What It’s Like Living with High Functioning Schizophrenia
By | June 23rd, 2023
Living with a mental health disorder is not easy. Living with high functioning schizophrenia can be a challenging experience. It involves managing symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking. Though the condition is often associated with low levels of functioning, there are many people who live successfully with it.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize reality. People with schizophrenia may experience delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and difficulty concentrating. They may also display difficulty in controlling their emotions or expressing them appropriately. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can vary significantly from person to person.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The symptoms of schizophrenia can vary depending on an individual’s personality and circumstances. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Disorganized speech and behavior
- Lack of motivation
- Difficulty functioning in daily life
- Difficulty concentrating
- Lack of motivation
- Social withdrawal
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Poor hygiene
How is Someone Diagnosed with Schizophrenia?
Diagnosing schizophrenia can be a complex process. Generally, an individual will need to meet certain criteria outlined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The first step in diagnosing schizophrenia is an assessment with a qualified mental health professional; this could be a psychiatrist or psychologist.
The healthcare provider may ask about symptoms, family history of mental illness, and personal health history. They may also ask questions about lifestyle, substance use, physical health, and any other relevant information to help with the diagnosis.
In addition to this, the healthcare provider will likely order one or more psychological tests. This may include a neuropsychological evaluation or cognitive functioning test. These tests can help identify defects or abnormalities in thinking, memory, and behavior. In some cases, a physical exam may also be necessary to rule out other medical conditions. Depending on the individual’s situation, the doctor might order blood tests or imaging scans such as an MRI.
What Does High Functioning Mean?
High-functioning describes individuals who demonstrate the ability to perform daily tasks with relative ease, despite having a mental health disorder. People who are high-functioning may appear to have no disabilities at all. This could be true even though they’re struggling with their condition in ways that are not visible.
High-functioning individuals may have difficulty in certain areas. This could include socializing or understanding abstract concepts. Those who are high functioning are able to compensate and manage their lives with minimal assistance. Those who have a mental illness or disability of some kind can still be high-functioning if they are able to do the following:
- Maintain relationships
- Hold down jobs
- Engage in recreational activities
- Manage their health care
What is High Functioning Schizophrenia?
High-functioning schizophrenia is a term used to describe people who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia but are able to live relatively normal lives. People with this type of schizophrenia may experience some symptoms that affect their daily functioning. This could include delusions or hallucinations.
They generally have better social and occupational functioning than those with more severe forms of the disorder. People with high-functioning schizophrenia still need treatment and support to manage their symptoms and live a healthy, happy life.
Symptoms of High Functioning Schizophrenia
The most common symptoms of high functioning schizophrenia include the following:
Difficulty Maintaining Relationships
People may struggle to develop and maintain relationships with family, friends, and co-workers. They may also have difficulty understanding social cues or forming meaningful connections.
Difficulty Functioning in Work or School
Individuals may have difficulty completing tasks at a normal pace, staying organized, and retaining information.
Delusions or Hallucinations
These can involve false beliefs, such as thinking that people are out to get them or hearing voices
People may have difficulty expressing themselves or articulating their thoughts in a logical manner. They may also find it difficult to concentrate, leading to feelings of confusion and disorientation.
Loss of emotion or lack of emotion is common in people with high functioning schizophrenia.
People may become more reclusive and avoid social situations, even if it means disrupting their normal routine.
Changes in Personality
These may include a sudden shift in behavior, mood swings, or increased irritability.
People may engage in risky behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm.
What Causes High Functioning Schizophrenia?
High-functioning schizophrenia is a form of disorder that can make it difficult for an individual to function in everyday life. Common causes of high-functioning schizophrenia may include genetics, brain chemistry issues, certain environmental factors, and even stress or trauma. People with a family history of mental health disorders may be more likely to experience high-functioning schizophrenia. Brain chemistry issues may also contribute to this form of the disorder, such as an imbalance in neurotransmitters or hormones in the brain which can affect mood and behavior.
