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What are the first signs of schizophrenia?

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Many patients in the earliest stages of schizophrenia become increasingly eccentric and unmotivated, explains Psych Central. They may isolate themselves from family and friends and stop engaging in activities that they once enjoyed. Hostility, insomnia, inappropriate laughter and increased paranoia are also possible early signs of schizophrenia.

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Symptoms of schizophrenia vary between patients and are related to thinking, behavior and emotions, explains Mayo Clinic. About four out or five schizophrenics experience delusions, which are false beliefs not rooted in reality. Many also experience hallucinations, which involve seeing and hearing people and things that are not there. Disorganized speech, in which a person puts together strings of meaningless words that make no sense, is another symptom of schizophrenia. Negative symptoms, which include a lack of motility or emotions, are also common. Schizophrenic patients often are not aware of their difficulties, so it is important for friends and family members to seek medical attention for them.

Schizophrenia symptoms tend to first appear when men are in their early to mid 20s and when women are in their late 20s, according to Mayo Clinic. Family members and friends often spot the early warning signs of schizophrenia far before the primary symptoms of the condition appear, explains Psych Central. Those who suspect that a loved one's changes in behavior may be a sign of schizophrenia should help that individual seek medical attention, since early treatment may help prevent serious outcomes such as suicide and abuse.

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