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Am I mentally ill?

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posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:21 AM
If you follow the advice I offered earlier in this thread, in one to two months, three max, you'll be just fine. You need to raise your threshold higher, and bring on more conscious awareness, and dissolve it in the light of higher conscious awareness - and deep meditation (as another poster also recommended) does that, but unless you have years to pratice, hours a day, the binaural beat entrainment technology will take you there right ouf of the gate, and it will create new and more robust neurological structures, increased left-right brain synchrony and well, higher threshold and increased awareness, vitality, well being and peace of mind among a variety of other health benefits including better sleep. Non resistence and presence of awareness, without judgement, that too is also very important which is why I recommended The Power of Now by Tolle to read and practice, as an ongoing meditation.

About eight months ago, before I started with the binaural beat brainwave entrainment meditation technology, I was hearing some voices as I was
drifting into sleep, I was having awakenings with panic attacks and night terrors, and on awakening would sometimes hear voices, like I was under observation, and the whoever they were, had been employing some sort of dream technology to hijack and twist my dreams, then using the dream outcomes in an adversarial and accursatory way, as if they had my dreams up on a screen somewhere, and someone was giving a lecture - that was my experience before employing the meditation technology.

Now, I'm clear headed and sleep like a baby, with vivid and memorable dreams, but they all seem to be dealing with deep resolutions, and I wake up feeling happy and refreshed, and without any "observers". I have zero paranoia now, and am supremely confident and self expressed, but down to earth and natural, where I used to be more prone to flights of grandiosity. Twice in the past I've been hospitalized, so I know what I'm talking about here.

And imo, the other poster is right, don't bother with the psychiatrists because all they will do is medicate, they offer nothing which will really help you as a person and as a spiritual being. In fact, they (the drugs) produce the opposite of increased awareness and vitality.

[edit on 28-7-2009 by OmegaPoint]

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:32 AM
reply to post by Uniceft17

I agree with Egyptia. It sounds like you have opened yourself to other dimensions.

Your avatar leads me to believe you have been meditating, opening chakras, etc. Once I delved into spirituality, Reiki, meditating, etc., I began having some similar experiences to those you describe. I had the equations flashing in my minds eyes this week. I don't hear them, but "see" them with my eyes closed. They change so quickly I cannot remember them to write them down. I sometimes also see geometric shapes flashing this way.

I consider it part of a spiritual awakening. It can be difficult though, because it's not something you can talk openly about and if you talk to a doctor about it, most would use drugs to suppress it.

I wish you well and hope you find peace in whatever decision you make.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 01:34 AM
first off your not crazy but what your hearing is another side. the mathmatical problems your hearing mentally means your connected to someones thoughts whos doing mathmatics. write them down one time see if you can bring them to a mathmatician see if they make sense. the shadowy figures that wear black robes also are real i see the samethings . they are in the spirit which as i know means they are real we both couldnt be seeing the same thing if they werent real. i hear the otherside with who i was with after i went through my enlightenment. i know im still alive but at the sametime i know im not not on the otherside but im on this one. the lady you see is not a lady for me its a guy in a white robe no shoes. and if you talk with someone like a psychiatrist make sure that they know about the spiritual nature of life a little bit so you dont sound crazy. i talked to one who knew about spiritual nature and enlightenment. and he knew it was something to do with the spirit and not scizophrenia. as for the voices that youve heard in the physical ive heard them too except this is also the same people on the otherside who are saying them. for you is it the mathmatician or somebody else? your sane but youve got to learn to tune out. just forget about. its basically a mid life crises just find something you like doing and try not to think about it. dont let it take control of your life when your not ready for it. this should help your not alone and its not scizophrenia

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:16 AM
Uniceft17, I'm sorry you are having such troubling experiences. I do not think you are "crazy", but I can't understand what you're going through and I highly doubt any psychiatrist would even try to understand you before prescribing medication.

I don't personally believe that "mental health" is necessarily biological, and I think treating it as such would inhibit a person's ability to change their state of mind/consciousness and evolve.

My husband had an isolated ghost experience years ago at my parents' house. He woke me up at 4 or 5am freaking out about it. What he described was unexplainable, but actually correlated with some family facts that he was unaware of at the time. I have never had such an experience, but I think such things are possible.

We don't understand everything and we should not pretend that we do, in my opinion.