Certain environmental factors may also be linked to high-functioning schizophrenia, such as living with chronic stress or trauma for extended periods of time. This type of stress can cause changes in the structure and chemistry of the brain which may lead to high-functioning schizophrenia. Additionally, other environmental factors such as living in a small or overcrowded home, exposure to drug use, low socioeconomic status, and even childhood abuse may increase the risk for high-functioning schizophrenia.
It is imperative to note that the exact cause of high-functioning schizophrenia is still not known. It is likely that many factors contribute to this condition. More research is needed to better understand the causes and risk factors of high functioning schizophrenia.
What is Schizophrenia Stigma?
Schizophrenia stigma is a term that refers to the negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that surround those with schizophrenia. This form of discrimination can be experienced in many aspects of life, including health care, employment, housing, relationships, and social interactions. It often causes individuals to avoid seeking treatment or disclosing their diagnosis for fear of discrimination or judgment. It also can lead to feelings of isolation and low self-esteem due to the negative connotations associated with schizophrenia.
The source of stigma surrounding schizophrenia is difficult to identify and often includes misinformation, stereotypes, fear, and misunderstanding. These factors contribute to a lack of knowledge about the disorder, leading to discrimination against those affected by it. This can be seen in comments that are made to or about a person with schizophrenia; this could include calling them “crazy” or “insane.” It can also manifest itself through exclusion from social activities and avoidance of those affected by the disorder.
What is the Onset of Schizophrenia?
The onset of schizophrenia typically occurs in early adulthood between the ages of 16 and 30, although it can sometimes start earlier or later. Symptoms often begin gradually and may include the following:
- Paranoid thoughts
- Difficulty concentrating
- Poor memory recall
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling disconnected or distant from reality
- Hearing voices that are not real
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of interest in activities
- Difficulty with communication
How Can an Individual Be a Functioning Schizophrenic While Symptomatic?
It is possible for a person to be a high functioning schizophrenic while also being symptomatic. The key to success lies in the ability of the individual to manage their symptoms and lead a productive life. This involves learning coping strategies, such as:
- Managing stress levels through relaxation techniques or yoga
- Developing healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious meals, exercising, and getting plenty of rest
- Seeking social support from family members, friends, or support groups
- Establishing routines to help with structure and organization
- Using medication as prescribed by your doctor in order to manage symptoms
- Setting realistic goals for yourself and breaking tasks into manageable pieces
What Mental Health Conditions are Related to High Functioning Schizophrenia?
Common mental health conditions associated with high-functioning schizophrenia include the following:
- Depression disorders
- Anxiety disorders
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Bipolar disorder
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social phobia
- Panic attacks
People with high-functioning schizophrenia may experience difficulty focusing, impaired memory, and an inability to complete tasks. They may also have trouble controlling their emotions or behavior in social situations. Additionally, they may struggle with low self-esteem and poor motivation. Those with high-functioning schizophrenia have problems forming relationships and interacting with others appropriately due to their cognitive difficulties.
Are There Treatment Options for High Functioning Schizophrenia?
There are treatment options available for people who have been diagnosed with high functioning schizophrenia. These include medication, psychotherapy, and social support. Medication is typically prescribed to manage symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Antipsychotic medications, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants can all be used to help reduce symptoms.
Psychotherapy can also be used to help manage the symptoms associated with high functioning schizophrenia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and supportive psychotherapy are all commonly used to help address symptoms and provide support. Social support is also an important part of treatment.
Having a strong social circle that includes friends and family members who understand the diagnosis and are willing to provide emotional support can be invaluable. It is also important for people with high functioning schizophrenia to engage in activities that promote socialization, such as joining a club or taking part in group activities.
Evolve Wellness Inc Can Assist with High Functioning Schizophrenia
While it can be an extremely challenging condition to live with, individuals with high functioning schizophrenia are not without hope when it comes to treatment options. Through a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and lifestyle changes, they can find relief. At Evolve Wellness Inc, we can help you move towards a good place mentally. If you or a loved one would like to find out more, you can contact us here.