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RiverDaughter
06-01-2007, 02:20 AM
Does anyone here know any schizophrenics? Is anyone one? I found out that my bf had been keeping tabs one me because he thinks I'm showing more and more symptoms of being one (I'm not violent, but I am a little... off, a lot more lately than I ever remember before, actually), and I've promised to see a shrink (if my college med insurance will cover it) in the Fall, when my insurance starts.

And, to be honest, I was wondering about it. All I can find is a few articles online from the science point of view (and I must admit, I do match a lot of the criteria as of late), and I was wondering about the human perspective of the entire thing.

Lieke
06-01-2007, 02:31 AM
Well, I don't know any schizophrenics, but I study psychology, so I do know a bit about it. If you have the feeling you might be having it, you probably don't have it. Schizophrenics have lost every bit of touch with reality, they don't know they are ill, they think the rest of the world is. They might hear voices and they might know they are the only one hearing them, but they still think there is nothing wrong with them. You can have a milder form of a psychotic disorder. I think it is wise to visit a shrink if you think you have it. I can tell you the symptoms, but you wrote you already found them. If you want to know them, please ask

RiverDaughter
06-01-2007, 02:34 AM
It makes me happier to hear that someone else doesn't think I'm completely insane, though I already knew I was a few cats short of a rocking chair (apparently talking to the people who live in the walls is a bad thing), but I'll be going in anyway just to set his mind at ease, and to see if they can do anything about my weird moods. I think it might be diabetes (runs in the family), and my sugar is out of whack (it does seem to relate to food) but seeing someone at no cost to me but some time, and if it sets his mind at ease, is no problem.

Susan P.
06-01-2007, 02:55 AM
I have known two people with the illness. They were characterised by mood swings and bouts of paranoia. They could be quite manipulative at times and tell stories or tell one person one thing and be telling someone else something entirely different at the same time (classic to see this happening online when two story variations are being played out in chat at the same time). In terms of the mood swings they could be reasonably nice one moment and then snarl and snap the next. They tended to be unaware of the need to maintain constant body hygiene (tho others I am sure may have obsessive-compulsive disorders). They certainly needed to spend a lot of time alone or have the capacity to get away from people. Fairly argumentative. Knew they needed medication but would resist it - even when acknowledging taking it would make them stabilise and feel better. They often didn't feel comfortable in their own skin and you would see that visibly manifest in their movements and body responses. It's hard to describe but it was almost like seeing someone trying to shrug their own body off or shed their skin. Nothing gross in movement but noticeable.

Of course this is a layperson's version and so many illnesses share similar symptoms. A highly depressed anxious person could display many of these issues as could phobics. People with medical conditions like tumours (and other diseases as you recognise) can have a range of similar problems and so on.

Getting professional advice is important and it would be good to relieve your own mind.

pandaca
06-01-2007, 03:14 AM
I haven't know any schizophrenics, but I have quite a few bipolar people in my family. A resource I always use is http://www.nami.org/.

They will also have support groups in your community (or near it, depending on where you live) that you can look to for more information, but the web site has a ton of info as well.

Mommy22alyns
06-01-2007, 10:45 AM
Definitely see a professional as a lot of laypeople easily confuse schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I hope you get some good help and start feeling better soon. :hug:

debinoz
06-01-2007, 11:25 AM
I only knew one schizophrenic. He suffered from schizophrenia/paranoia. I'd definitely have it checked just to be safe. He's no longer with us due to an "accident" with a shotgun.....:pout:

Miss Moosey
06-01-2007, 11:36 AM
Schizophrenia can be a little difficult to diagnose. First of all, there are a lot of similar disorders, such as bipolar. Second, there are several different types of schizophrenia (five, I think) in which certain symptoms are dominant and other symptoms are seen very little or not at all; not all people who have schizophenia are paraniod or violent. Also, people with schizophrenia can have periods with no symptoms along with periods where they are very symptomatic.

