What is Schizophrenia?
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What is schizophrenia? Well, for starters, it's not the same as multiple personality disorder, as many people think. Watch this video to learn about the characteristics of schizophrenia.
Transcript: People with schizophrenia may hear voices or believe that other people are reading their minds, controlling...
People with schizophrenia may hear voices or believe that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting against them. These experiences are terrifying and can cause fearfulness, withdrawal, or extreme agitation. The chronic, severe, and disabling psychiatric disorder that we now call schizophrenia can be traced in written documents like the Egyptian Book of the Dead as far back as 2000 B.C. Many schizophrenics do not make sense when they talk-sometimes displaying "word salad: speech-here is an example: (Psychologist reads Patient Carl transcript 12 - 15 seconds. Eugen Bleuler first coined the term 'schizophrenia' in 1911 and defined the disorder with his four "A's": blunted Affect or diminished emotional response; loosening of Associations or reduced understanding of relationships; Ambivalence-an inability to make decisions; and Autism-a preoccupation with one's own thoughts and reduced awareness of external events. The psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia-hallucinations and delusions-tend to emerge earlier in men than in women. For men, symptoms appear in their mid to late-20's, while for women, schizophrenia symptoms surface in their mid-20's to early-30's. Symptoms don't typically occur after age 45 and only rarely before puberty. Although schizophrenia is a serious illness, the outlook for those diagnosed with the disorder has improved over the last 30 years. There is still no cure, but effective treatments have been developed, and many people with schizophrenia improve enough to lead independent, satisfying lives. If someone you love has symptoms of schizophrenia, please consult a mental health professional. Want to learn more? Check out other videos and sources on this site for more information.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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Delusions, hallucinations and an inability to organize thoughts are just a few of the symptoms of schizophrenia. Watch this video to learn about schizophrenia diagnosis and treatment.
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People can develop a dissociative identity disorder due to a number of factors. If left untreated, this disorder can have serious consequences. Learn about this here.
Transcript: Most of us know Tila Tequila as a Playboy model or the girlfriend of a football player. Or maybe we...
Most of us know Tila Tequila as a Playboy model or the girlfriend of a football player. Or maybe we know her from her most recent, infamous engagement to Casey Johnson, the heiress to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, who died in early 2010. Tila's not just a multi-layered character, she's actually not alone in that famous body! Tila Tequila suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder - or Multiple Personality Disorder as it was once known - a mental illness in which a sufferer has at least two distinct identities. Experts attest that most patients have about 13 to 15 personalities, although there have been cases of people with up to 100 "alter-egos." About a year ago, Tila announced her condition on her MySpace page, and some of her erratic behavior since seems in line with her confession that she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. For Tila Tequila, one of those other identities is "Jane," an outspoken woman who recently hijacked Tila's Twitter account. "I told you once and I'm not gonna tell you again, Tila is not here! this is Jane!" Jane tweeted. Aside from alter egos like these, people with Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, experience severe memory loss, or memory fluctuations. Other symptoms of the disorder can include: sleep disorders, alcohol or drug abuse, compulsions and rituals, and depression, and in more severe cases, suicidal tendencies. Because Dissociative Identity Disorder is so eccentric, it attracts a lot of media attention. For example, Steven Spielberg's latest brainchild, The United States of Tara, is a television show about a wife and mother boasting four personalities and counting. The show resulted in Showtime Networks' highest ratings in five years, and was almost instantly picked up for another season. Despite all this buzz, it is generally believed that less than one-percent of the United States population suffers from DID. Why these few people develop the disorder is not fully understood, but...experts do know that up to 99-percent of Dissociative Identity patients report severe physical and/or sexual abuse in young childhood. It is for this reason that DID sufferers often have traumatic flashbacks characteristic of another mental condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. There is no definitive test that can diagnose DID, so psychiatrists must conduct detailed mental health interviews to look for it.The process is