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Living a Full Life with Schizophrenia

The Early Stages Of Schizophrenia

The Early Stages Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the most complicated and interesting afflictions in the psychiatric field. Most other mental disorders tend to show up in older patients or at a very early age. When babies and children deal with such problematic disorders, it usually occurs from the first day of life, only they are hard to identify until the child is old enough for it’s behaviors to be recognized as odd.

On a different note, schizophrenia is somewhere in the middle. Its onset is typically during the stage of young adulthood. It rarely (officially) is diagnosed in teens due to the instability of the personality and brain at this time. It’s also not as often diagnosed in people in their 30’s.  They will often have already encountered the onset of schizophrenia in their early to late 20’s.  There is also the peculiarity of late-onset schizophrenia that must be considered.  The first symptoms tend to occur in the early 20’s in men, as well as the late 20’s in women. This is exactly the factor that makes schizophrenia such a harsh condition to live with. Just when young adults are finishing their schooling years and starting a career and a family, a lot of people are hit with schizophrenia when they least expect it. At the same time, the signs and symptoms are quite problematic and very scary for the patients’ families and friends, especially since they never expect them.

How Schizophrenia Arises

Schizophrenia is basically an amalgam of signs, symptoms and behavioral issues that mostly include hallucinations, delusions, speech problems, lack of emotions or unexpected behaviors. These, of course, differ from individual to individual and also depend on the type of schizophrenia presenting itself. Hallucinations represent sensory perceptions experienced without the presence of any stimulation from the external world. This leads to the experience of situations and false inputs that do not really exist. Delusions, on the other hand, are culturally bizarre beliefs about a person’s surroundings, social relationships, metaphysical certainties, and other philosophical conundrums. Whether it comes to down to reality or someone else’s feelings, delusions cause the patients to think strangely about seemingly obvious things.  The non-verifiable aspect of delusions often leave a “what-if” scenario as a possibility which furthers, deepends, and continues the lifespan of the delusion.

An early detection of schizophrenia is almost impossible before hallucinations and delusions step in, because the impending signs of schizophrenia usually are common conditions such as anxiety, depression, and other stress related problems. It is also quite difficult for both patients and their families to accept the diagnosis. The diagnosis is normally given during the prodromal stage of this affliction. This is when the first symptoms show up, yet they are hard to recognize. The symptoms are mild in the beginning, but they gain intensity overtime and the patients start losing their functionality.

How Schizophrenia Grows

This first phase of schizophrenia occurs about a couple of years before the initial arousal of psychotic symptoms. It also displays a few signs, but they are not too relevant as mentioned above. Most commonly, patients experience a mild social isolation, random anxiety and various problems in focusing. Communication also raises some issues and making decisions seems to be quite difficult. In order to underline a potential form of schizophrenia, such symptoms should arise at least once a week and become more severe overtime, lasting for at least six months according to the DSM.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to figure out how these symptoms and signs will evolve without letting them simply play out over the course of the illness. Perhaps they turn out to become a harsh type of schizophrenia, but this is not a general rule. In fact, there are plenty of psychiatric affections that start in the exact same manner but are much more benign illnesses. It is hard to tell if this is a temporary problem or a longterm one at this point in time. As if all these signs were not enough, patients do not even pay attention to the symptoms while they are still mild, making self-reporting to the doctor a further conundrum.  You can’t report what you don’t realize is there!


  1. Hello people. I’m new at schizlife. I’m seventeen and I was diagnosed with schizophrenia two months ago. I was wondering. Is having delusions about the world not being real common. I was just wondering.

    • Josue, we are very glad to have you. Yes, delusions about the world not being real in some sense is definitely common. When believed in as such, it’s usually called a delusion. But there is also an anxiety condition called “derealization” that causes people to experience the world as if it’s not real, although they may still believe it is real. It’s a very subtle difference, but I point this out to say that yes it is a common delusion.

  2. Thanks for replying. I was just wondering also. I obsess about philosophy and the studies about what’s real like solipsism. Is it also common to obsess about philosophy and wondering if your life is a dream.

    • I think this is very normal for any philosophically inclined person. I’m an introvert and I really struggled and dealt with these concepts from age 19 until now, and I’m over 30. I have an entire library of books on these topics and they are all written by intellectual giants who did not have schizophrenia. It’s a very normal thing for introverts and intellectuals to ponder about. The reason they are easy to obsess about is that there are no answers! I’ll tell you this. If it becomes too scary or too anxiety provoking, just stop thinking about it. You have to enjoy the thoughts, but don’t try to solve the mystery. To put it in a Buddhist manner, sometimes to get the answer, you have to forget the question 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for replying I love your website. I was also wondering. I obsesse about philosophical questions like solipsism and the nature of reality. I feel like my mind latched onto these questions. Is that also common with people with schizophrenia.

