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Hi! My friend has schizophrenia. He is 25 years old. Is schizophrenia usual for this age? Does Schizophrenia get worse with age? Sometimes he is silent for hours. He takes some drug. Is his condition caused by drugs or is symptom of schizophrenia.

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Hi! My sister has schizophrenia too. She is 18 years old. It’s very difficult when close person to you suffer from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia has been called "youth's greatest disabler." It usually begins between the ages of 16 and 30 but has been diagnosed in children as young as 5. The schizophrenic person may ignore his or her surroundings and sit completely still and silent for hours. This is symptom of schizophrenia. At other times; he or she may be in a frenzy of activity even when most people around them are sleeping. There are times between when the person just seems blank. Fortunately this disease does not get worse with age. Patients can hope for successful treatment even later in life.
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my daughter is 17 and has been dignoist with schizaphrania, she is taken 15ml of olanzapine and she also uses alot of pot, sniffs gas and whatever
else she can get high on. Is it normal for someone in her condition to always want to be high.
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"Fortunately this disease does not get worse with age. Patients can hope for successful treatment even later in life."

I think you should do some research. Schizophrenia CAN absolutely be degenerative. Meaning worsen over time, particularly if the patient refuses medication, or is inappropriately medicated. From what I can gather, each psychotic break or episode can cause damage and without intervention the long-term result could be continuous psychosis. It is possible for the patient to fall into a psychotic break and not recover without treatment. Medication refusal is very common for these patients.
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To the comment above, I have to disagree.
I do not know if you study psychology or you just found something on the internet and went with it, but I am recieving my masters in mental health counseling, and I have to disagree.
Though schizophrenia is subjective, which means that each patient has a very unique course with different onsets, it has been seen to usually lesson over time.
According to the casebook in abnormal psychology, third edition (i highly suggest the book to anyone), Brown and Barlow state that, "when researchers have considered schiophrenia across the life span, most have presumed that the natural course of the disorder is associated with progressive deterioration through late adulthood. However, some evidence does suggest that this is not necessarily the case. For example, studies that have followed patients with schizophrenia into late life have generally found that older adults tended to display few positive symptoms (delusions or halluncinations) and perhaps more negative symptoms (speech difficulties)."
As well, there was a study done at Vermont State Hospital for schizophrenica in the 1950's that found that one-half to two-thirds had achieved considerable imporvement or had recovered, as indicated by assessments that were then conducted in the 1980's.
So there is a great amount of evidence pushing towards the fact that it does lesson over time (the possitive symptoms, not the negative ones, though). As well, that's what all of the classes I have taken have pushed more towards.
Hope that helps!
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No disrespect intended to your education, but unless you have cared for a loved one diagnosed with schizophrenia, all the education in the world means nothing to those of us who live with this every single day. Providing clinical outpatient care to someone you are not emotionally invested in makes clinical assessment as to the progress or deterioration of a person with schizophrenia somewhat subjective. Degree and manifestations of symptoms vs. how it has impacted their quality of llife, ability to work and socialize also must be considered. The simple fact is, people with mental health issues suffered terribly at the hands of society at large.

My son was diagnosed a year ago at age 12 although he clearly had symptoms since a much younger age. It does get worse - different therapies and different drug combos have different successes and failures but you should help prepare families for a long haul - not a rose colored "this is as bad as it gets."

Many of the antipsychotic drugs have terrible side effects making life even harder - my son is now prediabetic so we are looking for other medications now after finally finding one that helped him at least a little bit.

Another point is that the long-term effects on other family members is also devastating. We are human and hurt, too. I can see a day where I can no longer care for my son at home - then what? Or when he turns 18 and wants to head out on his own? What happens to him when his support system crumbles? A person with schizophrenia may do well in a moment, a particular setting, or time, and not so well in others. It is anything but static or predictable. Period.