tricky though, and it is estimated that individuals with DID may spend up to seven years in therapy before they are properly diagnosed. The primary treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder is ongoing psychotherapy, with a goal of combining all the personalities into one. This is what famous athlete, Herschel Walker, talks about in his recent book Breaking Free. A silent sufferer of Dissociative Identity Disorder, Walker channeled his identities into various sports.Walker was so successful at this that he was both a recipient of college football's Heisman trophy and a participant in the 1992 United States Olympian bobsled division. Walker also out-sprinted other Olympian runners, studied taekwondo, and schooled in ballet: "... a lot of people who have been under trauma go into an altered personality to cope with different things in their lives," Walker explained. Still, some individuals with DID are not content to rely on talk therapy. Hypnosis and electroconvulsive therapy are both alternative methods of attempting to control multiple identities. When DID is not treated - or when it's treated poorly - the results can be severe. Such was the case with Rebecca Arwen Long, a devout knitter, keeper of to-do lists, and loving wife. But it wasn't that side of Long that was on trial in a Seattle courtroom last November. Instead, it was a side that starved her stepdaughter to the point where the 14-year-old weighed just 47 pounds at the time of her rescue. Although Long's lawyers cited poorly controlled Dissociative Identity Disorder as the culprit, Long - and her alter-ego - were sentenced to three and a half years. Clearly, we have a long way to go before we fully understand DID and the conditions that surround it. But there are treatments that can help! So if you believe that you, or someone you love is suffering from the disorder, please seek immediate medical attention.More »
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Paranoia is not just about being overly suspicious and distrustful of people, but can be a symptom of a serious psychological disorder. Watch this video to learn more about paranoid personality disorder.
Transcript: Paranoid personality disorder, or PPD, is a psychiatric condition in which a person is very suspicious...
Paranoid personality disorder, or PPD, is a psychiatric condition in which a person is very suspicious and distrustful of others and up to 4.4-percent of Americans are currently living with it. For a person with Paranoid Personality Disorder, almost everyone is a source of suspicion and mistrust, though sufferers are usually unable to acknowledge their own negative feelings towards other people. Although these feelings of mistrust and suspicion are nearly constant in a PPD sufferer's life, these misgivings tend to be unfounded. Still, people with PPD are always on their guard, believing that they are about to be deceived, demeaned or harmed. As such, individuals suffering from the disorder are often reluctant to confide in others, for fear that information will be used against them later. There is concern that other people have hidden motives, and coupled with the PPD sufferer's expectation that they will be exploited by others, there is a general inability for them to work together with others. They also tend to read hidden, malicious meanings in casual remarks or glances. Similarly, people with Paranoid Personality Disorder frequently perceive attacks on their characters or reputations that are not evident to others. It is also not uncommon for individuals with PPD to be hostile and argumentative and to have a hard time relaxing. Because of these symptoms, people with Paranoid Personality Disorder are often socially isolated, detached and have poor self-images. They are prone to holding grudges about both real and perceived insults and injuries. Similarly, these individuals are more likely to become suspicious and jealous of spouses or lovers. Often, PPD sufferers become entangled in legal battles in which they sue others for imagined wrongdoing. No one knows what causes these symptoms of Paranoid Personality Disorder. But, it has been noted that people with PPD are more likely to have family members with schizophrenia, suggesting a genetic link between the two. Unfortunately, PPD is difficult to treat, because people with the disorder do not see themselves as having problems. In addition, the mistrust with which PPD sufferers regard others makes it difficult for medical professionals to offer assistance. When treatment for Paranoid Personality Disorder is sought, psychotherapy is the preferred method. Psychotherapy for PPD focuses on improving social interactions and teaching a sufferer better coping mechanisms. Because therapy can indeed limit the impact of paranoia, it's important for affected individuals to seek help for Paranoid Personality Disorder.More »
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What is borderline personality disorder? This condition is characterized by mood swings, impulsive actions, and unstable relationships. Learn more by watching this video.
Transcript: You may not be familiar with Borderline Personality Disorder, but it's somewhat common: Two percent of...