    • Thanks for replying lol I posted the same question twice by accident sorry about that

  4. I think we are nothing more than just brains. Is this a delusion. This thought is giving me a lot of grief.

  5. What you’re talking about is called “solipsism” and a lesser version is commonly known as the “Brain in a Vat” theory, that we are nothing but minds (not brains). I personally struggled with this concept at one point in my life until I read a book called “Ten Philosophical Mistakes” by Mortimer J. Adler who explained the error of solipsism very clearly. What a relief that was. What you’ll find if you read it is that, while consciousness is definitely in the brain, it requires the brain, a body, sensory organs, and external stimuli to generate the activity we experience. We aren’t alone, and we aren’t just brains. It’s a very complex concept that’s confusing. If you are truly struggling with the idea, do some deep inquiry starting with the book I’ve mentioned, and you’ll find some peace about it. In the end though, you need to find a place inside of yourself that is okay with these types of questions. A lot of these questions don’t have answers, so you’ve got to be able to relax in that groundlessness.

  6. Thanks for replying. I also wanted to ask another question. I think that we are our brains. Like we are all brains but in a human shell. Will I find an answer it this in the book you described?

    • Honestly, I don’t remember all 10 of the “mistakes” in the book, Perhaps you’ll find an answer. I think you could take the thought to a more fundamental level and go ahead and say that we are just “consciousness” encased in a brain complex enough to bring forth high intelligence, which is encapsulated in a body that allows it to be mobile and feed itself for survival. But then again, I wouldn’t look at it as a hierarchy like that, but a holarchy, meaning that all of the pieces are equal. We are a mind, a brain, and a body equally. These systems are all co-dependent and on equal tiers. If you want, you could include the whole universe in this idea, and you’d be reaching Buddhist and Hinduism ideas too. You aren’t wrong or right, it’s just a matter of how you want to think about things 🙂 Lots of ideologies have risen from different perspectives on these ideas that have inspired entire cultures and lines of philosophical thought!

  7. Thanks for replying again. You are really helpful and sorry if I’m being bothersome but does the human conscience exist. Like is it scientifically proven to exist. Again sorry for being bothersome but I was just wondering. And again thanks for replying you are really helpful.

    • Well, Josue, I think science is meaningless and non-existent without a consciousness to make the observations, create hypotheses, collect evidence, and prove theories. As Reneé Descartes said, the way we know our consciousness exists is because we actively experience ourselves thinking, feeling, perceiving, etc. You can doubt it all you want, but the doubter obviously exists… See what I mean?

  8. Hello I just wanted to say that this website is very helpful and I appreciate the help that has been given to me. Thanks you so much

  9. Hey I got the book you told me to read. Do you know which part of the book disproves solipsism. And again thanks for all the help.

  10. I don’t have the book on hand at the moment, but I looked up the chapter list online. It’s one of the early ones. I want to say it’s either “Consciousness and its Objects” or “the Intellect and the Senses”. Possibly both. It’s pretty heavy reading, but well worth it. You’re welcome 🙂

  11. Thank you

  12. Hi! I loved reading this thread. I study a field called transpersonal psychology. I am familiar with this website through looking at schizophrenia in comparison to the concept of spiritual emergence(y). I had two teachers, David Lukoff and Aaron Mishara, co teaching a class on clinical spiritual research. Dr. Lukoff specializes in spiritual emergence, while Dr. Mishara studies schizophrenia – they each presented their work and it was cool to see the similarities and how little is known about the two topics and where they do or don’t meet. I think its really interesting to reframe schizophrenia in terms of spiritual emergency like done on this site, and through my personal experiences I would agree this is accurate. I think its so great Josue, that you have been asking questions to understand the way you are making meaning out of your experience, and I think its so wonderful that Schiz Life has taken the time to give such clear and truthful answers! Y’all are rad.

  13. Hello back again. I’m reading the book you mentioned to me. Is it cool if you can help explain to me why solipsism is false. Again sorry for being a bothersome. It just really scares me. But thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.

