May be verbally incoherent and may have moods and emotions that are not appropriate to the situation.
Hallucinations not usually present.
Person is extremely withdrawn, negative and isolated.
May have marked psychomotor disturbances.
Lacks motivation and interest in day-to-day living.
Person is not usually having delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech.
There will be symptoms of schizophrenia as well as mood disorder (depression, bipolar, mixed mania).
Conditions meeting the general diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia but not conforming to any of the previous types.
Exhibits more than one of the previous types without a clear dominance of one.
Before a diagnosis the psychiatrist must make a thorough evaluation including a physical/medical exam, a mental status exam, appropriate labs, and a full history.
History includes changes in thinking, behavior, movement, mood, etc. as seen by the family.
In general it may take up to 6 months for medications to show consistent effects.
The newest medication is Invega.
Meds include atypicals: Abilify, Geodon, Clozapine, Risperidone, Seroquel, Zyprexa.
[Remember: a giraffe can really see a zebra]
These medications may have such intolerable side effects that the patient will stop the drugs.
One study showed the average time the meds were taken regularly was 3 months.
Psychotherapy - an adjunct to meds and is very useful to keep the patient on the meds.
Community support groups
Early detection and treatment has the best results/response to treatment.
Per patients, once you have schizophrenia you have it for life. The best you can hope for is control.
FYI: Cancer Study
A study in France in 1993, with 3470 patients with schizophrenia, showed that breast cancer was the second most common cause of death.