Schizophreniform disorder is a short-term type of schizophrenia, a serious mental disorder that distorts the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Even though the disorder is only temporary and lasts no longer than six months, it should be treated and acknowledged as a very serious matter. If you have noticed an increase of disorganized speech, a loss of grooming habits or other routinely odd behavior in a loved one, it may be time to have a serious discussion with them about professional treatment. Doing some early research on the Internet will help you become familiarized with the process and help you prepare to supply the treatment methods available.

Causes of Schizophreniform

About one person in 1,000 develops schizophreniform disorder during his or her lifetime. The disorder occurs equally in men and women, although it often strikes men at a younger age, between the ages of 18 and 24. Common causes often point to an early onset of another mental disorder, a traumatic or stressful event or a possible genetic link to the disease in a person’s bloodline. Drug use, substance abuse or outside physical injury has not been traced towards causing the disorder as they might lead to improper treatment.

Symptoms of Schizophreniform

Symptoms of schizophreniform are often severe and may cause the person to lose their touch with reality and often send themselves into depression. Symptoms of schizophreniform disorder are similar to those of schizophrenia and may include:

  • Delusions
  • ” Hallucinations
  • ” Disorganized speech (i.e. not making sense, using nonsense words and/or skipping from one topic to another)
  • ” Odd or strange behavior such as pacing, walking in circles, or writing constantly.
  • ” Lack of energy
  • ” Poor hygiene and grooming habits
  • ” Loss of interest or pleasure in life accompanied by a withdrawal from family, friends, and social activities.

Treating Schizophreniform

Though the duration of the disease usually lasts less than six months, it still requires complete care and treatment during this period. Treating schizophreniform is done with a combination of professional therapy and prescription medication. With psychotherapy, the goal is to help the patient learn about the illness, establish goals, and manage everyday problems related to the illness. It can also help the person manage the feelings of distress associated with the symptoms. Antipsychotic medications are often used to avoid future episodes and depression, or sometimes newer medicines referred to as atypical antipsychotics are used which include Risperdal, Clozaril, Seroquel, Geoden, and Zyprexa. If the symptoms do not improve within six months or less, the patient’s disorder has likely turned into schizophrenia, which is a life-long illness. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about two-thirds of people with schizophreniform disorder go on to develop schizophrenia at some point, therefore it is important to seek treatment immediately.

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