Anyway, I would suggest trying to get in touch with Dr. John Breeding. He is a psychologist and generally approaches mental health as transitional states of mind rather than biological. I would be interested to know how he responds to a case like yours, if he would respond at all. I'd suggest emailing him with a little information and simply ask if he can suggest a course of action for you. It's worth a shot.

5306 Fort Clark Dr., Austin, TX 78745
512-326-8326 voice

On the other hand, you could see if there are any decent paranormal investigation groups in your area who have the equipment necessary to study you and your environment to maybe get evidence of some kind. If you think it could be ghost activity.

There have been many good suggestions as to how to deal with it medically and on a 'consciousness' level.

If you choose to see a psychiatrist, I wouldn't immediately accept their drugs. Many anti-psychotic medications haven't been sufficiently tested and have been found to have very negative side effects. I think the Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company has been sued alot for Zyprexa, for instance.

Keep yourself centered and try to continue being rational/skeptical. Good luck.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 02:19 AM
I used to (and still may if I drink tooo much coffee) see and hear things if I drank coffee..

So I no longer drink coffee....

I wasn't irrational, or unhealthy, didn't have a personality disorder, was not disfunctional....

Just some chemical in my brain dosen't like coffee...

You sound very normal, logical, healthy and saine to me personally...

I would try eliminating things like coffe or MSG etc and see if that helps.

For me I will go for months and months with no problem, and then think, "One cup of coffee won't hurt", and sure enough EVERY time...voices, shadowy people trying to prick my brains out, or trying to rip the veins outta my legs etc....

Tye thing is I KNEW it wasn't real, and never felt scared or believed it, just knew it was some chemical, MSG is a bit sketchy for me too.

Hope that helps..

PLEASE don't do medications or drugs, they WILL make you go crazy, SOOOOOO not good for you!

and you sound fine in general, so try to find out what food chemicals it could be.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 04:08 AM
I think your a sensitive person that picks up on a lot of things that are there that most people just don't perceive or ignore. However, if it was me, I'd look into various means of detoxing such as the "Ionic Foot Spa" technology which you can try at some Asian clinics. Toxicity in the brain can make it harder to handle issues. Getting some light exercise, drink lots of water and take potassium and regular amounts of a raw sea salt would be important. There are several lithium products in some health food stores and on the net. It is a good sign that you are aware of these but refuse to identity with them or feel you are being controlled by them. Don't doubt what you are aware of.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 04:38 AM
reply to post by Uniceft17

Like some others here, medications is and should be your Last resort, going into some kind of slumber with pills shouldnt be the first and only treatment.

My son has adhd and Im not happy about him being on Meds.....

I hear voices also, not often or much, mostly at night, but they are clear and sounds nearby, but I rather try to understand them indstead of running to the doctor..

But ofcourse, if you feel your an hazzard to your self or others, you need to take steps ...

Allso, the mentally ill people dont see them selfs as mentally ill, like some pointed out, it is like alcoholics, they never drink too much .

[edit on 28/7/2009 by ChemBreather]

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 05:11 AM
This perception that those who experience Mental Illness aren't aware of it is bollocks.

Sorry - but it is.

Having worked in the Mental Health sector for 14 years now, having done (and currently still doing) Mental State Examinations, Psych Assessments etc etc...the old cliche of "If you're a bit crazy you don't know you are" just doesn't stack up with reality.

The reality is that most do have a decent enough level of awareness to know when things just aren't right...

...its really not till the far more acute stages of, say, florid psychosis that awareness can be imparied to such a degree as to no longer be cognisant of ones own mental state.

But - to answer the question of are you mentally ill - well again sorry, but theres no way anyone, with even an ounce of knowledge, should be attempting a diagnosis over the net!

Theres so many other factors that come into a mental state examination...who you are, where you live, how you live, the wider context of your life...many factors and contributors...

...who knows...may you are, maybe you aren't, maybe its ghosts, maybe you're *gifted*...all I do know is that I don't know enough to even begin to hazzard any guess... like others have suggested - check out the options, see other people/professionals, sit down with them and have a chat with them...take it from at the end of the day all any of us can do is take a stab in the dark, and that stab could well do more harm than good...


posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 05:33 AM
reply to post by Uniceft17

If you think you're mentally ill, then you are mentally ill, becuase if you FEEL ill in the head, then obviously you are... It's nothing to do with you're physical state, It's all in the head. You should get what ever help it takes for you to feel healthy again.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 05:38 AM
For me the question is how does the experience affect you.