  14. Hello 🙂 I stumbled upon your website while researching gluten and psychosis. I am putting all the pieces to this very scary, overwhelming puzzle of my 14 year old son’s life. I have finally found a Dr. in CA (we live in Florida) who has opened my eyes to genetics, gluten & psychosis and stress. Thank you for providing this wonderful information!

  15. Hi, I just found this site while looking for answers. I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, anxiety, OCD, and slight PTSD that is very minor. For most of my life I have been experiencing very odd things, such as my dolls seeming too lifelike, or seeing extremely frightening things out of the corner of my eye that send me into a mini panic attack. I have a doll that’s very old, and I’ve always believed she was very much alive, possessed by an entity even. I’ve heard people arguing when no one was in the room I thought I heard it from, and I’ve gone to people to ask if they were talking to me, or calling me only for them to look at me weird and say that no, they hasn’t said anything. I’m constantly afraid of people, because I’m always thinking they’re being fake, or that they’re silently judging me, or they really don’t like me. I’ve always come off as weird and mean, when in reality I’m just quiet because I can’t trust anyone. I also have what I call my inner critic, which my mom has always told me is normal, but the more I read on this site the more I’m convinced that it’s really not. When I get upset, or when I’m really depressed I’ve argued with myself silently in my head when this voice in the back of my head tell me to ‘do it’ in regards to smoking or hurting myself. I’ve been very impulsive at times and I end up doing it, but my doctors are aware I’ve hurt myself, they just don’t know about the ‘inner critic’ because I’ve always thought it was normal. I’ve always had trouble hanging onto new relationships too, and I’ve destroyed just about every relationship I’ve been in. I can’t make new friends because the moment I get to like people my emotions flat line, they just turn off like a light switch. This happens when I’m having fun too. I’ve also had the bad habit of laughing when in distressing or depressing situations, I laughed when my grandpa died and I was so close to him. It really bothered me because I couldn’t control it, and I kept screaming at myself internally to ‘stop it’, because it wasn’t the way I was supposed to react, but there was no control.

    I’m 26 and live at home because I can’t keep a job. I’ve tried getting disability, and it’s on the 5 year mark now but I feel like no one believes me or understands. I’m going to try to talk to my doctor and be honest when I see them next. I’m always afraid they won’t take me seriously or play my problems off as not serious, when they are debilitating. Sorry this is so long, I just really want someone to understand and help me.

Click Your State to View the Surrounding Schizophrenia Treatment Centers

To view the the schizophrenia treatment centers in your local area, please click the state in which you live on the map above or find your state in the alphabetized links above. Each respective page will lists the name, address, and contact number for each individual treatment center. You may also visit the top level page of the directory by clicking here and navigate further from there.
Read the description and visit the personal webpage of each treatment center to find out more information. You can contact them from there, but we understand that this is a tedious and intimidating process, so we've provided a form you can fill out with the requested information and we'll set you up with the most appropriate treatment center for your needs.
If you require further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us at Schiz Life. We are here to serve the needs of the schizophrenia community and are happy to do so!

Schiz Life - Living With Schizophrenia

living with schizophrenia
For many of us, living with schizophrenia is our reality. And instead of struggling with the wish of how things “could be,” we finally come to an acceptance of our predicament and ultimately we embrace the fact of our lives: We are people dealing with schizophrenia. So then the question becomes not “Why” we suffer from this illness, but “How” we will cope and continue to enjoy our lives. We certainly will not give up! We have every right to demand the niceties, freedoms, and enjoyments of life to which all living creatures are entitled. This is what Schiz Life is all about.

Mission Statement Concerning Schizophrenia Information and Culture

Schiz Life serves to…

  • • Provide a safe haven for persons who wish to converse, cope, and share their experiences with schizophrenia in a positive manner in an attempt to celebrate the beauty of life, especially concerning our unique perspective on existence.
  • • Provide the highest quality of information concerning our psychological difficulties, including a frame of reference on the symptoms, treatment, history, and the future of schizophrenia.
  • • Take corrective action to dispel the myths and stigma surrounding schizophrenia, such as false ideas surrounding the cause, associations with violence, and others, all being perpetuated by the media by providing truth through scientific research and statistics.

Schiz Life intends to achieve this goal in the following manner:

The Schiz Life Schizophrenia Action Plan

  1. 1. We will continue to take advantage of internet outreach, contacting news agencies and other medical bloggers in hopes that they will join us in raising awareness of schizophrenia.
  2. 2. We will continue to promote this website through video and media outlets, including the dissemination of informational videos and graphics such as the first official schizophrenia infographic.
  3. 3. We will all contribute where possible off-line, including at health expo’s, psychology conferences, and any other relevant opportunity to spread the good word.

