The common and specific clinic features which should make one suspect schizophrenia are:
- Continuous, often loud, nonsensical unconnected speech, while talking, the patients shift from one topic to another completely unrelated topic without realizing they are making no logical sense.
- Smiling and laughing to oneself without any obvious cause.
- Walking around without clothes and other forms of uninhibited behavior.
- Acute violent unprovoked behavior, tearing of one’s clothes etc.
- Sitting in one position for hours, or even days on end.
- The patient stops taking baths and starts looking unkempt, haggard and disheveled.
- When the patient is alone, he feels he can hear voices talking about him.
- Patient starts speaking to himself and making conversations and gestures with imaginary voices and people.
- Visual hallucinations, such as seeing non–existent things.
- The patient becomes suspicious about relatives, neighbors and friends and feels that all have ganged up against him.
- The patient often feels that people are following him and spying upon him.
- TV, radio, video and ordinary gestures of people around him acquire special meaning for him.
- The patient feels that somebody is controlling him (via laser beams, video cameras, magnetic powers etc) or that everybody can read or “Hear” his thoughts.
- The patient may feel that he is related to God, ministers, film stars and is endowed with special status and magical powers.
- Sleep rhythm is completely disrupted with the patient often not sleeping for days on end.
- Work performance, appearance and social relationships begin to deteriorate.
- Even though the patient is mentally ill, he feels he is 100 per cent alright and denies illness altogether.
The special emphasis on the symptomatology
is so that the illness may be picked up early. Delayed diagnosis and an advanced stage of illness definitely affect ultimate prognosis of schizophrenia.