You may not be familiar with Borderline Personality Disorder, but it's somewhat common: Two percent of American adults, mostly women, suffer from this condition, which is characterized impulsive actions, unstable moods and chaotic relationships. A person with Borderline Personality Disorder, or BPD, may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day. These distortions in thinking and sense of self can lead to frequent changes in long-term goals, career plans, jobs, friendships, gender identity, and values. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Sometimes people with BPD view themselves as fundamentally bad, or unworthy. They may feel unfairly misunderstood or mistreated, bored, empty, and have little idea who they are. Such symptoms are most acute when people with BPD feel isolated and lacking in social support, and may result in frantic efforts to avoid being alone. Music sensations Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, and Courtney Love are all thought to be BPD sufferers. Meanwhile, actresses Lindsey Lohan, Angelina Jolie, and Winona Ryder have also been speculated to have the illness. People with BPD exhibit certain impulsive behaviors, such as excessive spending, binge eating and risky sex. These powerful emotions generally wax and wane quickly and often. But, due to their intensity, may result in self-damaging behaviors, such as reckless driving, substance abuse, or unprotected sex. Borderline Personality Disorder sufferers may also engage in self-mutilation by cutting or burning themselves. BPD often occurs together with other psychiatric problems, particularly bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and other personality disorders. Additionally, BPD is characterized by an insecure sense of self, which means that people with the disorder frequently change jobs, goals, friendships, and even, in more extreme cases, gender identity. Similarly, BPD sufferers often have turbulent and highly unstable patterns in their interpersonal relationships. While they can develop intense but stormy attachments, their attitudes towards family, friends, and loved ones may suddenly shift from idealization, characterized by great love or admiration to devaluation, which is expressed as intense anger and dislike. Such anger may result in temper tantrums or even physical confrontations. Most people with Borderline Personality Disorder have a real fear of being alone or abandoned. These fears of abandonment seem to be related to difficulties feeling emotionally connected to important persons when they are physically absent leaving the individual with BPD feeling lost and perhaps worthless. This instability in mood, self-image, relationships, and behavior may be the reason that suicide rates among individuals with BPD are as high as 15-percent. This distressing figure has caused a great deal of research into the risk factors and causes of Borderline Personality Disorder. The precise cause of borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is unknown. People with BPD, however are known to be impulsive in areas that have a potential for self-harm, such as drug use, drinking, and other risk-taking behaviors. Studies show that MOST people with BPD report a history of abuse, separation, or neglect as a child. Other research suggests that people with BPD in their families may be more at risk for developing the mental illness. Finally, there are studies that show people with BPD have abnormalities in areas of the brain that control aggression and impulsivity. It's impossible to prevent these causes of Borderline Personality Disorder, but treatment for the condition is constantly evolving. Dialectical behavior therapy, for example, is a type of individual or group therapy that was created specifically to treat BPD. This therapeutic method uses a skill-based approach to teach BPD sufferers how to regulate their emotions and improve their relationships. Occasionally, the addition of an anti-depressant or anti-psychotic medication will also be added to a treatment plan. In extreme cases, a person with BPD may need to spend time in a psychiatric hospital. While Borderline Personality Disorder is distressing, with proper care, sufferers can go on to lead normal, healthy lives. After all, Britney Spears' comeback album, Circus sold a cool 1.5 million copies while Angelina Jolie has taken six children and a non-profit organization under her wing! If you're worried that you or someone you love may have Borderline Personality Disorder, make an appointment to see a mental health professional immediately!More »
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If you constantly seek attention or approval from others in a dramatic or forward way, you may be experiencing histrionic personality disorder. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: The word "histrionic" means dramatic or theatrical, and that's exactly what characterizes a person with...
