Brief Psychotic Disorder, Schizophrenia, Schizophreniform, and Schizoaffective Disorder

Also known as schizophrenia spectrum disorder, is defined by abnormalities that cause one to lose touch with reality. It is associated with:

  • Delusions
  • Visual and auditory hallucination
  • Disorganized thinking and speech
  • Disorganized behavior
  • Negative Symptoms ( diminished emotional expression, anhedonia, avolition, etc.)

The symptoms of schizophrenia spectrum disorders usually are very distressing for them and for their family and friends. It is also very difficult for them to be able to participate in day-to-day activities. Many people who receive treatment and support can live a normal life and function in school, work, and personal enjoyments. 

Having a psychiatric disorder does not mean you cannot live a normal life, achieve independence and enjoy relationships with others. It is just like having diabetes, where you are placed on treatment and encouraged to make certain lifestyle changes to improve your health and achieve some form of normalcy. 

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia include:

People with schizophrenia often display inappropriate affect, depersonalization, derealization, and somatic concerns. They can develop other mental disorders such as anxiety and phobias.

  • Psychotic Symptoms

- Hallucinations

- Delusions

- Thought disorder

- Movement disorder

- Negative Symptoms

- Decreased ability to experience pleasure or degradation of pleasure

- Talking in a dull, low voice and having no facial expression

- Decrease motivation to carry out any purposeful activity

- Lack of interest in social interactions

- Having trouble planning and sticking with activities

- Cognitive Symptoms

- Difficulty with attention concentration, and memory

- Having trouble processing information to make decisions

We often think people with schizophrenia are violent. However, the vast majority of persons with schizophrenia are more likely to be harmed by others. 

According to WHO, schizophrenia affects approximately 24 million people, or 1 in 300 people worldwide. It is not as common as many other mental disorders. About 50% of people with schizophrenia are admitted to a mental hospital.

There is a range of effective treatment options for people with this disorder. These include antipsychotic medications, psychoeducation, family interventions, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and psychosocial rehabilitation.  

Your mental health provider will first determine if you have another mental disorder if you do not reach the full criteria for a psychotic disorder. The time frame of symptoms is a very important aspect to consider before making a diagnosis as well. 

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