Thank You for Your Part in the Schizophrenia Journey!

We all thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for playing your role in the developing journey surrounding schizophrenia awareness and research. With all of our combined efforts, we will change the way the world perceives this illness and we will advance the medical efforts of professionals in their search for a cure and effective medicines. Thank you again!

Do Your Part!

Do you know of a great schizophrenia resource out there? Let us know! Do you see a person in need inside the comments of this site? Lend them some advice or encouragement! Are you a graphic designer or artist? Show us your work and I'm sure we can find some way to include your skills here on the site. Are you a writer who would like to contribute to the site? Shoot us an email and we'll discuss it. This site is for all of us and excludes none of us. Contact us for any reason and get involved!

Who Else is Helping?

Our content has been linked to or distributed by...

Mental Health TalkHealthy DebateTechnorati
Wellness WordworksVisuallyexaminer

...and also the sites listed below and more!

Try This Quick Schizophrenia Mini-Quiz:

This is but a quick quiz to test your general knowledge of schizophrenia. If you would like to take the extended and in-depth quiz, venture over to our Schizophrenia Quiz page and see just how much you know! Try the Schizophrenia Test to gauge your symptom levels.

Schizophrenia Quiz Directions: Please select the correct answer for each question and then press the button below to grade your quiz.

1. What is the term for perceiving stimuli that doesn't exist?

2. Which is NOT a type of schizophrenia?

3. Which of the following is a symptom of schizophrenia?

4. How common is schizophrenia in the general population?

5. Who can diagnose a case of schizophrenia?

6. How can schizophrenia be treated?

7. Are the causes of schizophrenia genetic or environmental?

8. What is the most common age of onset?

9. Catatonia is categorized as what type of symptom?

10. Is Schiz Life the best website about schizophrenia?


Show me the answers!


Question 1: The correct answer is the Hallucination.
Question 2: The correct answer is Hyperlipid.
Question 3: The correct answer is All of the Above.
Question 4: The correct answer is 1%.
Question 5: The correct answer is A Doctor.
Question 6: The correct answer is All of the Above Should Be Used.
Question 7: The correct answer is Both.
Question 8: The correct answer is 25.
Question 9: The correct answer is Negative.
Question 10: The correct answer is DON'T BE A PARTY POOPER!.
You answered them all right! Good job! You know a little something about schizophrenia, don't you!


How To Use This Site

If you're brand new to this site, it might look overwhelming until you get a sense of where things are at.  Schiz Life is a content-based site, much like a newspaper or a magazine.  However, we focus strictly and solely on schizophrenia.  So where does all of this content reside?  We have decided to separate our articles into several categories, as described below:


This category will be of the most interest to those who wish to gain a very broad but shallower overview of the entirety of the academic view of schizophrenia.  We cover all of the topics you'd expect to find in an abnormal psychology text book here, and at a similar depth.  It is a great introduction to this illness and will guide you further along into deeper topics.


We cover various angles such as statistics, research, and more factually based views of schizophrenia and place them in this category.  One could say that it is almost a repository for article that don't fit into the other categories, but it is more than that.  Go check it to find out more!


The name says it all.  This category of content covers all topics related to the treatment and prevention of schizophrenia and its relapses.  We've started with the empirically sound and scientifically backed methods first, but we intend to venture into more holistic and alternative therapies as well.  Without investigating all options, progress wont' be made, and so we do.


There are countless symptoms involved in schizophrenia. We cover them in depth in this category, including the positive (outward) and negative (inward) symptoms of every type of this disorder.  There is much to read here, so if a particular symptom is giving you or a loved one trouble, this is the place to go and learn more about it.


What use is all of this information when we simply don't feel good enough to read it and learn?  The category for coping provides many ideas that you can apply to your own life to help you maintain the best health possible, physically, psychologically, and spiritually.  Schizophrenia is a mental illness that some of us simply cannot escape, but we can learn to live with it, minimize its problematic aspects, and take advantage of some of the aspects it unlocks within us that others don't have!


Let's face it.  People are afraid of what they don't understand.  This category addresses the cultural issue of schizophrenia and it's impacts on the way we are treated or perceived by the masses.  It is up to us to represent ourselves in the best light and to combat the myths and misunderstandings that exist in the world concerning our plight.  Learn about these issues here and apply them in your lives!