The word "histrionic" means dramatic or theatrical, and that's exactly what characterizes a person with Histrionic Personality Disorder. Histrionic Personality Disorder is a condition that affects about two to three-percent of the United States population, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, and generally begins in early adulthood. People with this disorder are usually able to function at a high level and can be successful socially and at work. As its name suggests, Histrionic Personality Disorder is characterized by dramatic or inappropriate behavior, which stems from an overwhelming desire to be noticed. In fact, people with this condition are often uncomfortable in situations in which they are NOT the center of attention. For people with Histrionic Personality Disorder, feelings of self-esteem arise from the approval and attention of others, and NOT from a real feeling of self-worth. As such, histrionic Personality Disorder is often characterized by inappropriately seductive or provocative behavior, and may cause a person to consistently rely on physical appearance to garner attention. A low tolerance for frustration and delayed gratification are also common markers of this personality disorder. People with Histrionic Personality Disorder are often extremely gullible and open to suggestion from others, and often are overly sensitive to criticism or disapproval, as they are constantly seeking reassurance or approval. Often believing that relationships are more intimate and close than they ACTUALLY are, this disorder is often characterized by multiple relationship failures, which can lead to depression. These failures and disappointments, in keeping with the way a person with this disorder processes emotional information, are often blamed on others. In extreme cases, a person with the condition may even threaten or attempt suicide as a ploy to get attention. While no one knows for SURE what causes this set of behaviors, it is known that it occurs more often in women than in men, although it may be more often diagnosed in women because attention-seeking and sexual forwardness are less socially acceptable for women. But it is difficult to say whether this is because the condition is INHERITED or because children tend to repeat behavior LEARNED from their parents. Whatever the case, a person with Histrionic Personality Disorder does not usually believe that he or she has a problem or needs treatment. People with this condition often ONLY seek treatment when they experience depression from failed romantic relationships. Medication may be helpful with symptoms such as depression. INI terms of treatment, there are no MEDICATIONS approved to treat the condition but sufferers have shown great improvement after spending time undergoing psychotherapy. Histrionic Personality Disorder can make it difficult to engage in healthy, meaningful relationships with others. So if you believe that the condition is affecting YOU or someone you care about, make an appointment to speak with a mental health professional.More »
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Antisocial personality disorder is more than just not being a people person. Find out more about antisocial personality disorder by watching this video.
Transcript: Everyone feels antisocial sometimes, but people with Antisocial Personality Disorder have an almost impossible...
Everyone feels antisocial sometimes, but people with Antisocial Personality Disorder have an almost impossible time respecting or connecting with other people. Antisocial personality disorder is a psychiatric condition in which a person manipulates, exploits, or violates the rights of others. Antisocial Personality Disorder is a mental illness affecting up to one-percent of women and three to five-percent of men, in the United States, according to Mayo Clinic data. This behavior is often criminal. One of the biggest signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a persuasive disregard for right and wrong, and for society's norms. As such, people with this disorder often engage in criminal activity, resulting in frequent run-ins with the law. A person with antisocial personality disorder often lies, steals and causes fights with others. Another facet of Antisocial Personality Disorder is a blatant disregard for the rights and feelings of other people, which often manifests not only as lies, but also as deceit, often coupled with intimidation of others. Violent and aggressive behavior is typical. Often, a person with this disorder does not show any guilt for their actions. It's not surprising that it's almost impossible for someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder to engage in real intimacy with another person. Despite this, people with Antisocial Personality Disorder ARE very good at displaying superficial charm, and at flattering and manipulating others. Symptoms tend to peak during the late teenage years and early 20's. They may improve on their own by a person's 40's. Complications can include imprisonment and drug abuse, and Antisocial Personality Disorder can also often come hand-in-hand with other impulse control problems, like chronic gambling. Additionally, people with this illness often have additional mood disorders related to depression and anxiety. Antisocial personality disorder is one of the most difficult personality disorders to treat. People with this condition rarely seek treatment on their own. They may only start therapy when required to by a court. The effectiveness of treatment for antisocial personality disorder is not known. And in order to make accurate diagnoses, psychiatrists use a set of specific identifying guidelines laid out by the American Psychiatric Association. Aside from possessing a blatant disregard for the rights and feelings of others, a person cannot be diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder unless he or she is at least 18 years of age and has demonstrated symptoms of Conduct Disorder, like stealing or violence, before age 15. Even once diagnosed, it can be difficult to treat Antisocial Personality Disorder. This is largely because, by definition, people with the illness DO NOT CARE that they are causing pain and problems. If a person IS willing to receive treatment, it usually comes in the form of psychotherapy, or talk therapy. Occasionally, medications may be prescribed to treat certain SYMPTOMS of the condition, such as depression or mood instability.More »
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Narcissistic personality disorder involves having a grandiose sense of importance, and a vain, egocentric personality. Watch this video to learn more about this personality disorder.
Transcript: Celebrity psychologist Dr. Drew Pinsky wrote an entire book about Narcissistic Personality Disorder,...
