Schizophrenia is one of the major psychiatric illness in which patient experience perceptual and thought disturbances which is reflected to others in form of change in behavior.
Generally patient start experiencing certain changes in his surroundings which he consider as 100 % real, e.g. hearing voices. just like other voice which normally people around him will not experience or person may experience as if he is being observed through cameras or someone follow him which may not be true in reality. Patient relative or friend may notice changes in his behavior and unable to understand why is he behaving like this.
Patient may experience following symptoms
- Hallucination (hearing voices when is it actually not there)
- Delusions (false but firm unshakable belief, over any specific thing)
- Feeling of being controlled
- Feeling as if someone is following him
- Paranoid idealization
- People make gestures and give indirect messages
- Perceive messages on TV, newspaper or social media as directed towards them
People around him may observe
- Odd behavior
- Talking or smiling to himself,
- Making gestures and maintaining odd posture for long period
- Increased aggression for no obvious reason
- Reduce self care, inappropriate response to change in climate
- Remain self absorbed and staring for no obvious reason
- Clear decline in occupational life, eg studies, work performance
- Reduced socialization
In few patient there is high risk of suicide or homicide depending upon his ongoing thoughts. Risk of suicide is especially high during first year of start of symptoms.
Ideally patient should be admitted under psychiatric unit and treatment should be started as early as possible. Studies shows that early we go for treatment chances of recovery are high.
Since patients are mostly not willing for treatment or visiting psychiatrist so family should visit and seek help. Main stay of treatment is medication but simultaneously we need to counsel family how to deal with them.
Schizophrenia should be considered as medical problem. Now its very necessary for patient to consult with best psychiatrist. just like any other disorder which can get better with treatment.