I know plenty of people who see and hear and feel all day every day and who are fine.

Seeing/hearing/feeling things does not by default (to me anyway) automatically equate to Mental Illness.
Mental Illness instead - in my opinion anyway - is the byproduct of not managing what you may see/hear/feel effectively.

Could it be a spiritual experience? Well, in my culture, yes.
Its not uncommon for us to see, hear and feel things that don't have - to use a clinical term - an 'apparent stimuli'.
However I'm not going to be so bold as to say something like "All people who see/hear/feel are experiencing something spiritual. Nor am I going to be so remiss as to say that all people who see/hear/feel are experiencing a mental illness.

The *illness* component, when you boil it all down, is not so much dependant upon whats happening - but rather more about whats happening to you within that experience.
Its not so much dependant upon the content so much as the context.

So the big question is HOW does it impact upon you, your life, how you live your life.
If it has no real impact at all...then cool, go hard, rock on with your life.

If however it impacts negatively - then help to manage it and cope with it needs to be it from a clinical paradigm or a cultural/spiritual one.

Whatever works for you.

For me personally...its not for a Doctor or a diagnosis to dictate and define your experience - its for you to do that. Its for you to define what it is you experience...and for you to exercise your own autonomy in finding a place of coping with whatever shape or form that takes for you.

You are the one who lives your life. You are the one who experiences whatever it is you experience. As such the true power and pathway forward lays with you.

If that pathway is medication - so be it. If that pathway is prayer - so be it. If that pathway is standing out in your backyard doing the Funky Chicken - so be it.

What works for you. Thats what matters.


posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 05:43 AM
reply to post by alien

Since you work in the field, a quick question:

How do trained specialists discern between mental illness and spiritual phenomena? Are there even definitions in place for spiritual phenomena? Are there institutions in place which combine conventional medicine and psychiatry with spirituality?

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 06:01 AM
reply to post by Skyfloating

Whoa Sky...bust out the big questions why don't ya!

Are there services that combine the clinical with the cultural/spiritual during assessments?

Yes - I work within one of them

Our team, which is part of the main Hospital Provider in the city I live and work in services clients who are specifically from our culture - Maori.
Our team comprises of Drs, Nurses, Social Workers, Therapists, A&D Therapists, Family Therapists...and Cultural Therapists.

Its the Cultural Team who are the funky ones...and the ones I happen to be attached to. They are the ones who deal with the 'spook' element. A 'Cultural Therapist' is really just a nice non-descript way of saying Tohunga (might want to Google that word).
The Tohunga within our culture would likely be termed 'healers' or 'Shaman' in other cultures.
Tohunga also work alongside what we term Matakite (another word for google).
Matakite are the seers/hearers etc. Their role in the team is to act like an extra set of eyes/ears/whatever for the Tohunga/Cultural Therapist.
The Tohunga are seers/hearers too...they also for whatever reason are the Healers.
Matakite may in some ways be almost serving an 'apprenticeship' of sorts towards Tohunga if that is their eventual path. Matakite may for whatever reason carry out such tasks as blessings, cleansings, readings etc...but at the end of the day its the Tohunga who are the big guns in that zone, who essentially combine all of that in their work.

I know it all seems like a big feed of hoohaa...but hey, thats how we operate, thats how my culture has operated for centuries...and we get results...

How is the difference discerned?
Well - very good question.
I guess to provide an answer - though granted some may not see it as an answer - there is no need as such to discern a difference. Assistance is offered, provided from the Clinical and the Cultural sides.
Its not important WHO at the end of the day puts the ball over the line...all that matters is the score on the board at the end of the day really.
Its not about the Clinical or the Cultural taking precendence - both just does what each does...collaberatively.

However, that said, when you have a Cultural Therapist sitting in a Client Review talking about things they shouldn't know, people in that Clients life who have passed on, objects in their house they have never been to...then either that Cultural Therapist is a fantastic guesser or there may well be something more to it that simple chemical imbalances within the brain.

Often the Clinical and the Cultural elements will tag-team.
We might prescribe an initial course of some form of psychiatric medication to take the edge off, drop the person a notch so they can actually get some rest...and the Cultural Therapist may also be working alongside them also if they *see* the need at that time.

