Signs of Schizophrenia

Mental diseases and disorders tend to fall within a grey area in the medical field, being difficult to diagnose, differentiate, analyse, and treat. Two of the more significant of these are bipolar (previously referred to as manic depression) and schizophrenia, each affecting about one percent of the population. Many people confuse bipolar with schizophrenia because until recently it was thought they were actually one and the same disorder.

Though they share some symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, the comparison of bipolar with schizophrenia can generally be differentiated by its addition of mood swings known as mania (for the highs) and depression (for the lows). These mood swings can occur separately lasting a day, week, month, or even several months, if left untreated. In some more severe cases, the mood swings can occur together on the same day, which is known as a mixed episode.

Referred to as a manic state, the symptoms of bipolar in activity, are that one can seem extremely happy, even euphoric, talk rapidly and excitedly, be hyperactive, avoid sleep, and move quickly. Three out of every four episodes of this mania include delusions usually of grandeur the main reason why so many people confuse bipolar with schizophrenia. Equally, an episode of depression results in one who feels worthless, lacks energy, appetite, or interest in the world and its surroundings. The sexual drive of a bipolar or schizophrenic also relates directly to the mood swing.

This confusion of bipolar with schizophrenia has piqued the interest of many medical facilities and researchers. So much so that in 2006, the School of Medicine at Wake Forest initiated a million-dollar project to study the brain tissue (post-mortem of course) of those who suffered from bipolar or schizophrenia, and compare it to that of those who didn't.

However, prime brain tissue helpful for research has been hard to come across. Until recently, any brain tissue that was available was from older victims, and rendered most investigations relatively useless. In more recent times, several major brain banks have been set up to enable research to continue unhampered on younger, healthier specimens.

Contrary to schizophrenia, bipolar reacts to the negative or positive energy surrounding it. It develops during teenage years or adolescence compared with schizophrenia which traditionally shows its symptoms when its victim is in his/her late twenties to early thirties.

More recently, it has also been discovered that a person's environment can bring on key symptoms of bipolar or schizophrenia, such as physical and mental abuse as a child, so as a result, studies following the lives of children aged 9 to 17 in such conditions have been initiated, inadvertently comparing bipolar with schizophrenia.

One person who has spent a lifetime trying to find a cure for schizophrenia is Dr. E. Fuller Torrey. In the process of comparing mental diseases, among them, bipolar with schizophrenia, he has become an independent researcher, setting up his own brain bank, and is certain that a cure lies less than a decade away.

Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #1

Schizophrenia is not the same thing as having multiple personality disorder. In multiple personality disorder a person has a number of independent identities that all share one host body. Typically one of the personalities is dominant and the others exist under the surface. With Schizophrenia, there could be independent personalities but the person suffering from the disease believes that these identities exist outside of him or herself.


Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #2

There are different types of schizophrenia. The most widely known is that of paranoid schizophrenia in which the schizophrenic believes that there are people who are out to �get� him (or her). Commonly the patient associates himself with an elite group and believes that it is his membership with that group that has made him a target of others.


Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #3

Schizophrenia is normally treated with anti-psychotic drugs. There are new drugs being developed all the time. Other treatments include Electro Convulsive Therapy in which the patient is driven to convulsions by receiving a series of shocks to the brain. This treatment is thought to fix the electrochemical balance of the brain.


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