Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder most commonly associated with thought processes and emotional reactivity. The condition is characterized by unusual thoughts, behavior and emotions.
Normally, the dissolution of the thought processes and emotional reactivity is evident in the form of paranoia, bizarre delusions, auditory hallucinations and disorganized speech and thinking. These symptoms are often followed by a dysfunction in social and economic aspects.
Although children aged 14 or less, may be affected by this mental disorder, schizophrenia usually starts between the ages of 15 and 25. The first signs may be divided into several groups, namely, physical symptoms, behaviors, emotions and mood, cognitive impairment, as well as delusions and hallucinations.
The first physical symptoms include unusual postures or gestures, awkward gait, clumsiness, difficulty sleeping ( or sleep or excessive), accelerated motion, slow motion, oversensitivity (particularly bright lights or loud noises) , involuntary movements of the tongue and mouth, the symptoms of Parkinson (such as jerky movements of the arm, stiffness).
Other physical symptoms include blank facial expression, inability to express emotions through the face and a tendency to stare without blinking, while engaged in deep thought.
People with schizophrenia tend to refrain from social activities and have difficulty building or maintaining relationships, neglecting self-care (eg, clothing, hygiene, appearance), have excessive preoccupation with spiritual or religious activities, abuse drugs and alcohol, repeat aloud conversations (ie, talk to themselves) and smoke (although many non-smokers with schizophrenia as well). They have difficulty to deal with minor problems or difficult situations and may not participate in meaningful activities.
Feelings and mood
Schizophrenia affects emotions and moods. Early signs include the inability to experience pleasure in doing things, indifference to important issues, sensitivity to insult or criticism, sudden anger, little enthusiasm, depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, and frequent mood swings.
The first signs of schizophrenia include cognitive problems such as ruminating thoughts (thoughts that go round and round the head), poverty of speech (speaking very little), thought blocking, lack of insight, strange language, difficulty expressing thoughts.
Delusions and hallucinations
Delusions are more often associated with paranoia and can manifest in many ways. People with schizophrenia may believe that their food could be poisoned or that people around them conspire to harass them. A religious person can have the delusion that he / she is a god or a prophet. Meanwhile, hallucinations are both visual and auditory.
Of course people with shcizophrenia do not display all of these symtoms all of the time. The intensity and number of symptoms will vary during the individual life.