Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Online Schizophrenia Testing

There is no official way to find out if you have schizophrenia just by answering questions.  Every case is different for each person.  What someone might think is strange and delusional, like a belief in aliens and UFOs may not be strange for someone else.  Conspiracy and paranoia can be very normal and not be an indicator of schizophrenia.
But regardless we all like to take those online quizzes about symptoms to see how we are doing.  It’s just fun.  I’ve taken hundreds, to find out if I’m in love, depressed, what my horoscope is, what my personality type is, and all of those type quizzes.  The link above takes you to a fun test about schizophrenia to help you determine just how many symptoms you may or may not be showing and tells you if you might need treatment.  But you have to be honest when you answer them or it won’t matter.
Some people end up answering how they think they are supposed to answer, and many tests are designed to catch those type of people.  So just be honest because this test doesn’t report scores or even ask for your name.  It’s free and for fun only.  So no worries!

Movies and Books on Schizophrenia

If you are as into schizophrenia as I am, then you’ll want to eat up as much information about it as you can get your hands on.  For me, that usually comes in the forms of movies and books about schizophrenia.  There are plenty of movies out there, but as you probably already know from reading my site that my favorite is A Beautiful Mind.  It is about the mathematician named John Nash.  It has its exaggerations and what not because its supposed to help the viewer understand what a delusion and hallucination may be like, but it is still awesome with a great story line.
About books, I found a really neat book called The Three Christs of Ypsilanti that I enjoy.  It has the story of three different schizophrenic people who all think they are Jesus.  We know it’s technically impossible for three people to be one person, so they take all three of these people and put them in the same room to have conversation about their identities as a form of treatment.  It gets very interesting.
Of course, there are plenty of horror movies and other silly ones that don’t accurately portray schizophrenia and probably do more harm than good, but they are there and are entertaining anyways.  And of course there are tons of text books and other pop books all about schizophrenia.  Just head to a used book store and go to the psychology section and you’ll find plenty!

Schizophrenia Treatment

So what happens after a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia?  They’ve accepted they have this psychological illness, and they’ve sought help.  The doctors have determined what the problem is, so what kind of help do they get?
Well, they get treatment designed specifically for schizophrenia.  This means that four things will occur.  First the person has to have a realistic view of what is possible in their recovery.  They can’t think that within a month they’ll be feeling fine and dandy.  They have to know that recovery is never complete and may never be full.  Full recovery happens for a lot of people, but not everyone.
The person, as far as actual activity treatment goes, will be taking part in group, individual, and family therapy.  This is important so that the person with schizophrenia, no matter what type they have, will have insight into their condition and the way others perceive it.  That means their family and friends, coworkers, and strangers they may meet along the way.
Finally, a person will also receive medication to help reduce the expression of symptoms.  This is an important part of managing schizophrenia because it can and will have its ups and downs, but those waves will be tighter with constant medication.  There is a stigma against medication but really it seems to be a gift from heaven for most people, even with the side effects that may occur.

Schizophrenia Types

There are a few different types of schizophrenia and what this means is that not everyone feels or experiences the same thing.  A schizophrenic is not equal to any other person with schizophrenia.  There are really about four main types.
One type of schizophrenia is catatonic schizophrenia which is the type where a person might just sit there all day and not do anything.  They might just stare at a wall and drool everywhere.  That sounds mean but really, that's what it is like.  They may not have any emotions, and they might just do the same movement over and over again like bouncing their leg.  This can go on for days and days and when anyone tries to move them, they can seem like they are solid rock and super human in strength.
Paranoid schizophrenia is the kind where there are a lot of hallucinations and delusions and paranoid thinking.  This is the kind John Nash had, where he thought the government was hiding in the bushes all of the time and stuff.
There is the kind of schizophrenia called Disorganized schizophrenia that makes it really hard to think and communicate good.  People have a hard time using whole sentences or making sense to anyone else.  They might say something like “Hello, I am a peanut with laser beam shadows against floor faucet dripping.”  Haha, I made that up, but I think you know what I mean!
Then there is a type called undifferentiated which means it's a mixture of two or more types.

Schizophrenia Story

I don’t know a lot of schizophrenia stories, but I do know one pretty well.  This guy was a student at college and was in the math courses and wanted to be a mathematician.  His name was John Nash and this is his story.  I suppose it’s like any other story related to schizophrenia except he’s very famous because he invented something called Game Theory.  I don’t really understand game theory, but I know that John Nash came up with it and he might now have if he wasn’t schizophrenic.
John Nash eventually became a teacher at this college, and his schizophrenia was only getting worse.  He did manage to graduate and get a job there.  But started thinking that some communist group wanted him to teach them how to crack special government codes and stuff like that.  He ended up spending tons of time doing useless things like playing connect the dots with maps and newspapers.  He had some shed behind his house that he thought was full of special agents doing secret missions and other delusional stuff, but really he was just spending hours and hours in there alone going nuts.
His friends and family noticed that he was acting strange so they eventually told a doctor and he got the help he needed, including medicine, but sometimes he wouldn't take it and would see things like a little girl who wasn’t really there.  In the end it was a happy story and he was able to do good things for society, which is a good thing.

What are Delusions

Delusions are kind of like hallucinations, except they don’t happen to your senses.  Like, you don’t see something that isn’t there, but you will think about things that aren’t real.  For instance, a person might think they can talk to ghosts and the ghosts are telling him that the government wants to capture him because of the secret information he knows about aliens!  Yes, that’s the kind of thing a person with delusions may think about.
If somebody is paranoid and is having delusions like people don’t like him, then if you say something nice, they may think that you were being sarcastic.  You could tell this person that you like his t-shirt, and he may think it’s a joke and that you are making fun of him.  That’s how delusions work.  They make it so that you don’t understand reality very well and are always twisting it around to fit what your delusions is.
Someone with delusions may do well until they get hit with some kind of stress, like at their job or at home.  Then suddenly they start thinking things thataren’t real.  They may think everyone is after them, or that they have some amazing plan that is going to make them rich.  They can think that there are hidden messages on TV meant just for them and stuff like that.  It can get really far out and weird.  Delusions don’t sound nearly as fun as hallucinations could be.