Essentially for our culture healing is holistic.
The physical, the mental, the spiritual...its all interlinked, interwoven, such if one element is disbalanced then the other elements will also experience disbalance.
So for us effective healing is combining the focus on the whole of the person - on righting the balance on the physical, the mental, the spiritual elements.
Sure sometimes we may need to shift the focus more towards a specific element if so needed...but the general rule of thumb is that its about strengthening each element - from there holistic healing is more readily achieveable.


[edit on 28-7-2009 by alien]

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 07:22 AM
reply to post by Uniceft17

Thrilla kid said it well when he/she suggested that mentally ill people do not think they are mentally ill.

What you are describing are the symptoms of a person who is targeted by the directed energy weapons that are in existence now...and yes there are people in the world who do this to other people and you will find no support on ATS and will only be ridiculed for expressing what is happening to you..You are not going crazy!!
I am an active member of the targeted community and what you describe is like that of many are not alone ..However, for those who do not know what is going on for them can act in very bizarre ways and may even comply with the voices they hear and 'act' on them.
Voice to skull was developed in the 1970's by Joesph Sharpe and over the decades it has been fine tuned and improved. The voices you hear are artificially induced.

Here is a booklet about this touches on some of the electronic weapons that can be used on us

Here is a link to the many patents of technology that exists today..100 patents that can be used as weapons to mess with the minds of targets and some are used on unsuspecting citizens of the world.

There are many many people who complain of the very same symptoms you mention and there is lots of info on the net about this crime that is perpetrated against humanity. The perpetrators of this crime obviously would rather you not know you are a target and want to you do the extreme. Knowledge is power..I can link you to many sites for more info about this crime.
Here is just a few.

You will note that in the site you will see a person of fame who became a target of this covert war and she too heard voices..Her name is Gloria Naylor, black author and friend of Oprah Winfrey. She wrote a book entitled '1996' in which she describes the mind control techniques, voice to skull and community harassment..Not all targets have the community harassment or surveillance/stalking. Many targets only experience the electronic assaults to their body.

I am the owner of the third link and I am very approachable. If you need to talk about this contact me..otherwise, I would suggest that you join the many forums that are available for targets of this crime as talking about this crap on a forums such as ATS is not helpful and you will only be ridiculed by the ignorant souls on this forum who refuse to believe that this technology or this crime exists.

We call this crime Organized stalking and Electronic Harassment and it is a very real crime and we are starting to be heard and we even have won court cases proving the existence of Directed energy weapon attacks to our body.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by OmegaPoint

What you describe in your post is the techniques I used to beat the perpetrators of this crime and stop the mind interference and body attacks..Raise your vibration and it helps to stop/block the attacks.
However, there are many targets of this crime who are not able to meditate because the perpetrators know that raising ones vibration is helpful for the target and when they try to go into a meditative state they feel the attacks to their body in the form painful body attacks or mind intruding voices.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 07:36 AM
reply to post by alien

Great posts Alien. Sounds like you have a wonderfully balanced system in place in your country. Sadly that is still not the case in many countries where treatment and diagnosis in mainstream medicine and psychiatry is not holistic but seen as an isolated condition that needs bringing into line with what would be considered the norm… from their particular training and limited understanding. The physical, mental and spiritual are kept very separate, with the spiritual and alternative aspects frowned upon. The physical and then the mental would be the only focus, medication then deemed as the primary ‘solution’ in order to hide or dampen the symptoms, and any spiritual needs are still not widely recognised or addressed but dismissed as being somewhat out there and often seen as part of the condition and something to be squashed. Obviously there will be some medical doctors and psychiatrists who would understand the need for integration, of seeing the whole person and finding the underlying imbalance or cause of dis-ease, but it is still few and far between. In fact you are lucky to be in a culture that recognises the spiritual aspects at all. Even on this board it is sometimes seen as lunatic, and in society at large one is often seen as flaky, weird and odd to even speak of such things amongst a vast swathe of people.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 07:47 AM
reply to post by Uniceft17

I say that you're perfectly fine, and that you shouldn't see a shrink, especially if you choose not to.

If you read about alien abduction accounts and things like that, you'll see that when folks see aliens, sometimes they hear things in their head from the aliens, like some sort of telepathic communication. I don't see why that couldn't be used to drive you nutty.

