Schizophrenia is typically associated with delusions and hallucinations, but few understand what these are like to experience. The symptoms are often exaggerated, leading to further misunderstanding and even stigma associated with schizophrenia. There are also various other symptoms that many people do not realize are caused by schizophrenia. By taking a closer look at the common symptoms of schizophrenia, understanding can be brought to the general public and those currently struggling.
Despite what you may believe, hallucinations and delusions are two different things. Hallucinations are when a person sees or hears things that aren’t really there; however, it can affect their other senses. For individuals with schizophrenia, these hallucinations seem to be a part of reality and are therefore hard to distinguish or ignore.
Delusions are another common psychotic symptom of schizophrenia that differ from hallucinations in that they are “firmly held beliefs not supported by objective facts.” These often include feelings of paranoia, believing that someone is “out to get you,” or thinking that broadcasts on television, radio, or the internet are trying to relay an underlying message. Delusions contradict reality and can be difficult to shake for those with schizophrenia.
People with schizophrenia commonly struggle with disorganized thinking or speech that typically results in discontinuous thoughts, a sudden halt in one’s thought process, or total incoherence. Individuals that experience this symptom may jump from topic to topic in a conversation, have difficulty maintaining a routine, or have an impaired ability to communicate. This can result in further misunderstanding of their condition, often leading to more stigma.
Another common symptom of schizophrenia is impaired emotional function. This typically results in what is known as a “flat affect,” in which a person’s emotional expressions are not present. This can result in their face not changing when reacting to something or speaking in a dull, flat tone of voice. People that experience this symptom may be misunderstood by others or even have difficulty understanding others’ emotions.
Schizophrenia is perhaps one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions due to exaggerated and often overdramatized portrayals in television and movies. For this reason, Alta Loma Transformational Services hopes to end the stigma by explaining common schizophrenic symptoms. Our facility offers programs both for those struggling and their loved ones. Through our comprehensive care and individualized programs for substance use and mental health disorders, you can be sure to find healing and education at our Texas-based facility. To learn more about our programs, call us today at (866) 457-3843.