See a medical professional.,
Learn the symptoms of schizophrenia.,
Recognize that you might not be the best judge of your symptoms.
Proper diagnosis of schizophrenia is essential to treating its symptoms. Schizophrenia is difficult to properly diagnose, because it shares qualities with a number of other mental health conditions. Ask your primary care physician for a referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist or other specialist who may be able to provide proper diagnosis.Average age of onset for schizophrenia is late teens to the early 20s for men, and late 20s to early 30s for women. Schizophrenia is rarely diagnosed in children younger than 12, or in adults over the age of 40.
It’s difficult to diagnosis schizophrenia in teenagers. This is because the first signs of the illness include behaviors common among teens – avoiding friends, showing less interest in schoolwork, sleep problems and irritability.
Schizophrenia is a highly genetic condition. If you have a relative with schizophrenia, your chances of being diagnosed with the disorder are higher than for the typical population.African-Americans and Hispanic people may be more likely to be misdiagnosed. Try to find a health care provider who understands the way schizophrenia affects minority communities to ensure best treatment options.;
, To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, a person doesn’t need to have all of its symptoms. He must demonstrate at least two of these symptoms over a period of time. The symptoms must have a noticeable impact on the person’s ability to function, and not be better explained by another cause, such as drug use.Delusions or hallucinations are the symptom most commonly associated with schizophrenia. Hallucinations can be either auditory or visual. These symptoms are often associated with psychotic episodes.
Disorganized speech is a function of a person’s cognitive disorganization. The person may be difficult to understand, not be able to stay on a topic, or respond in ways that are confusing and irrational. He may use imaginary words, or speak in an entirely made-up language.
Disorganized behavior reflects the person’s temporary loss of cognitive functioning due to schizophrenia. He may have difficulty completing a task, or persevere on a task beyond ordinary expectations.
Catatonic behavior can also be a symptom of schizophrenia. The person may sit for hours without speaking. He may appear unaware of his surroundings.
Negative symptoms of schizophrenia are often mistaken for depression. They include a lack of emotional expression, lack of pleasure in everyday activities, and/or talking less.
Many times, the person with schizophrenia is not troubled by these symptoms, resulting in resistance to treatment.
, One of the most challenging characteristics of schizophrenia is the difficulty in recognizing delusional thinking. Your thoughts, ideas, and perceptions may seem perfectly normal to you, while appearing delusional to others. This is often the source of a great deal of tension between the person with schizophrenia and his family and community.Almost half of all people diagnosed with schizophrenia have difficulty recognizing their delusional thinking. Therapy should address this lack of insight.
Learning to ask for help handling troubling or worrisome perceptions and other symptoms is central to living well with schizophrenia.