Personally, I would wait it out. Stay away from the shrink, as he can't help folks.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 07:51 AM
reply to post by Uniceft17

Get a mental health care professionals opinion. I have seen one poster mention Psychologists, but you may really need a Psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are Medical Doctors and the best opinion to seek first for an assessment, they are far different from psychologists.

Are you using any drugs at all at the moment or have you used drugs? I ask this because some of the behaviour you mention resembles the early onset of a particular mental illness that occurs with the use of marijuana/ and or amphetamines.
If you are using illicit drugs you should stop, IMHO.

Do not be afraid. The fact you are questioning these experiences leads me to feel that you are thinking rationally and are seeking a realistic explanation for these experiences. Most people who experiences what you describe often account for these experiences quite differently to you and it is this which then effects everyday interactions and activities in more negative ways. Your response seems normal and logical and sane. I think you should take a lot of comfort from that. You obviously have considered that you may have a mental illness. That is incredibly sensible and realistic. But that does not mean that you are not ill either as some here seem to suggest. It just means that the explanation you may accept as an explanation is illness as opposed to one where you have a special ability to hear and see things others cannot, or that you are connected to a higher plane, or that you are able to recieve contact from some other dimension.

By talking about your experiences and feeling, you have taken a great step in dealing with the worry you seem to have, bravo and well done.

But ATS should not be were this ends.

I think you should discuss this with your family and a Psychiatrist. Get a second opinion if you are unhappy. A third or fourth even. If you are religious or spiritual, then ask for the opinion of your priest, pastor etc. in conjunction with a medical opinion.

Hiding or pretending a problem is not there is not a cure and this will only isolate you from others. You do not want that, especially if there is a serious health issue you need to deal with. I believe it is obvious from you OP that you feel what you are experiencing is a problem for you.

Onto the subject of Medications, they are not a cure and they only deal with controlling or trying to reduce symptoms of mental illness.

Just because you may feel like you are hearing and seeing things will not automatically mean you will be forced onto any medication.
Make sure you discuss and understand the side effects of any drug that anyone recommends to you.
There is a very negative perception regarding psychiatric medications. Currently they are the best we have in trying to help people regain some normality as opposed to being immersed in illness and psychosis.
I have read many people question psychiatry on this thread and many others.

But ask yourself these question too. Are you happy experiencing what you are experiencing. Is it making your life better. Is it improving your life. Are you functioning as you would like. Are your experiences effecting your personal relationships, employment, study or social life in a negative way? Are you coping?

Obviously you are after an explanation and an understanding of what you are going through, the cause and how to deal with any effects these experiences have and what you may believe they are in order to get on with life without fear, anxiety or worry that there is something wrong with you!.
Psychiatry is just one explanation for these experiences for you and it will offer options in order for you to deal with them.
Religion will do the same.
Spirituality will do the same.
A belief in outside supernatural forces will do the same.
An ATS forum post will do the same.
False beliefs derived from an auditory hallucination or visual hallucination can do the same.

I would hope that you would question all these explanations and the options offered to you to help you understand and deal with your experiences exactly the same as some posters challenge you to question just one avenue of explanation, that one being psychiatry.

I have read many people on the thread allude to the "special" abilities that you may have.
Whilst these "special" abilities may exist, they are at the moment abstract and unknowable to the vast majority of people I know, including myself, so I cannot comment on those "special" abilities.
What I do know is that many, many people suffer from mental illness. Mental illness is real. We know these illnesses exist, that they are observed to have a massive impact in many a number of ways on individuals. Like many other parts of the body, the brain is also effected by a wide variety of problems and illness, some of these problems effect an individuals perception. Like many illnesses, the early detection, intervention and treatment of mental illness can have a huge impact on an individuals long term health.

Make sure you rule out the things we know about before you add "special" abilities to your resume.
By all means, I pray that you have "special" abilities and not something else.
Good luck to you and all the best.
You will be in my thoughts from now on.

Take Care.

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 08:28 AM
To the OP: S&F for your courage in sharing something so profound and personal.

I noticed alot of posters immediately jumped on the schitzophrenia bandwagon. That seems to be the pre-determined response when any individual sees or hears something out of the ordinary. While this may or may not be the case, be aware that there is a plethora of additional symptoms used in identifying this illness (and should of course be discussed with a professional). You don't have to commit to anything, just go get a consult to see what they say. No one will force you to do something you don't want to do, ie. take meds, hospitalization, etc.

Diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia (USA criteria)

Characteristic Schizophrenia symptoms:

Two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period (or less if successfully treated):

Delusions - false beliefs strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: for example,
Paranoid delusions, or delusions of persecution, for example believing that people are "out to get" you, or the thought that people are doing things when there is no external evidence that such things are taking place.
Delusions of reference - when things in the environment seem to be directly related to you even though they are not. For example it may seem as if people are talking about you or special personal messages are being communicated to you through the TV, radio, or other media.
Somatic Delusions are false beliefs about your body - for example that a terrible physical illness exists or that something foreign is inside or passing through your body.
Delusions of grandeur - for example when you believe that you are very special or have special powers or abilities. An example of a grandiouse delusion is thinking you are a famous rock star.
Hallucinations - Hallucinations can take a number of different forms - they can be:
Visual (seeing things that are not there or that other people cannot see),
Auditory (hearing voices that other people can't hear,
Tactile (feeling things that other people don't feel or something touching your skin that isn't there.)
Olfactory (smelling things that other people cannot smell, or not smelling the same thing that other people do smell)
Gustatory experiences (tasting things that isn't there)
Disorganized speech (e.g., frequent derailment or incoherence) - these are also called "word salads". Ongoing disjointed or rambling monologues - in which a person seems to talking to himself/herself or imagined people or voices.
Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior (An abnormal condition variously characterized by stupor/innactivity, mania, and either rigidity or extreme flexibility of the limbs).
"Negative" symptoms of Schizophrenia , these symptoms are the lack of important abilities. Some of these include:
Alogia, or poverty of speech, is the lessening of speech fluency and productivity, thought to reflect slowing or blocked thoughts, and often manifested as short, empty replies to questions.

Affective flattening is the reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression, including facial expression, voice tone, eye contact (person seems to stare, doesn't maintain eye contact in a normal process), and is not able to interpret body language nor use appropriate body language.

Avolition is the reduction, difficulty, or inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed behavior; it is often mistaken for apparent disinterest. (examples of avolition include: no longer interested in going out and meeting with friends, no longer interested in activities that the person used to show enthusiasm for, no longer interested in much of anything, sitting in the house for many hours a day doing nothing.)

A short summary of a list of negative symptoms are:

lack of emotion - the inability to enjoy regular activities (visiting with friends, etc.) as much as before
Low energy - the person tends to sit around and sleep much more than normal
lack of interest in life, low motivation
Affective flattening - a blank, blunted facial expression or less lively facial movements, flat voice (lack of normal intonations and variance) or physical movements.
Alogia (difficulty or inability to speak)
Inappropriate social skills or lack of interest or ability to socialize with other people
Inability to make friends or keep friends, or not caring to have friends
Social isolation - person spends most of the day alone or only with close family

Note: Only one Criterion A symptom is required if delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person�s behavior or thoughts, or two or more voices conversing with each other.

Cognitive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Cognitive symptoms refer to the difficulties with concentration and memory. These can include:
disorganized thinking
slow thinking
difficulty understanding
poor concentration
poor memory
difficulty expressing thoughts
difficulty integrating thoughts, feelings and behavior

Social/occupational dysfunction: For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, one or more major areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care are markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset (or when the onset is in childhood or adolescence, failure to achieve expected level of interpersonal, academic, or occupational achievement).

Duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least 6 months. This 6-month period must include at least 1 month of symptoms (or less if successfully treated) that meet Criterion A (i.e., active-phase symptoms) and may include periods of prodromal or residual symptoms. During these prodromal or residual periods, the signs of the disturbance may be manifested by only negative symptoms or two or more symptoms listed in Criterion A present in an attenuated form (e.g., odd beliefs, unusual perceptual experiences).

Schizoaffective and mood disorder exclusion: Schizoaffective disorder and mood disorder with psychotic features have been ruled out because either (1) no major depressive, manic, or mixed episodes have occurred concurrently with the active-phase symptoms; or (2) if mood episodes have occurred during active-phase symptoms, their total duration has been brief relative to the duration of the active and residual periods.

Substance/general medical condition exclusion: The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or a general medical condition.

Relationship to a pervasive developmental disorder: If there is a history of autistic disorder or another pervasive developmental disorder, the additional diagnosis of schizophrenia is made only if prominent delusions or hallucinations are also present for at least a month (or less if successfully treated).
Source: US Surgeon General

Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Delusions are firmly held erroneous beliefs due to distortions or exaggerations of reasoning and/or misinterpretations of perceptions or experiences. Delusions of being followed or watched are common, as are beliefs that comments, radio or TV programs, etc., are directing special messages directly to him/her.

