Early Warning Signs of Schizophrenia

 

Helping Friends and Family Members Who Live with Schizophrenia

 

Schizophrenia pic

Schizophrenia
Image: webmd.com

A psychiatrist at the Wyandot Center in Kansas City, Kansas, Dr. Christie Mensch provides full service mental health care in an outpatient setting. Dr. Christie Mensch evaluates and treats a variety of mental health concerns, including schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder of the brain. It can cause people to experience delusions, hallucinations, and difficulties with concentration and thinking. If a friend or loved one has a schizophrenia diagnosis, there are simple things you can do to help them.

Encourage them to get treatment or remain in treatment. There are many trials and studies available as well, many of which offer promising new treatments and therapies.

Be patient, and recognize their right to their own views. People who live with schizophrenia commonly hold demonstrably false beliefs, but these can seem very real to them. Be as respectful as possible without supporting inappropriate or destructive behavior.

Be aware of the risk of substance abuse. People who live with schizophrenia tend to be at high risk for drug and alcohol abuse, which can also adversely affect treatment.

Serious Mental Illnesses – Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia pic

Schizophrenia
Image: WebMD.com

Dr. Christie Mensch serves the Wyandot Center in Kansas City, Kansas, by delivering outpatient mental health services to people with issues like schizophrenia, attention-deficit disorder, and depression. Before accepting her current position, Dr. Christie Mensch treated patients at Kansas City Veterans Hospital.

When psychiatrists inform patients that they have schizophrenia, it means they’ve developed a chronic brain disorder that causes a spectrum of serious and life-changing symptoms. Experts categorize these symptoms according to three standards.

For example, those with “positive” symptoms experience vivid hallucinations that cause them to fall out of touch with reality as healthy individuals perceive it. Such symptoms also include dysfunctional thought patterns and agitated motions. Cognitive problems, another class of schizophrenia symptoms, often result in focus, decision-making, and memory difficulties. Finally, the “negative” symptoms of schizophrenia impede emotional function. For instance, patients may have trouble finding pleasure in the things they do and may speak in ways devoid of emotion.

Schizophrenia most commonly appears in young men and women in their 20s and 30s. In America, about 1 percent of people live with the illness.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia in Adults and Teens

Christie Mensch pic

Christie Mensch

Christie Mensch, MD, is a psychiatrist with the Wyandot Center in Kansas City. In this position, Dr. Christie Mensch helps support adults as they deal with various issues of mental health, including bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a psychological disorder that typically develops in a person’s early-to-late 20s. Individuals living with schizophrenia can experience an array of symptoms, though significant cognitive, emotional, and behavioral impairments are all hallmarks of the disorder.

Hallucinations and delusions are two of the most commonly discussed symptoms of schizophrenia. While auditory hallucinations are a standard for the disorder, hallucinations can also involve visual or olfactory elements. Delusions, which affect an estimated 80 percent of individuals with schizophrenia, are much more diverse, but generally involve strong beliefs that have no base in reality. Such delusions can range from schizophrenic individuals believing they have celebrity status to intense paranoia.

Though it is rare for a teenager to develop schizophrenia, it is not impossible. Younger individuals can experience hallucinations and delusions, as well as other symptoms typical of adult schizophrenia, such as irregular speaking patterns and lack of emotion. Visual hallucinations are more prevalent in teens dealing with schizophrenia, while delusions are less frequent.

Guardians and medical professionals must pay close attention to a teenager, as schizophrenia symptoms like withdrawal from social activities and difficulty sleeping are common among most teens, including those without the condition. Both teens and adults living with schizophrenia will experience a lack of awareness regarding their disorder, and so it is often left to family and friends to notice symptoms and reach out for professional support.