Warning Signs Of Schizophrenia

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a disorder that is scary for both the patient and those around them. It affects friends, family, peers, and in severe cases, the general public. People who are schizophrenic tend to have alarming behaviors and thoughts. Sometimes these behaviors and thoughts confuse and frighten others. This is especially the case for those who are not familiar with what it means to have schizophrenia.

Typically while cases of schizophrenia are treatable, it will affect the lifestyle of the patient. If you know what warning signs to look out for you may be able to catch the symptoms early. By being able to identify the warning signs of schizophrenia you will be able to get help quickly. Here is a list of warning signs of schizophrenia:

Genetic Influence

There is a hereditary component to schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia typically have family members with schizophrenia. You are at risk if you have a parent, sibling, or grandparent who suffers from schizophrenia.

Social Withdrawal

Those who are showing early signs of schizophrenia will present with social withdrawal. This means the way the patients interact with others will change. They may:

  • Withdraw from friends and family
  • Begin canceling, forgetting about or failing to show up for plans
  • Show a lack of interest interacting with others
  • Be disengaged with conversations
  • Appear disinterested in maintaining relationships

Decline in Functioning

A patient with schizophrenia will show a decline in functioning. This can manifest in many different ways, like:

  • Change in mood or emotional expression
  • Flat affect
  • Decline in school or work performance and motivation
  • Cognitive decline
  • Poor hygiene (not showering, having an odor, not dressing presentably, etc.)
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Inability to express emotion
  • Change in sleep patterns: Sleeping a lot or not at all
  • Consistent or recurring state of confusion

Bizarre or Unpredictable Behavior

The most telling sign of schizophrenia is bizarre or unpredictable behavior. These behaviors will be out of the patient’s typical character. There are several bizarre behaviors that can be indicative of schizophrenia, including:

  • Paranoid thoughts or beliefs
  • Disappearing for extended periods of time
  • Disorganized of nonsensical speech
  • Drug use
  • Delusional thinking (conspiracy theories, believing he or she is being sent coded messages through innocuous objects, etc.)
  • Drastic change in body language or self-presentation
  • Grandiose beliefs (magical thinking, believing in possessing divine powers, etc.)
  • Seeing things that others cannot see
  • Hearing things that others cannot hear

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