I will agree that each persons' situation is unique. But to say it does not get worse over time or after diagnosis is a gross generalization that simply is not true. Treatment DOES help many. But take a person with schizophrenia off their meds or bar them from therapy and counseling and without a doubt their condition deteriorates even more.
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I do not know if you study psychology or you just found something on the internet and went with it, but I am recieving my masters in mental health counseling, and I have to disagree.
Though schizophrenia is subjective, which means that each patient has a very unique course with different onsets, it has been seen to usually lesson over time.
According to the casebook in abnormal psychology, third edition (i highly suggest the book to anyone), Brown and Barlow state that, "when researchers have considered schiophrenia across the life span, most have presumed that the natural course of the disorder is associated with progressive deterioration through late adulthood. However, some evidence does suggest that this is not necessarily the case. For example, studies that have followed patients with schizophrenia into late life have generally found that older adults tended to display few positive symptoms (delusions or halluncinations) and perhaps more negative symptoms (speech difficulties)."
As well, there was a study done at Vermont State Hospital for schizophrenica in the 1950's that found that one-half to two-thirds had achieved considerable imporvement or had recovered, as indicated by assessments that were then conducted in the 1980's.
So there is a great amount of evidence pushing towards the fact that it does lesson over time (the possitive symptoms, not the negative ones, though). As well, that's what all of the classes I have taken have pushed more towards.
Hope that helps!



thanks for the message that really gives me hope
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Hi,

From what I have seen from family experience (schizophrenia runs in my family) the illness does seem to get better with age. It is not that the disease gets better per se, but just that people who have been coping with it longer tend to have better coping mechanisms that help them deal with the symptoms. 
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My brother has been schizophrenic for 40 years. It began when he was 17, and drug use- even just mj- made it worse. He had a psychotic episode and his symptoms were severe for the first few years. He was on medication but after a few years he stopped medication and therapy. He stopped all drinking, smoking and drugs of any kind. Gradually he was able to function and interact with others in a limited way and with anxiety. He was able to go to college and get a degree, but he still has difficulty "fitting in" with others. So to answer your question- either your friend will not get better, or he gradually might. But drug use will definitely make him worse. So, I hope he stops using any and all mind altering substances. If he doesn't he might end up living in a van, down by the river...
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My son has not formally been diagnosed with schizophrenia and from what I have read they can have symptoms and not actually be diagnosed with the condition. We first hospitalized him a few months after his 18th birthday when he cut his wrists. Prior to he was self-medicating himself with weed and who knows what else, but it wasn't apparent to us that he had a mental illness problem until he got off drugs. Then his symptoms became more evident, but we didn't really understand his odd behaviors - mumbling, gesturing to things, obsession with the bible, isolation, etc. This last time he was hospitalized he was in a serious state of psychosis and medical professionals said he needed to go to the emergency room asap or he would be successful in killing himself. Since then they put him on depakote and saffris. He slowly seemed to stabilize after about 2 months. Then he drifts back into his destructive behaviors of giving plasma for money and weed. This will put him in bad shape every time. He knows he has a problem to some extent, but definately doesn't think medical people understand that he doesn't hear voice, but has spirits bugging him. He is clean again, but depression or voices took over and he injured himself last night. He didn't but his wrists rather took a knife and was puncturing his wrist. It is devastating to watch your child go from being happy and healthy to such a sad and painful state. I pray to God that he gets better. I hope some of you are right about the ability to get better. All of the families that I have spoken to with schizophrenic family members have told me that they get sicker with age and are unmanagable. Right now he is going to a local mental health center for therapy and the psychiatrist only does medical evals. He was seeing a reputable psychatrist, but he wouldn't reopen his case this last time. The only thing that I can think to do is find another private psychiatrist and hope he/she can help. That is, if my son is willing to participate in counseling.

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I can understand how you are feeling at the moment as someone who has a family member with schizophrenia. My brother developed schizophrenia at around age nine, but was not diagnosed until he was 16 years old. By then he had become really sick. For the past eight years he has been unable to function in society and has been forcibly placed in a mental hospital on and off since that time. This is hard to watch and I felt like things would not get any better, as schizophrenia does not go away with age.

