to comply.

Autism is also a negative symptom. Interests are narrowed, asociality is observed. The patient does not want and it is difficult to communicate with people. Also, with schizophrenia, movements are inhibited, speech becomes poorer.

Cognitive syndromes

By cognitive symptoms, schizophrenia in humans cannot be determined. As a rule, they are inconspicuous. Neuropsychological tests help to detect them.

So, cognitive symptoms include:

  • memory problems (a person loses the ability to remember recently received information and apply it in the future),
  • problems with concentration (difficulty concentrating, lability, poor switchability),
  • weakness of “control functions” (the patient processes and assimilates information poorly, cannot make the right decisions).

Cognitive symptoms interfere with normal life. They lead to severe emotional distress.

The course of adolescent schizophrenia at the initial stage

Schizophrenia can develop not only in adult men and women, but also in adolescents. The disease manifested in children is similar in its course to the disease in adults. However, adolescent schizophrenia is less common.

There is also childhood schizophrenia. Studies have shown that a disease can occur in a small child (for example, at the age of seven). But at the same time, practice shows that in extremely rare cases, the disease begins to develop before puberty.

How to determine schizophrenia in a teenager is a rather complicated question for both parents and specialists. The disease does not always proceed the same. In some adolescents, its course is more severe, in others - less. In some cases, even improvements can be observed.

Specialists attribute a number of signs to early manifestations of schizophrenia. Teenagers with this diagnosis become, as a rule, closed. Previously, they normally interacted with their relatives, they had friends. Due to illness, children gradually become less sociable. They cease to be frank with their parents, begin to avoid contact with brothers and sisters, lose friends.

Against the background of isolation, the interests of patients narrow. Children begin to study worse. The narrowing of interests, the deterioration of academic performance are the initial signs of schizophrenia in adolescents that occur not because of laziness. Quite often, this picture is observed: the child is intensely preparing for classes, but the learning outcomes do not improve, but only worsen. It is not laziness that is to blame, but a disease.

The progression of the disease in children

With further progression of schizophrenia, adolescents stop monitoring themselves. Some patients fall into bad companies, under the influence of other people, begin to commit various offenses. Such teenagers do not regret that they have sunk to the bottom of life. They do not realize this, consider other people as backward and try to show others that they have a different understanding of life.

With the further development of the disease, symptoms such as hallucinatory and delusional disorders can be observed:

  1. In many cases, auditory hallucinations are recorded. They are divided by specialists into different types - into command, dialogue, religious, persecuting, etc. For example, when haunting hallucinations, children hear threats, someone tells them that something bad will happen to them. In 40-60% of children with schizophrenia, visual hallucinations are observed.
  2. An example of delusional disorder is a case study that shows how to determine schizophrenia by behavior. A boy entered the hospital. He was sure that he was a dog. The department seemed to him a veterinary clinic. The patient demanded that they put a muzzle on him and give him an injection.

The final phase of schizophrenia is a condition with catatonic-hebephrenic disorders and apathetic or silly dementia.

Psychopharmacotherapy

Unfortunately, schizophrenia is an incurable disease today. However, therapy is still prescribed to eliminate symptoms, the onset of remission, and improve life.

If it was possible to recognize schizophrenia in humans, how to treat this disease? This question should be consulted with a doctor. Treating schizophrenia is a complex process. One of the stages is the conduct of psychopharmacotherapy. Patients are prescribed antipsychotic drugs (antipsychotics). Medicines are selected by doctors, taking into account the severity of the condition, the duration of the disease, the stage of therapy, the individual characteristics of a particular patient, the severity of schizophrenia syndromes.

One of the antipsychotic drugs for example is Aripiprazole. This remedy is used in the treatment of schizophrenia, manic episodes with bipolar disorder type I severe and moderate. Also, the drug is effective in the prevention of new manic episodes, can be used as an adjunct to antidepressant therapy. Side effects are possible. At the initial stage, some patients have sleep disturbances, nausea, and vomiting.

