Schizophrenia is a mental disease that is often confused with multiple personality disorder. While they are both disorders of the brain and it is true that for a long time scientists considered multiple personality disorder to be a form of schizophrenia they are actually very different diseases. People with multiple personality disorder have a variety of personalities, each with their own unique identity living inside one body. The cause is thought to be primarily psychological. People with schizophrenia, on the other hand, do not usually know that they have the disease. It is usually other people who realize that the schizophrenic is suffering and get help for him or her. Schizophrenia is often hard to diagnose because the symptoms schizophrenia are so varied and are shared by many other mental disorders as well.
The most important symptom schizophrenia is that the cognitive function of a person's brain and their emotions are severely disrupted. A person with schizophrenia usually has trouble with his or her speech, thoughts perceptions and even his or her sense of self. People with the disease usually have problems with their sense of self and stop realizing that their actions affect the people around them. Hallucinations are also prevalent and are sometimes called "psychotic manifestations."
Hallucinations (or psychotic manifestations) can happen in a number of ways. Sometimes the person suffering symptoms schizophrenia hears voices. Sometimes he will have sensations (hear sounds, smell foods) that do not actually connect to any physical origin. Sometimes the hallucinations are profound and involve communications from entities that would not normally communicate (thin air, household objects, inanimate objects passed on the street). Another symptom schizophrenia is manifested in the attachment of extreme meaning to events and situations that the people around the schizophrenic will not experience. Schizophrenics will often think that an event that anybody else would not think twice about is incredibly significant and will feel frustrated when nobody else has the same feelings that they do.
Typically the symptoms schizophrenia can be divided into two major categories. There are positive symptoms and negative symptoms. These categories are what will decide how schizophrenia is diagnosed and treated.
The negative category of symptoms schizophrenia usually manifest in the diminishing of normal functions. Negative symptoms schizophrenia can be difficult to diagnose because they are often associated with other (non schizophrenic disorders) and not usually as obvious to others as the positive symptoms are. Positive symptoms schizophrenia happens excessively. The DSM-IV states that at least two or more of the schizophrenia symptoms must happen consistently for at least one month. The exception to this rule is if a single symptom becomes extreme and in that case the single symptom can be used to diagnose the disease.
Diagnosing schizophrenia is often a very difficult process. The disease is often misdiagnosed because of the similar symptoms. If a person is showing any symptoms schizophrenia it is important to get them to see a psychiatrist as soon as possible. The sooner the disease is diagnosed, the better off the patient will
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #1
Schizophrenia is not the same thing as having multiple personality disorder. In multiple personality disorder a person has a number of independent identities that all share one host body. Typically one of the personalities is dominant and the others exist under the surface. With Schizophrenia, there could be independent personalities but the person suffering from the disease believes that these identities exist outside of him or herself.
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #2
There are different types of schizophrenia. The most widely known is that of paranoid schizophrenia in which the schizophrenic believes that there are people who are out to "get" him (or her). Commonly the patient associates himself with an elite group and believes that it is his membership with that group that has made him a target of others.
Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #3
Schizophrenia is normally treated with anti-psychotic drugs. There are new drugs being developed all the time. Other treatments include Electro Convulsive Therapy in which the patient is driven to convulsions by receiving a series of shocks to the brain. This treatment is thought to fix the electrochemical balance of the brain.