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Schizophrenia Message Board

Schizophrenia Board Index

Hey, CuriousLearner! From what I've read, people who develop schizophrenia have always been a little eccentric. Did you go through a difficult birth (ex. prematurity, low birth weight, Cesarean because of fetal distress, forceps, etc.)? Many schizophrenics may have developed the disorder as a result of birth trauma; they also seem to be born during the winter months. As far as the emotions go, they're not always apathetic, but they might have inappropriate emotions such as laughing and/or crying at the wrong moments. It's not like they're serious, just devoid of all emotion at certain times. If you are superstitious, I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that you're schizophrenic- many people with OCD (myself included) have extreme superstitious beliefs and "magical thinking." When you say that you feel distant, do you feel as if you're disconnected from your body and you're watching the world move as if you're watching a movie? If so, this is probably derealization/depersonalization, common in anxiety disorders, especially in panic disorder and during a panic attack. We have something else in common- I get nervous when I'm by myself in the afternoon, too! That's why I go on the computer sooo much during the summer because, unless I'm doing something to fill the void of silence while my mother's at work, I'll just panic. Inactivity plus silence equals obsessions... :rolleyes: Feeling "distant" and lacking energy isn't part of OCD- the lacking energy part sounds more like depression to me. Many people who are depressed can feel apathetic and think that no one could possibly understand what they're going through (which is probably true, unless they've experienced it themselves). Has your family mentioned that you've been acting strangely? If so, is any of your "strange" behavior unrelated to OCD? If you don't mind my asking, how old are you? Males tend to develop schizophrenia in the late teens and early twenties (I know you're male), and women usually develop it in the late thirties and early forties. There's a certain subtype called undifferentiated schizophrenia. I just read about it in an abnormal psych book last night, and here's what it said:
"[Undifferentiated schizophrenia is] a pattern of symptoms in which there's a rapidly changing mixture of all or most of the primary indicators of schizophrenia. Commonly observed are indications of perplexity, confusion, emotion turmoil, delusions of reference, excitement, dream-like autism, depression, and fear. Mos often, this picture is seen in patients who're in the process of breaking down and becoming schizophrenic. However, it's also seen when major changes are occurring in the adjustive demands impingin on a person with an already established schizophrenic psychosis. In such cases, it frequently foreshadows an impending change to another primary schizophrenic subtype [paranoid, catatonic, or disorganized]."
I would think, if there was any possibility whatsoever of you being schizophrenic, that you would have to be in the developing stages, and therefore, resemble a person with undifferentiated schizophrenia. Does the above describe you? If you think that this description fits, maybe try research on undifferentiated schizophrenia. Paranoid schizophrenia is "dominated by absurd, illogical, and changeable delusions, frequently acompanied by vivid hallucinations, with a resulting impairment of critical judgment and erratic, unpredictable, and occasionally dangerous behavior." Catatonic schizophrenia seems to resemble severe bipolar disorder, as the person has "alternating periods of extreme withdrawal and extreme excitement." This type is the one where the person can sit in the same position for days without moving; catatonic schizophrenia is becoming more rare, maybe because those that appear to have it are diagnosed as schizoaffective? The last type, disorganized, is the most severe. It, too, has some similarities to mania, although the hallucinations/delusions are often of a sexual, religious, hypochondriacal, or persecutory nature, rather than grandiose. "The voices heard by these patients may accuse them of immoral practices, 'pour filth' into their minds, and call them vile names." Sounds some what like OCD, doesn't it? But here's where that big difference comes in:
OCD-ers know that it's their own inner voice "pouring filth" into their thoughts, but disorganized schizophrenics actually hear outside voices. "As the disorder progresses, the individual becomes emotionally indifferent and infantile. A silly smile and inappropriate, shalow laughter after little or no provocation are common symptoms. If asked the reason for their laughter, patients may state that they do not know or may volunteer some wholly irrelevant and unsatisfactory explanation. Speech becomes incoherent and may include considerable baby talk, childish giggling, a repetitious use of similar-sounding words, and a derailing of thought along the lines of associated meanings that may give a pun-like quality to speech. In some instances, speech becomes completely incoherent, a 'word salad.'" Note how the speech can become incoherent, which also happens in mania, but for a different reason: during mania, the person is impossible to understand because they're talking so fast; in disorganized schizophrenia, the person's talking gibberish. The reason that there is some similarities between disorganized schizophrenia and full-blown mania is because, during full-blown mania seen in bipolar I disorder, the person can become psychotic and have hallucinations/delusions. I hope I've been able to help. God bless, and write back soon! :angel:

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