The Scattered Thoughts: Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by chronic severe and disabling patterns of thinking including hallucinations, illusions & more. Read here!
Meaning of Schizo is nothing but “Split” and phrenia is “Mind”. It describes a scattered or fragmented pattern of thinking. It is a syndrome wherein all sorts of symptoms that might be associated are found in it and different patients might experience different symptoms.
The disease affects all ethnicities and gender equality and symptoms typically start to occur around ages 16 through 30 and the most common symptoms include hallucinations such as hearing voices that don’t even exist delusions, believing people can control one’s thoughts and their nonsense speaking.
What schizophrenia feels like?
Schizophrenia is probably one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions. Those who are afflicted by it are often thought to be people who are complete misfits, are violent. However, that is not the case at all with schizophrenics. While the symptoms have been broadly defined, how they will appear in different people differs drastically. Genetics, environment and whether they are taking medication varies from person to person, therefore the symptoms and how they appear to vary as well.
The Symptoms of Schizophrenia are broadly categorized to make it easy for the diagnosis of different patients. Most human symptoms are versions of a normal physiologic process from any illness. So the three major areas of Schizophrenia disorder –
• Positive Symptoms:
These are the psychotic symptoms like –
Delusions: Delusions are false beliefs that the patient might feel very strongly about, so much so that they do not want to change their mind even if one gives evidence against it. There is all sort of delusions like for e.g.:
A delusion of control, where they think that some outside force or person is having control of their actions.
A delusion of Reference, where someone thinks that insignificant remarks are directed at them, like the Actors, are directly speaking to them by the TV.
Hallucinations: These are any kind of sensation which are actually not present including both visual as well as auditory sensations like hearing voices or commands.
Disorganized behavior: We can say, wearing warm clothes and layering yourself in summer.
Catatonic: Which is related to movements, posture, and responsiveness.
• Negative Symptoms:
Blunted affect: Deficits in facial expression, reduced intensity in emotional expression.
Alogia: “Trouble with speech”, these people with the scientific name of alogia do not talk much or show any feelings.
Flat affect: Here they do not respond with emotion or reaction that would seem appropriate if they saw something very unexpected.
Withdrawal: This includes the next level of introvert people who no longer like to be with friends or people around, they find it difficult like anything. Doctors call it “Apathy”.
Avolition: People facing these symptoms have trouble staying on schedule or finishing what they start. Sometimes they do not even make a start.
• Cognitive Symptoms:
These symptoms include things like not being able to remember things, learn new things, or understand others easily.
These symptoms are more subtle though, and more difficult to notice and might only be detected if they have the really specific tests performed. To go with an example might be somebody not being able to keep track of several things at once, like an address or phone number.
Are Anxiety and Schizophrenia the Same?
Mainly Schizophrenia and Anxiety are two different phenomena – in terms of Physiological and psychological. Anxiety is an unpleasant feeling which is often associated with apprehension, uneasiness, fear, and stress. But Schizophrenia is much worse than that It is a mental disorder which is characterized by distortions of reality and disturbances in mind of thoughts, withdrawn from social thoughts and language.
Anxiety has physical effects on the body such as stomach-aches, headaches, chest pain, nausea, muscle weakness, heart palpitations, fatigue, and Tension. Emotional effects are also seen as trouble concentration, expecting the worst, irritability and etc.
But Anxiety and Schizophrenia have some relation with pasts. And people who have experienced anxiety, especially those who suffer from a disorder often ask that will it turn into Schizophrenia. But the answer is NO! Because the major cause of Schizophrenia is the genetic condition of a person. The probability of having this psychotic disorder depends on the history of the family of a particular person.
Anxiety is not the cause of Schizophrenia since Schizophrenia is more into behavior response than a disease.