It would be a good idea for you or your boyfriend to keep little notebooks and just track any symptoms or "off" behavior for a while: what the behavior is, in what setting the behavior occurs (at work, at home, etc) how long it lasts, and any possible triggers. That way when you see a psychologist neither of you will be making wild stabs in the dark. Also, recording your behaviors may necessary for making a diagnosis--a diagnosis of schizophrenia and many other psychiatric disorders require that symptoms be seen for at least six months; if you will record you will have proof of how long you have been experiencing symptoms.

Wishing you well
Rebecca

Jeremy
06-01-2007, 11:46 AM
Hi. I often represent Schizophrenics in commitment and probable cause hearings. I am also the conservator for a schizophrenic woman. Many of the things written above are true, but not true for every schizophrenic. I would urge you not to wait in seeking help. Making this diagnosis takes a good deal of time. Here is the link to the NIMH and its article on schizophrenia.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/healthinformation/schizophreniamenu.cfm

I would say this. If you do have it, you have an exceptional ability to put facts together, be coherent and be rational. I wish you the best of luck, we're here for you.:hug:

HollyP
06-01-2007, 11:49 AM
:hug:
In addition to going to a pychriatrist/psychologist you might just want to get check out by a family physican. Many conditions within the body can manifest as mental illness. My sister suffers from depression and anxiety. She had a virus a few months ago and she seemed like she was having a complete mental breakdown. She was very paranoid and just wasn't making any sense. We were very concerned that her depression had progressed into something else. But after exhausting all of her psych drs. I took her to my GP. He tested her for a ton of different things. When all of her blood work came back it turned out she had a bad virus that we would just have to wait out.

nadja la claire
06-01-2007, 11:59 AM
I haven't know any schizophrenics, but I have quite a few bipolar people in my family. A resource I always use is http://www.nami.org/.

They will also have support groups in your community (or near it, depending on where you live) that you can look to for more information, but the web site has a ton of info as well.

Contact NAMI. If there is a problem they may be able to help. I don't know any schizophrenics, but my I do have clinically depressed family members. The fact that you are looking at the symptoms and thinking of how they apply to you is a good sign. The problem with most mental illness is that the individual who is sick does not recognize their illness. Also you're luck that your BF is looking out for you.

Good Luck Dear, I'll keep you in my thoughts.

:muah: :hug:

Nadja :knitting:

Jan in CA
06-01-2007, 12:37 PM
I'm not sure what you mean by "off", but having little idiosyncrasies and being odd or different doesn't make one a schizophrenic. It mostly has varying degrees has well.

I don't know my cousin well, but she is schizophrenic and is on medication. From what other family tells me it's well controlled as long as she takes her medication. I do know she can't seem to hold a job though. Oh and she DOES know she is ill and takes an active roll in it when she can.

Do see a doctor if for nothing else than to make you feel better.

willowangel
06-01-2007, 12:42 PM
Hey there,

I've known a couple of schizophrenics in my life - and, even if it is what you have, it's mostly dealable with. Understanding of it has come on so far in the last decade that there's many different treatments and initiatives available for patients. It's a difficult one, and can be easily misdiagnosed, though.

I would disagree slightly with the 'if you think you're mad, you're not' idea - it's an old and very popular view but there's been a lot of recent research that shows there's some people who can have 'awareness' along with their problems. I have it - not with schizophrenia, but with severe depression and episodes of psychosis. It's unusual, but no less severe than that without awareness. The only problem is that there are still a lot of doctors who subscribe to the 'awareness is all it takes' idea that if you know what's wrong with you you'll be fine. For me, in a psychotic episode, it's like there's frantic war raging inside me because this voice at the back of my head is saying 'This isn't rational, this isn't true, sit down, breathe', but unfortunately that's not the one in the driving seat. And when I'm in a bad state I have deep, core, intense beliefs that I absolutely, completely believe to be true, even though I know that, rationally, they're nonsensical. But that knowledge does *not* stop the belief from existing and influencing my mood. The plus point to it is that, with a lot of time and experience, I've been able to begin to control it affecting my actions. This means that I am sometimes less likely to react and exacerbate situations.

