What are Common Schizophrenia Symptoms?
Mental illness affects millions of Americans, but it is always frightening to consider that you or someone you know and love can be diagnosed with schizophrenia. Few people know that there are different types of schizophrenia. There are five classified types of this mental illness, with different signs and symptoms that can be individual to each person suffering with the ailment. Due to the variations of symptoms, and the fact that symptoms can intermittently affect patients and then completely disappear, many individuals go undiagnosed for years. However, there are some common schizophrenia symptoms that many people experience, which can help individuals figure out if they or someone they know can be suffering from the condition.
Common Schizophrenia Symptoms
- Hallucinations – These are perhaps the most commonly-known symptoms of schizophrenia. Hallucinations can involve any of the physical senses, but most often they include hearing voices that are not actually there. Schizophrenic.com explains the different type of hallucinations, which include auditory, visual, olfactory (smelling), tactile (touching), and gustatory (tasting). With this mental illness, most patients report hearing voices speaking to them or about them, which can involve commentary, instructions, warnings or conversations. These voices can sometimes cause great harm to the person hearing them because they can instruct the individual to harm him or herself, not take medication, or commit an unlawful act. Visual hallucinations are the second most popular sign of schizophrenia, this can include visions that are not really present. The visions can often be very frightening, causing great distress to the person seeing them. Olfactory hallucinations make the person believe that a smell is present, mostly causing them to fear that they are the cause of the unpleasant scent. Tactile hallucinations can make the party believe that he or she is being covered in snakes, rodents, or touched by others. Finally, gustatory hallucinations cause people to believe that something they are eating or drinking tastes different from normal, mostly worse then typical.
- Delusions – These symptoms of schizophrenia involve unrealistic beliefs not actually true. These can be focused on any topic, including danger, fame, love, career, etc. Schizophrenic people can believe that someone is out to hurt them, that they have a family, that they are world-famous, etc. Although the delusions can seem random to family and friends, they usually involve a trigger to the mentally-ill parties. They could have seen an image on TV, heard some lyrics in a song, or saw a poster on the street, which signified something to them. These can include paranoid delusions that make the patient scared, anxious, and violent.
- Unclear Communication – Due to the possible hallucinations, delusions, and unclear thought process, another sign of schizophrenia is unclear speech. The person can either speak about things that do not make sense, or put together sentences from unrelated words. The person may not be able to carry on a conversation, responding to questions with topics that are completely unrelated.
- Abnormal Behavior – Another one of the schizophrenia symptoms is abnormal behavior, which can take on any form. The individual can exhibit strange motor behavior, such as bizarre posture or body positions, or overall behavior, such as acting like a child. This makes it very difficult, or often impossible, for schizophrenics to function normally as they cannot focus on any given task or assignment.
In addition to the aforementioned schizophrenia symptoms, there are others that can be particular to each individual diagnosed with the mental illness. Tests and doctor visits for management of schizophrenia is often expensive, which is why certain patients choose to enter into schizophrenia clinical trials in Los Angeles. During the process, patients will often get access to free lab tests and doctor care, including the possibility of getting schizophrenia medication. To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for schizophrenia or other types of mental conditions, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.