There are other classifications of illnesses that are very closely related to schizophrenia.  The only differences might just be a research label actually, but we have found it useful to place these articles in a category of their own.  We deal with schizophreniform and psychosis disorders and their respective symptoms here.


While the medical community deals with schizophrenia as a psychological or physical disorder of the brain, those of us who actually experience it know it is much more.  It is a philosophical, spiritual, metaphysical, and mythological issue.  Coming to terms with this, confronting it, integrating it, and reconciling it leads to much higher functioning not only as an individual diagnosed with schizophrenia but as a member of society in general.  We have a deeper access to this aspect of life and have a great opportunity for learning and healing.


Many of us past and present have chosen to express ourselves through the arts.  Whether this is painting and drawing, poetry, dancing, or any other artform, it is healthy and beautiful.  We are writing biographies, displaying artwork, and welcoming submissions from our own community to be included here in this category!  Please submit if you have something to share!


The internet has opened up the world.  There is a constant flow of news concerning our illness but you wouldn't know it by watching the television.  We cover new research topics, treatment modalities, and nationwide and worldwide coverage of schizophrenia or incidents related to it in this category!

Other Items

We have also included other items of interest throughout our website.  For instance, we are producing a series of infographics to help educate the public on this topic.  We also are collecting and reviewing books concerning the illness.  In addition, we have created a directory for the United States of all treatment facilities and hospitals that have staff that are trained to work with schizophrenia cases.  Please look around and find these sections and more.


There is something that was slightly mentioned in the footer of the site, but that could be overlooked easily so we felt it was the responsible thing to do to create a large disclaimer to be displayed here on the homepage.  This has to do completely with safety.  Let us explain.

Individual Uniqueness

unique individualEvery individual on this planet is a unique person.  Even more so, those of us dealing with this special psychological difficulty are even more unique, if that makes sense.  On this site, we are talking about one of the most complex brain mysteries ever and it expresses itself through every person differently.  Every case is going to have it's own peculiarities and all we are able to do in the articles on the site is speak in generalities.  We invite anyone to leave appropriate comments and engage in discussion, however we can't take responsibility for their words.  Nor can we take responsibility for the actions of any individual or group who have at one time or another visited our website.

Always Consult a Medical Professional

medical professionalIf you find yourself in a situation where you're trying to learn more about your condition or are trying to cope through a moment of crisis, please do not act upon any of the information listed on this site, whether in the main content or comments, without first corroborating the accuracy of the info with a medical professional first.  Reach out to a general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.  Even then it's always helpful to have a second opinion from a separate professional as well.  Again, we must stress... always act with safety as the foremost concern, and this means consulting professionals before engaging in any practice intended to treat your condition.

Please Be Considerate About Delusions

delusion discussionWe understand that delusions can be very confusing and convincing.  We also understand that delusions can center around topics that simply are too philosophical to be proven wrong or correct and thus are tempting to explore in-depth.  We have no problem with this exploration as long as it is not harmful to those discussing it.  Please use your best discretion in this regard.  If the staff of Schiz Life step in and begin deleting comments or halting a conversation, please respect their decision and understand it is not personal.

Investigating delusions is encouraged.  Delusions are interesting due to their nature of being understood as strange and outside the norm of the culture of the experiencer, but there is a vast number of individuals visiting this site from many cultures.  There is a subtle difference between discussing these topics, and encouraging or trolling.  Please find that balance and abide by the above suggestions.

We also, under no circumstances, will tolerate anyone discussing or suggesting harming themselves or others.  Past-tense symptom discussion in this regard is fine, but nothing in the future tense will be allowed.

General Discussion Guidelines

We encourage discussion in the comments as much as possible and are looking into offering a forum and personal blogs as well.  In all of these mediums when carrying on conversation, there are some useful questions to ask yourself before posting that comment or response.

The main question to ask yourself is the following:

Is what I'm about to post going to help and support or will it further entrench illness and suffering?

Please consider this as you enjoy Schiz Life.  Try not to post angry or hurtful comments.  Try not to criticize or blame others.  Be as supportive, encouraging, and respecting as you can.  Accepting and negotiating differences is key to carrying on constructive conversation.

Remember, there is a real person on the other side of the screen.  It's easy to assume the other person is in a similar situation as yourself, but you don't know the extent of their emotions, symptoms, nor their age or even gender.

Let's Do This Together!

Let's have a supportive and comforting community where we all feel open and able to share as much as possible.  If you receive support from someone, please pay that forward and try to help out someone else.  If we all do this, we should all be okay!  Thank you for reading and enjoying this thing we are building together.

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