Schizophrenia | Overview & Symptoms

General overview of schizophrenia including some symptoms and how they apply to me. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by impairment in thought pattern and emotional response, making it difficult to discern between what is real and what isn’t.

—CHAPTERS—
3:00 – Positive Symptoms
8:06 – Negative Symptoms

—RELATED VIDEOS—
► Paranoia & Delusions – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWATcSPTnqA

Table of Contents

    Introduction

    Hi everyone! In this video I will be discussing schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to discern between what is real and not real, as well as have appropriate emotional responses. This is probably the most difficult illness that I deal with because I feel as though it has taken so much from me, and made me think and believe things that are non-existent.

    I first became aware of how different my thinking was in 2012 due to an incident that made me extremely paranoid, and I realized it. I started doing research and everything pointed to schizophrenia. And, this terrified me because this is not something anyone should have to deal with. I’ve very glad I was able to recognize my issues since many people may not be aware. I believe it has helped me understand the illness better, and I don’t feel like I am the only one that thinks the way I do. My issues could be much worse, so I’m very lucky that it isn’t to that severity.

    It’s a very scary thing to deal with, like living in a nightmare. A lot of people don’t understand and think you’re weird and crazy for your illness, and don’t treat you fairly, like you cannot function or take care of yourself. Or others think you are faking it, which is just ridiculous.

    There are several subtypes such as paranoid and disorganized schizophrenia.

    Paranoid schizophrenia is when the person has paranoid delusions and/or auditory hallucinations. But there is little to no intellectual impairment, disorganized behavior, or inappropriate expression of emotions.

    Disorganized schizophrenia is a thought disorder in which the person experiences disorganization of their speech or behavior, as well as inappropriate expression of emotions. It may be difficult to understand and follow what this person is saying. And they may laugh inappropriately for no apparent reason.

    There are others as well, but I will be focusing on these two. I can identify with both paranoid and disorganized to an extent. So, I’m going to go over some of the symptoms. A lot of these will need their own video since there is a lot to talk about. But, the symptoms are divided into positive and negative symptoms.


    Positive Symptoms

    Let’s start with positive symptoms. In this case positive does not mean good. So, the first symptom is delusions and paranoia. [Paranoia & Delusions] And, this is probably the most common symptom. These can be delusions of persecution, in which the person believes they are being victimized, or delusions of grandeur in which someone feels that they are much greater than they really are. It’s not uncommon for a schizophrenic to think that people are out to get them. Maybe because they feel that they have some special power that no one else has and others are trying to take away from them. They may see hidden messages in things that they feel are relevant to them in someway.

    And this all very much applies to me. I am incredibly paranoid. I don’t trust anyone. I feel like everyone has it out for me and they’re all plotting to cause me harm in some way. Also, I have thought before that I wasn’t human and was important in some way to save the world. Now, it’s a lesser thought, but it’s still in the back of my mind.

    And, you have to think, believing that someone is thinking about you, monitoring you, because you are special, it sound like I am narcissistic, which is not the case at all. I realize how illogical my thinking and beliefs are, but there’s no arguing because I stand by my beliefs. Though I ask myself, why would I believe these crazy thoughts? Yet, I still do, despite all the evidence suggesting otherwise.

    The next symptom is hallucinations. These can be of any of the senses. Though, the most common are auditory and visual. Hearing voices or sounds that no one else can hear. Seeing things that no one else can see.

    I have heard a variety of voices, some are good, some are bad. I’ve heard them from both external sources and in my head. Though I mostly hear sounds. When I’m alone in the house, and it’s quite, so many times I have heard someone else in the house with me. I’ve had a few episodes where I’ve just been absolutely terrified.

    I always have a background noise going on so most of the sounds are blocked out. So, that helps me tremendously, as well as telling myself they’re not real and ignoring them. Which can be a very difficult thing to do sometimes.

    I don’t recall having any visual hallucination where something manifested out of nowhere. My visual hallucinations are more like morphing objects. So, when I’m looking at something it may appear to be something else to me. A lot of times I see these really creepy faces. I’ve drawn them before and they really creep me out as well as other people I’ve shown.

    Also, I tend to smell smoke a lot. I don’t know if it’s because I am hypersensitive to the smell of smoke, like cigarette smoke, or what, but I tend to smell it when no one else does and when there is no one else around smoking. And, it’s very strange.

    And, the last symptom here is disorganized thoughts, speech, and behavior. This is probably one of the first things people notice about me. I will be talking with someone and I jump from topic to topic, and it ends up being this complex nested set of topics built on top of one another that really make no sense and no one can follow it. I’m sure you’re wondering how I could be so organized in these videos? And, that’s because I create an outline for myself that I read over and over again while I’m talking. If I were to come on here without everything type up that I’m going to say, then you could be seeing hour-long videos that are probably more than 50% not about the topic.


    Negative Symptoms

    So, the negative symptoms are inappropriate expression of emotions. This is another thing that people first realize about me. It’s very difficult to express how I really feel. I have very inappropriate smiling and laughter. You don’t know how many times people have said something like, “My mom died and it’s been a very difficult time for me.” [Laughter] What?! Why would you laugh at that, it’s sad, not amusing. It happens all too often too. I guess it’s since I feel like I can’t deal with that sort of situation. So, I laugh and smile when I’m nervous and to hide what I’m really feeling. I feel like I put on a mask that makes me appear happy, when in reality, I’m not since I don’t known what true happiness is.

    The next symptom is social isolation, lack of desire or ability to form relationships. This is very evident with me since I really have no friends. I prefer to be alone since I am a loner. There are times that I neglect the people in my life because I just want to be alone. I’ve tried making friends, but it never amounts to anything. It’s very rare for me to reach out and begin a conversation with someone, because it just doesn’t happen. It’s not that I don’t want some close relationships, because I really do, it’s just, I don’t understand them. How do two people become friends? Why do people want friends and relationships? I just don’t get it.

    And, the last symptom is reduced ability to take care of oneself. Can’t say this applies to me all that much. I do consider myself independent and take care of myself. But, as much as I would love to live in my own house, by myself, I can’t see it happening because I don’t think I could function properly. I think things would get really out of hand.


    So, I hope this video was informative. Thanks for watching!

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    Notes

    My second mental health video. This time about schizophrenia. This is the disorder that I feel I suffered from the most. In my past it was so difficult to discern reality form fantasy and I would be so paranoid and delusional. I thought everyone was out to get me. I would hear them talking about me and making fun of me.