Celebrity psychologist Dr. Drew Pinsky wrote an entire book about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, a condition in which there is an inflated sense of self-importance and an extreme preoccupation with one's self. But how common IS this phenomenon? According to the American Psychological Association, only about one-percent of American adults suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is a mental condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance and a deep need for admiration from others. Those with Narcissistic Personality disorder tend to take advantage of others to achieve their goals, and have a tendency to exaggerate their achievements and talents. Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, and happiness, combined with an obsessive self-interest tend to characterize the person with this condition. As well, people with this disorder tend to disregard the feelings of others, demonstrating a serious lack of empathy. The former Playboy bunny, Anna Nicole Smith, is a perfect example of classic Narcissistic Personality Disorder, according to Dr. Drew. Like Anna Nicole, people with this condition believe that they are special and unique, and should ONLY associate with similarly privileged individuals. Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder display a sense of entitlement for the best that life has to offer. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may take advantage of other others, and use them to achieve their own ostentatious goals. Despite all of this grandiose behavior, individuals with this condition tend to have very fragile self-esteems. For this reason, they have a need to be constantly admired and doted upon. It isn't fully understood what causes this set of personality traits, but it's suspected that extremes in parenting may contribute. Many people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder experienced a lack of affection and support during childhood. They often report neglect, abuse, or an unpredictable home life. On the flipside, some people with the condition were very pampered as children and were always expected to outperform their peers. No matter its cause, people with this personality disorder do NOT usually see themselves as having a problem, which makes treatment difficult. If a person DOES seek help, psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the preferred method. Psychotherapy may help the affected person relate to others in a more positive and compassionate manner. For Narcissistic Personality Disorder, therapy focuses on learning to relate to others in a more positive, empathetic way. The prognosis, however, is dependent on the severity of the condition. Like Anna Nicole, people with this condition have a hard time developing healthy relationships with others. For this reason, it's important to make an appointment with a mental health professional if you think you or a loved one is affected by Narcissistic Personality Disorder.More »
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There is a great deal of confusion about schizophrenia. Some think it has to do with split personalities, among other things. Discover the truth about schizophrenia in this video.
Transcript: Schizophrenia has been dubbed the "modern-day equivalent of leprosy," by celebrated psychiatrist E. Fuller...
Schizophrenia has been dubbed the "modern-day equivalent of leprosy," by celebrated psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, M.D. Indeed, the disorder is cloaked in misunderstanding and distrust. The term schizophrenia refers to "splitting of the mind," so perhaps it makes sense that one of the most pervasive myths about schizophrenia is that people who have it suffer from split, or multiple, personalities. Fully 64-percent of Americans buy into this misconception, according to a national alliance on mental illness survey. But split mind refers to a disparity between thought and action such as smiling when telling a disturbing story or feeling afraid of completely mundane things. It does not refer to a variety of different personalities! The truth is that multiple personalities are a symptom of a completely different illness, called Dissociative Identity Disorder, but known colloquially as multiple personality disorder. Another prevalent myth about schizophrenia is that people with the disorder are dangerous and unpredictable. In reality, the incidence of violence amongst those with schizophrenia is not much higher than that of the general population. In fact, it is much more likely that a person with schizophrenia will withdraw from society in confusion, fear, and despair than that he will become violent or dangerous! Yet another common myth about schizophrenia is that people with the illness cannot lead productive lives. This untruth was most effectively debunked by ten years of research from the New Hampshire dual diagnosis study. This research found that 62.7 percent of people with schizophrenia were managing to successfully control symptoms of the disease while 56.8-percent were thriving in independent living situations and 41.4 percent were gainfully employed! Despite this, another prevalent myth shrouding schizophrenia is that sufferers cannot get better and that they are doomed to lead lives of suffering and sickness. While it is true that schizophrenia is not curable, its symptoms can be very successfully treated with prescription medication and psychotherapy. Myths about schizophrenia abound, education and knowledge can help end the stigma against the condition. If you believe that you or a loved one suffers from schizophrenia, please make an appointment with a mental health professional.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-13 | Tags »
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The symptoms of schizophrenia vary widely. They include hallucinations, delusions, trouble focusing and more. Watch this video on the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Transcript: The world health organization calls schizophrenia one of the top ten most debilitating diseases. What...
