Are you having a tough time thinking clearly, or making sense when you speak? Do you feel like sometimes you see or hear things that might not actually be there? These symptoms can be scary, especially the first time you experience them, and they might be a sign of a mental illness called schizophrenia.
If you suspect you have experienced symptoms like these, it is important to consult your doctor. Schizophrenia may hinder your ability to make good decisions and affect your personal relationships, so it is important to share your experiences with a medical professional who can help.
Many people with schizophrenia can recover and live full lives when their condition is correctly diagnosed and treated. They are able to finish school, hold steady jobs, enjoy relationships, and live independently. But it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.
People with schizophrenia experience different symptoms, but here are some common signs to recognize:
- Delusions, such as feeling like you are being watched or followed when you are not
- Confused thinking
- Changes in feelings and behaviors
- Difficulty feeling and expressing positive emotions
- Reduced range of emotional expression, such as limited facial expressions or eye contact
- Difficulty getting out of the house, doing things with other people, or pursuing goals such as going to work, attending school, or maintaining relationships
- Trouble concentrating or paying attention, memory loss, or slow thinking
It’s important to discuss these signs with a doctor, as symptoms for schizophrenia can be similar to those of other mental health conditions.
In Veterans’ own words
Mindy joined the Navy, but her enlistment was cut short when she began having schizophrenic symptoms. After her military discharge, she began counseling at VA. Mindy’s medical team helped her understand her condition and find ways to manage her symptoms. She is now able to find solutions for living well, thanks to consistent professional support.