Hallucinations are distortions or exaggerations of perception in any of the senses, although auditory hallucinations (�hearing voices� within, distinct from one�s own thoughts) are the most common, followed by visual hallucinations.

source link:
to be continued...

posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 08:31 AM

Disorganized speech/thinking, also described as �thought disorder� or �loosening of associations,� is a key aspect of schizophrenia. Disorganized thinking is usually assessed primarily based on the person�s speech. Therefore, tangential, loosely associated, or incoherent speech severe enough to substantially impair effective communication is used as an indicator of thought disorder by the DSM-IV.

Grossly disorganized behavior includes difficulty in goal-directed behavior (leading to difficulties in activities in daily living), unpredictable agitation or silliness, social disinhibition, or behaviors that are bizarre to onlookers. Their purposelessness distinguishes them from unusual behavior prompted by delusional beliefs.

Catatonic behaviors are characterized by a marked decrease in reaction to the immediate surrounding environment, sometimes taking the form of motionless and apparent unawareness, rigid or bizarre postures, or aimless excess motor activity.

Other symptoms sometimes present in schizophrenia but not often enough to be definitional alone include affect inappropriate to the situation or stimuli, unusual motor behavior (pacing, rocking), depersonalization, derealization, and somatic preoccupations.

Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Affective flattening is the reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression, including facial expression, voice tone, eye contact, and body language.

Alogia, or poverty of speech, is the lessening of speech fluency and productivity, thought to reflect slowing or blocked thoughts, and often manifested as short, empty replies to questions.

Avolition is the reduction, difficulty, or inability to initiate and persist in goal-directed behavior; it is often mistaken for apparent disinterest. (examples of avolition include: no longer interested in going out and meeting with friends, no longer interested in activities that the person used to show enthusiasm for, no longer interested in much of anything, sitting in the house for many hours a day doing nothing.)

Types of Schizophrenia
Paranoid schizophrenia - These persons are very suspicious of others and often have grand schemes of persecution at the root of their behavior. Halluciations, and more frequently delusions, are a prominent and common part of the illness.
Disorganized schizophrenia (Hebephrenic Schizophrenia) - In this case the person is verbally incoherent and may have moods and emotions that are not appropriate to the situation. Hallucinations are not usually present.
Catatonic schizophrenia - In this case, the person is extremely withdrawn, negative and isolated, and has marked psychomotor disturbances.
Residual schizophrenia - In this case the person is not currently suffering from delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech and behavior, but lacks motivation and interest in day-to-day living.
Schizoaffective disorder - These people have symptoms of schizophrenia as well as mood disorder such as major depression, bipolar mania, or mixed mania.
Undifferentiated Schizophrenia - Conditions meeting the general diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia but not conforming to any of the above subtypes, or exhibiting the features of more than one of them without a clear predominance of a particular set of diagnostic characteristics.
Additional Information on Types of Schizophrenia
Misdiagnosis Issues

Because there is currently no physical test that confirms the presence of schizophrenia, and because schizophrenia often shares a significant number symptoms with other disorders, misdiagnosis is a common problem. According to one study surveying members of the National Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, there is an average delay of 10 years from the first onset of symptoms to correct diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.

However, getting a correct diagnosis is necessary for finding a treatment program that works for you.

Being aware of the potential for misdiagnosis, and knowing what other disorders may appear like schizophrenia or vice-versa, will hopefully help you get started on the right treatment as soon as possible.

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posted on Jul, 28 2009 @ 08:33 AM

Originally posted by grapesofraft
reply to post by Uniceft17

Well do not make yourself feel bad about it. It is not your fault. It is just a biological condition which you cannot control. If you find a good psychiatrist she can put you on the proper medicine to help you. It is really no different than having chronic arthritis or any other chronic condition, so dont let it define you as it is just an illness like any other.

Sorry to jump in without reading every reply first, but your post prompted a question. What exactly is the medication that is prescribed for these psychiatric symptoms? Medication that treats the symptoms but not the cause I assume? Since the medical field can't determine an exact cause for this condition, why treat the symptoms? I mean finding the cause would be the most important thing to do right?

What causes skitzofrenia?

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