The world health organization calls schizophrenia one of the top ten most debilitating diseases. What are the symptoms that lead to being diagnosed with this disease? Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental illness that affects about one-percent of the American population. The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive, negative, and cognitive. As the name implies, cognitive symptoms involve problems with a person's thought processes. A real difficulty understanding and using information is a common cognitive symptom of schizophrenia. Trouble paying attention and focusing and problems with memory are other cognitive signs of the disease. These cognitive symptoms are often thought to be the most debilitating of schizophrenia as they make it difficult to perform everyday functions, like holding down a job. Positive symptoms are those that are in addition to normal experiences and that people without schizophrenia will rarely experience. Negative symptoms are those that involve a degree of loss of experience. Positive symptoms include delusions, auditory hallucinations, and thought disorder, which often manifest as communication difficulties, like garbled language or abrupt pauses in an affected person's speech. Movement disorders are another common symptom in the positive schizophrenic category. Movement disorders range from agitated, repetitive body movements to an almost catatonic, or immobile, unresponsive state. Negative symptoms refer to certain characteristics that are not present in schizophrenic persons but are normally found in healthy persons, that is, symptoms that reflect the loss or absence of normal traits or abilities. Common negative symptoms include: flat or blunted affect and emotion, made apparent through flat facial expressions and a monotone voice; poverty of speech, know as alogia, which refers to a person having a lack of language with which to express themselves; anhedonia, or the inability to experience pleasure; and asociality or the lack of desire to form relationships, made most obvious by withdrawal from social activities. Lack of motivation or avolition, is also a common negative symptom. Research suggests that negative symptoms contribute more to poor quality of life, functional disability, and the burden on others than do positive symptoms. These negative symptoms are often nonspecific, and can be hard to recognize as clear signs of schizophrenia. Affective symptoms relate to emotion, and include depression and mood swings. Most people with schizophrenia have symptoms in all or most of these categories. They usually appear in men in their late teens or early 20s and in women in their 20s, or even early 30s. Although this condition is not curable, treatment can help many sufferers lead independent lives. For this reason, it's important to talk to a doctor if you're worried that someone you love suffers from schizophrenia.More »
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What is schizophreniform? While schizophrenia is a lifelong condition, schizophreniform is a shorter term version of it and can be just as disabling. Get to know more about it in this video.
Transcript: Most people realize that schizophrenia is a lifelong mental illness, but few are aware that the condition...
Most people realize that schizophrenia is a lifelong mental illness, but few are aware that the condition has a short-term counterpart! Schizophreniform disorder is a serious mental condition that affects the way a person thinks, behaves, and communicates. In the united states, about one in 1,000 individuals will be diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder in their lifetime. This mental illness is equally prevalent among men and women. The most common ages of onset are 18-24 for men and 18-35 for women. Schizophreniform Disorder is diagnosed when symptoms of schizophrenia are present for a significant portion of time within a one-month period, but are not present for the full six months required for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Impairment in social, occupational, or academic functioning is required for the diagnosis of schizophrenia, but with schizophreniform disorder, an individual's particular level of functioning may or may not be affected. While the onset of schizophrenia is often gradual over a number of months or years, for those with schizophreniform disorder, schizophrenia-like symptoms tend to show up rapidly and unexpectedly. Hallucinations, which involve seeing, hearing, and experiencing things that are not really there, as well as delusions, which are unwavering beliefs based in fantasy, are two of the most common symptoms of schizophreniform disorder. Disorganized speech patterns and the use of nonsense words often make it difficult for people with the condition to communicate, as well. Schizophreniform disorder patients may also display movement disorders, ranging from repetitive, agitated body movements, to an almost catatonic, unresponsive demeanor. Finally, people with schizophreniform disorder often display a lack of pleasure in previously enjoyable things, known as anhedonia. All these symptoms are generally compounded by a withdrawal from family and friends. Schizophreniform disorder symptoms read like a laundry list of the symptoms of schizophrenia. In fact, the only place where the two conditions differ significantly is in their duration. While people with schizophrenia have the condition for life those with schizophreniform disorder have symptoms for more than a month, but less than six months. For a doctor to diagnose schizophreniform disorder, schizophrenia-like symptoms must exist for this specific frame of time. All physical illnesses must also be ruled out before the condition is diagnosed. If schizophreniform disorder is confirmed, treatment consists of both medication and psychotherapy. Like schizophrenia, schizophreniform disorder is often treated with antipsychotic medications, along with a variety of social supports, like individual psychotherapy, family therapy, and occupational therapy, all of which are designed to reduce the social and emotional impact of the illness. Antipsychotic medications, like risperdal, clorazil, and seroquel, are the medications usually prescribed for sufferers of schizophreniform disorder. The antipsychotics help treat the hallucinations, delusions, and other psychotic symptoms typical of schizophreniform disorder. By definition, people with schizophreniform disorder get better in six months or less. But about two-thirds of people who are diagnosed with schizophreniform disorder do go on to develop real schizophrenia at some point. If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms like those typical of schizophreniform disorder and schizophrenia, make an appointment with a physician!More »
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What is schizotypal personality disorder? This condition is characterized by self-imposed isolation, odd behavior, and often unconventional beliefs. Learn more about it in this video.