However, finding the right medication or combo of medication is difficult but important, and after seven years of treatment my brother has finally found a medication regiment that works and has been out of the hospital for more than a year now. He appears to be getting better every day as he is learning how to adapt and function better with the disorder over time. I have had the chance through him to observe many older individuals with schizophrenia, and I would definitely say that they are better with age. Most people in general tend to calm with age, and the agitation that I see in many younger patients seems to go away as they grow older. They are also better able to cope through having experience with the symptoms, identifying when they need help, and remembering to take medication. The symptoms appear to lesson as well with age.

I think that you need to hold a hopeful attitude towards the disorder as telling people who have mentally ill family members that it is going to get worse is not helpful or true. There will be times when flare-ups occur and my brother becomes really ill again, but they eventually dissipate and he returns to normal. This is the way the disorder works. Studies have shown that flare ups lesson over the course of the disease, so as someone with a family member with the disorder and who works in the mental health field (with adolescents) I would have to disagree about it getting worse. I have never seen this and adolescence seems to be as bad as it gets.

Because the drugs in the past for schizophrenia were pretty substandard, a lot of older people my brother has lived with in group homes and the hospital have problems with side affects which is why they are there. My brother is on newer meds and is currently living on his own in an apartment for people with mental disorders. He receives disability and works odd jobs and lives a quite comfortable and happy life. He has a girlfriend and many other friends with the disorder who make up a support network. As his sister, I will be responsible for stepping in when he has bad flare-ups or is sick in the future, but this is not nearly as bad as it sounds. Mental health services in the city have taken some time to access, but are now in place and help to support him as well.

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Hi, I'm 23 and have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. I do believe it can get worse but I know it can also get better or even go into remission. Right now I have what is called "Residual Schizophrenia". I take no medications (can't afford them) and while I still have auditory hallucinations they are relatively benign and easily ignored. I no longer have strange thoughts, such a aliens trying to communicate with me, disorganized speech or paranoia.

I believe psychiatry and psychotherapy to be based allot more on theory then proven facts. It seems to me at least that it is a pretty complex disease that is not fully understood, like many others. When it comes to mental illness I'm sure there is allot of guess work. I don't believe any doctor can say with 100% accuracy how your friends illness will progress, and certainly not anyone on here. While it is vitally important for you friend to seek some form of medical/therapeutic attention, It is far more vital that he/she have support from family and friends like you.

I know this because I literally had none. While I am better now, I realize I am just lucky more then anything. I was on medication for a while but that turned me into even more of a 'space cadet'. Illegal drugs and alcohol actually worked ten times better then anything they tried to prescribe me... Also drugs are a form of escapism. Normal people who use drugs like to escape from the trouble and stress of their daily lives. Well.. Times that same stress and trouble by fifty and internalize it all. Not a good thing to deal with, especially when very minor stressors and situations to most are so debilitating to people like me.

Before I go on and on and on.. I'm just going to cut this short. Its most important that you accept you friend for who they are, no matter what you cannot change them anymore then you can a normal person ... lol. While it can be upsetting it is most important to remain calm and try to create calm environments. Just another speed bump in life, positive thinking and levity is important.

Good Luck!

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Thank you so much for being honest. I have delt with people who smooth over these symptoms. My husband suffers from this disease. And to finally hear someone tell the reality of the situation. After all the research i truly believe you have to live through it to understand it. My husband is getting worse with time.
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I have a good friend that was dignoist with Schizaphrania when he was in college and he started doing drugs to medicate himself, he turned into a drug addictic and now he is blind because of a doctors prescription that warned not to drink alochol in large quainty but my friend didn't listen,, he is 62 years old in a nursing home now. Please try to get your daughter in rehab before its too late.

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Thank you for your statement,, I have a friend who has battled this mental illness for 40 years,, he just wants someone to except him like he is,, he has had battles with drugs and now because of the two he is blind. All I can do is show him that he matters and to me he is important,, it makes a big difference in his day. Kathy
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