I've had a lot of doctors tell me that I must be ok cause I know what's wrong with me and I understand it. That's not what it's about though - I'm smart and coherent, but that doesn't mean I'm ok. Luckily, you have the right to a second opinion, and third and fourth, etc, and along the way I've found doctors who've saved my life and helped me live a functional and even sometimes a happy life. Combinations of medication and therapy are fantastic, and go a long way towards helping you live a full, healthy life.

If you're worried, though, see someone as soon as possible - waiting and worrying makes it a lot worse, and these things are always better dealt with before a crisis point is reached. It may be that you're bipolar, it may be a form of depression, it may be schizophrenia, it may be nothing to worry about. Whatever it is, though, it can be sorted and there's people out there to help. You're obviously coherent enough to be able to benefit from a lot of the treatment out there, so I think you'll be treated well - my doctors have told me in the past that my ability to understand what they say and my interest in the process of treatment has made it a lot easier for them to help me. Sometimes you have to try a few before you find the right doctor for you, particularly when it comes to mental health - you need to be able to connect to them for anything good to come of it. But don't give up hope - there are fantastic doctors out there and so many people who can help, whatever the diagnosis.

Sorry for rambling ;-)
Fi xxx

newamy
06-01-2007, 01:35 PM
The information you gave on the forum is really very vague. From your description I wouldn't even begin to assume you have schizophrenia. Do seek a professional consultation and NAMI is a good resource.

My sister in law is schizophrenic and due to her illness I can't say that I know her very well. Her behaviors are influenced by her meds and I can only recall a brief time of knowing her before she began treatment. She was, then, generally spacey and had a hard time holding down jobs. She's only had a few full blown psychotic episodes in her life but after each one she changes more. She is still spacey, she is paranoid, she often thinks she is better and nothing is wrong and she no longer needs her meds. At this stage she is a bit agoraphobic as well. She also can be manipulative, non compliant and down right sneaky. Yet she is very sweet and caring. When my grand father died she cried harder than anyone at the funeral. Schizophrenia is a very sad disorder. I hope you do not have it.

If your sugars are off do you have diabetes or hypoglycemia? Untreated diabetic symptoms can radically effect your mood and diabetes is many times more prevalent than schizophrenia. So you might see a doctor about that as well.

RiverDaughter
06-01-2007, 02:07 PM
If your sugars are off do you have diabetes or hypoglycemia? Untreated diabetic symptoms can radically effect your mood and diabetes is many times more prevalent than schizophrenia. So you might see a doctor about that as well.

Diabetes is the first thing I'm getting tested for the instant I have medical insurance again this fall. It does run in my family (father has it), and I was tested on a bi-yearly basis as a child because I showed symptoms. But seeing a shrink, even if it's not schizophrenia, might help get some other things off my chest as well (college+life= teh suck on occasion.).

But thanks for the info and support everyone! :cheering:

Jeremy
06-01-2007, 03:01 PM
Here (http://www.ask.hrsa.gov/pc/searchresults.cfm?state=WY&zip=&county=-1) is and address of low cost clinics for healthcare in Wyoming.:hug:

Vendie
06-01-2007, 03:06 PM
If you're suspecting diabetes, you really don't want to wait until the fall to get it checked out. If it's type II, you may still be at the point where you can control it with diet and activity, which would translate to lower medical costs. If it's type I, you really don't want to mess around with it, b/c you'll need insulin. If you let your sugar get too out of control, there can be some incredibly dangerous side effects (i.e. coma). Please go check out the link Jeremy posted if you suspect diabetes, don't put it off.