Another example drug is Olanzapine. It is highly effective against negative and positive symptoms, as well as against affective (emotional) syndromes (mood disorders). In the process of using this drug, side effects can occur - a sedative, hypnotic effect, increased appetite, and an increase in blood sugar.

Doctors are not always able to choose the right drug the first time, because all people are different. A specific medicine helps one patient, but for another it is ineffective. Sometimes you have to try several drugs.

Psychosocial therapy

An important role in the treatment of schizophrenia is played by psychosocial therapy. It is carried out after stabilization by antipsychotic drugs. Psychological assistance is provided to the patient, which helps him cope with communication difficulties, gain motivation, and understand the importance of adhering to the medication regimen. Thanks to psychosocial therapy, patients begin to attend school, work, and communicate.

Psychosocial therapy also includes family health education. It is very important that relatives do not leave alone, do not leave, do not exacerbate the situation. In the course of sanitary-educational work, family members are given recommendations:

  1. Relatives must be patient. The recovery process is very long. It is also important to understand that a patient may relapse. Schizophrenia is a chronic ailment that cannot be cured.
  2. It is important to ensure that the patient takes the medicine correctly. Improper use of funds negatively affects the effectiveness of treatment.
  3. You can not swear with the patient, raise a hand at him. It is recommended that you always be calm.
  4. It should be easier to communicate with the patient. Do not argue with him, convince him of the unreality of all that he is talking about.
  5. It is important to improve the social skills of the patient so that he can live and work normally. You can not lock in a circle of illness. Keep in touch with relatives, get together and communicate more often.

Boarding a patient

In some cases, caring for a patient with schizophrenia is a very heavy burden. There are patients in whom the periods of remission are very short and superficial. It is difficult to live with such people under one roof. They absolutely do not obey, do everything that they please. In such cases, there is one way out - placing the patient in a neuropsychiatric boarding school (PNI).

How to identify a person with schizophrenia in a boarding school? The basis for admission to this institution is a personal statement of the patient. If a person is recognized as legally incompetent, then he must still write a statement himself. The report of the medical commission with the participation of a psychiatrist is additionally attached to this document. If the patient, due to his condition, cannot submit a personal application, then the decision on placement in a psychoneurological boarding school is made by the guardianship and trusteeship body, taking into account the conclusion of the medical commission with the participation of a psychiatrist.

The question of how to determine whether a person is sick with schizophrenia or not is extremely important, because the sooner treatment for this disease begins, the better the further prognosis.According to statistics, 1 out of 4 people with this diagnosis recover within 5 years of therapy. The rest, due to treatment, weaken the symptoms, the duration of remissions increases.

Delusions and hallucinations

If you see something that others do not see, or hear something that others do not hear, this is the first sign that everything is not in order with the psyche. An even more alarming symptom is when “voices in your head” order you to do something, sometimes to do absurd or dangerous things for others. Sometimes it seems to a person that he hears the thoughts of other people, even if they are not nearby. He can also be convinced that others can read his thoughts and even erase his memory by putting his own ideas into his head.

Persecution mania

Schizophrenics often think that someone is stalking them - they can be neighbors, work colleagues, sometimes completely strangers or even mythical intelligence officers and alien aliens. Alternatively, it can be demons, demons, mysterious “people in black” ... Some complain that they are being irradiated with something right in their own apartment. If you have such thoughts and at the same time you are not some kind of celebrity and your occupation cannot be of interest to the “organs”, then most likely you are sick.

You are convinced of your chosenness

Many schizophrenics are sure that they are special people, that they were chosen by some higher forces or aliens in order to fulfill an important mission for humanity. If you have thoughts about your chosenness, that you are a messenger of God, Satan or newcomers, then there is practically no reason to doubt your mental ill health.

You are no longer interested in what was of interest before

For example, you have lost interest in your favorite job, in a hobby that you have been doing for many years. On the contrary, schizophrenics often have new hobbies. Many of them suddenly become interested in mysticism, religion, science, philosophy, and literally get stuck on this. True, a change of interest may occur in a completely normal person, but if this happened too quickly, then there is reason to beware.

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