Schizophrenic Behavior

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Information abounds on the symptoms experienced by people with schizophrenia, but often family and friends are more interested in learning about what schizophrenic behavior looks like. How do you know if someone is beginning to hallucinate or experiencing delusions when you can’t see inside their brain? Eventually it becomes clear, when a schizophrenic person experiences a full-blown episode of psychosis. But there are other, more subtle behaviors often seen in schizophrenic individuals before and after psychotic episodes.

Schizophrenic individuals often become socially withdrawn, losing interest in things they used to care about and acting unmotivated. This typically causes deterioration in work and school, relationships with other people, and personal hygiene. They may act emotionless, or display emotions that are inappropriate (like laughing in a sad situation). They may have a flat gaze, or blink oddly--not at all or constantly.

Strange or irrational statements, jumping from topic to topic, odd language structure, and difficulty expressing thoughts and making decisions are also common schizophrenic behaviors. These behaviors are a result of disordered thinking, one of the primary symptoms of schizophrenia. Disordered thinking can also result in bizarre clothing choices and odd behaviors. Schizophrenics may obviously be unable to concentrate, forget and lose things, or be unable to cope with even minor problems.

Because many schizophrenics suffer from paranoia, paranoid behaviors are also common. Examples of paranoid behavior sometimes seen in schizophrenics include a refusal to touch people or objects and attempts to escape by trying to move frequently or taking hitchhiking trips.

These are just some examples of behaviors frequently seen among schizophrenic individuals. Not every schizophrenic will display them, and they will almost certainly display other schizophrenia-induced behaviors not mentioned here. Schizophrenia manifests a bit differently in everyone--every person is unique, and having schizophrenia does not change that.

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