Transcript: Schizotypal personality disorder, is characterized by self-imposed social isolation, odd behavior and...
Schizotypal personality disorder, is characterized by self-imposed social isolation, odd behavior and thinking, and often unconventional beliefs. People with this disorder tend to be loners because their behavior is seen as disconcerting, or even disturbing, by others. Schizotypal personality disorder is a mental disorder marked by pervasive isolation, which means people who have the condition engage in few to no intimate relationships. To some extent, this remoteness is due to the extreme social anxiety that most people with schizotypal personality disorder experience which is more linked to distrust and an inability to communicate with others, than with possessing negative self image. SPD sufferers tend to seem themselves as outcast, and this isolation causes pain as they increasingly disengage from the world around them. As part of this apprehension, sufferers may believe that they are the center and cause of all events. For example, if someone laughs, a person with schizotypal personality disorder will assume that the laughter is directed AT them. But individuals with schizotypal personality disorder ALSO become isolated due to the off-putting behaviors they tend to display. For example, people with this disorder tend to ramble endlessly and oddly about topics unrelated to a conversation. Meanwhile, their speech is often garbled and hard to understand. People with schizotypal personality disorder may also harbor and discuss unusual, magical ideas such as a belief in telepathy or paranoia and distrust around certain individuals or groups, like newscasters or police. They may dress in peculiar ways and have very strange ways of viewing the world around them. Often they harbor unusual ideas, such as believing in the powers of ESP or a "sixth sense." At times, they believe they can magically influence people's thoughts, actions and emotions. And often, SPD sufferers demonstrate flat, listless emotions and mannerisms. Symptoms of schizotypal disorder can be easily confused with those of schizophrenia, which is characterized by a severe loss of contact with reality or psychosis. People with schizotypal personalities, however, may experience brief psychotic episodes with delusions or hallucinations, which are not as pronounced, frequent or intense as in schizophrenia. Another key distinction between schizotypal personality disorder and schizophrenia is that people with the personality disorder can usually distinguish between their distorted notions and reality. Those with schizophrenia typically cannot be swayed from their delusions. Like most mental illnesses, schizotypal personality disorder is believed to stem from a combination of genetics and environment. Rates of schizotypal disorder are much higher in relatives of individuals with schizophrenia than in the relatives of people with other mental illnesses or in people without mentally ill relatives. Individuals who come from a background of childhood abuse, neglect, or trauma are also more likely to suffer from schizotypal personality disorder. Schizotypal personality disorder typically begins in early adulthood and may endure throughout life. There's no cure for schizotypal personality disorder, but psychotherapy and some medications may help. Some research suggests that positive childhood experiences may help reduce symptoms of schizotypal personality disorder in affected young people. Psychotherapy for schizotypal disorder is oriented towards helping the patient develop more appropriate social skills, and changing the thought patterns that lead to their debilitating social impairment and distorted thinking. Because people who have schizotypal personality disorder often suffer from another disorder, like depression or anxiety, they may ALSO benefit from prescription medication that treats those symptoms. While these prescription drugs are not CURES for schizotypal personality disorder, they can still be very effective for managing symptoms. So if you believe someone in your life is affected by this condition, please make an appointment to speak with a medical professional!More »
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