PinkRoses
06-01-2007, 07:45 PM
Hello, this subject is near and dear to my heart due to the fact that both my Mom and her Father suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

I have not had a chance to read this whole thread, and I really will, but I wanted to let you and everyone know that schizophrenia.com is a FABULOUS resource for those with the illness, along with family and friends of people who deal with this illness. :muah: Please, check it out, it's absolutely wonderful IMO.

Knitting_Guy
06-01-2007, 08:55 PM
I used to be schizophrenic but we're much better now. :oo:

willowangel
06-01-2007, 09:41 PM
I used to be schizophrenic but we're much better now. :oo:

Tee hee - I've seen that one before. I remember being at a mental health group one open day - the craft club at the community had made cards and things to sell to raise money for their cause (all patients themselves) and one of the girls turned up to man the stall in a t-shirt saying 'you're just jealous cause the voices are talking to me' :-)

letah75
06-01-2007, 09:52 PM
Over the years I have known quite a few schitzoprhenics (just can't spell it). the symptoms for each of them have been quite different:

1) Female, onset of symptoms 25, quite paranoid, thought the queen of England had implanted devices in her head. Did not hear voices, did not have visual hallucinations. Would call the house at random times, sometimes coherant, sometimes not. Did not believe she had a problem, did not believe the stories we told her about what she had said or done when she was in her paranoid moments. She was non-violent, just had delusions.

2) Male, onset of symptoms, 15. Hears voices, paranoia sometimes severe, no visual hallucinations. Knows he is schitzophrenic, talks of voices (always on the left hand side), knows he is about to have an episode due to blinding headaches prior to the voices talking to him. He can be quite violent when he is paranoid. To the point of attacking family members and destroying furniture. Dislikes his illness, goes on and off of meds, but nothing really helps.

3) Male, onset of symptoms, 17. Heard voices, saw things, not paranoid at all. Very angry and violent. Didn't know he had a problem. His symptoms were not constant but when he would go, HE WOULD GO for a long time.

4) Female, onset of symptoms, 13. Heard voices, would often argue with them. Her symptoms were constant. Saw visual hallucinations, delusions of grandure (often thought she was the virgin mary). She walked out of the second story window of her family's appartment when we were 16 because the voices told her too. She drowned herself at the age of 23. Walked out into the Ocean and got pulled in from the undertow. Last thing she mentioned were the mermaids wanted her to visit them, she could hear/see them calling her.

Symptoms vary wildly from person to person. You can know you are schitzophrenic and be schitzophrenic. Often times it is a semi-slow descent and the person knows something is happening but doesn't know what. Sometimes they get to the point that they no longer understand/remember what it was like to be "normal".

All that being said...Bipolar can easielly be mis-diagnosed as schitzopherenia, especially when someone is in a manic phase. Many of the symptoms can/are similar.

Physical issues, blood sugar, thyroid desease, etc. can cause odd behavior, mood swings, etc. I know someone who thought she was going crazy, and she was diagnosed with hypothyroid desease.

Get checked out. Apply for medical, check with your local county mental/behavioral health department. There are ways to get checked without having insurance. Many times there are free or low cost clinics, check with planned parenthood, your local public health, etc. to see what you options are.

Talk to a counselor/psychiatrist, AND a general practioner. But do it soon.

Knitting_Guy
06-01-2007, 10:12 PM
Tee hee - I've seen that one before. I remember being at a mental health group one open day - the craft club at the community had made cards and things to sell to raise money for their cause (all patients themselves) and one of the girls turned up to man the stall in a t-shirt saying 'you're just jealous cause the voices are talking to me' :-)

Yeah, I have one that says "You're just jealous because I can hear the voices"

Humor really is the best medicine. Even us nuts can laugh at ourselves.

debinoz
06-01-2007, 11:35 PM
My DD has a shirt that says "I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they have good ideas"

Knitting_Guy
06-01-2007, 11:58 PM
My DD has a shirt that says "I know the voices aren't real, but sometimes they have good ideas"

That's a great one!