Schizophrenia.com

Does one with sz have a look that gives away their illness?


#1

i was talking to my pdoc a while ago. I had told her I had told my colleague about my illness. I didn’t lie but I didn’t tell my colleague I had sz. I told her i had manic tendencies. At the time my diagnosis was schizoaffective. Anyway, my pdoc turned around and said don’t worry about it as they must have picked up something was wrong anyway. Do sz have a look about them that give it away?


#2

Sometimes my paranoia shows and I get funny looks from people. I think the odd walk and body language I get sometimes makes it obvious that something is wrong.


#3

When symptomatic I did. I could tell others knew something wasn’t right by the look on their face.


#4

I bet if someone takes the time to really look at me, watch me for a while the will get the vibe that I’m not like everyone else. I’m lucky that most people are off in the deeps of their own day and don’t have time to focus on me.

But as people spend more time with me I’m sure they notice something. I’m not a very subtle person.


#5

I can’t say about sz but one of my things is that people can tell from signs i automatically/subconsciously give off(bodily/facial mannerisms, speech,walk) that i am not quite right.


#6

I can get negative but there is always just reason for it. Around my friends I can be exuberant.


#7

Actually, there is a commonality. People with a sz spectrum disorder have a specific look around the eyes, they have less expression to them. I know I have this problem and others on YouTube who claim to be sz or sza tend to have the same look around the eyes. I guess Amanda Bynes is supposedly sz (or the media could be wrong) and she has the same look.

Anyway, this fits with that whole ‘flat/blunted affect’ symptom.


#8

I am not sure whether a ‘flat/blunted affect’ applies to both positive and negative emotions. What i do know is that i feel negative things with considerably more intensity than neutral or positive ones.


#9

You can tell sometimes. I’ve been around many schizophrenics and there’s a certain look about someone in the throws of the illness.


#10

As @firemonkey mentioned, the “flat/blunted affect”… that’s the number 1 tell-tell(from what others have said).
Also, there’s always a bit of psychosis, as I seem to put my foot in my mouth by saying very absurd things, and not realizing it, even after I get funny looks from people.
And, as @Malvok pointed out, there’s the funny look. People say that I look at them funny, and make strange expressions in strange moments. I’m sure that has to do with me being in my own world and going through my own emotions.
I’m diagnosed paranoid-schizo from 2 psychiatrists and schizo-affective from another.


#11

@Malvok not sure about the look thing but i’ll take your word for it. I once had a nurse, who used to like to mock patients, tell me he could tell i was by the way i walked(this was back when i had the dx). I often wondered whether that was because meds affect the way people walk .


#12

I think the public can tell that there is something wrong or off with me. The general public is not educated enough about SZ or SZ related disorders to know its SZ, but I think I do walk a bit slow because of the meds, plus I am always tense out in public. Socially I am not outspoken so this might be a giveaway that there is something wrong or off as well. Some people are indifferent or unfriendly towards me, but there are some that probably feel for what I am going through and treat me nicely. Its just not walking slowly, my movements can be slower in a busy public area, and my concentration is a bit scattered - too much happening around me


#13

It may not only be about a look or walk. If you are around the same people or friends for long periods they may notice things like not feeling comfortable in social situations, being distracted by your own thoughts, not picking up on social cues. misunderstanding common phrases or references and preoccupation with supernatural/religion/spiritual. In my whole life I have not heard so much chi etc talk as I have in the last 10 months that my son has been living with me. He doesn’t look, act or walk any differently then anyone else however he is more interested/preoccupied with things that most people just don’t think about or have time to think about for any length of time. So if he is comfortable then eventually the conversation turns to questions about the afterlife. Again in 41 years this is a conversation I have rarely had until now, with my son.


#14

Yeah. I call us “silo heads” because we tend to have long heads and be food obsessed.


#15

Flat affect, alogia, constant pacing around.


#16

I’ve been called (or referred to) as kinda having a “lost puppy” thing about me. I think (based on the track record that someone let slip at work about the type of people my last boss liked to hire {she has retired so I have a new boss} and they were all extremely weird. I guess she just liked trying to help/fix people?)
I don’t worry about it too much. I have been told by one of my classmates (Creative writing) that I talk too much, but I was looking for someone to debate with and I wanted to challenge my professor into getting a different book. I asked a student in my math class and she said that she loved that I asked questions because she felt too scared to ask them.
Anywhoooooo I have never, ever come across as normal. Ever since by high school though I think I am starting to turn “nut talking to herself” into “eccentric harmless free spirit”. I don’t think that I will ever fit in but what I am trying is to embrace my oddness. I think if people see you getting obsessed over something because you seem to have a passion for it is comes across differently than an unwanted obsession does.
Also “translators” help. Close friends who have through time, I can generally get this to happen in a couple months or less, come to understand what you mean. They tell strangers “she means _____ not _____” and I’m like “yeah that’s what I just said”. I need that less and less as time goes on, but it is still very helpful.


#17

I have meet some people with sz. They are just like everyone. I don’t see anything different in them. I however do observe some of them got emotional easily when talking about their difficult past.

I can’t say about myself. My friends and my nurse say I look normal. I think most of my coworkers still consider that I’m normal. I’m getting better every year. I usually do not want to look at the mirror I think I do not feel comfortable doing so. But people began to tell me I look nice. I am sleeping better recently and feel less tired.

In my worst years, I have experienced a few times people in the street being really rude to me. Not anymore. My community living experience is quite positive. But I am usually polite and helpful to everyone.


#18

I used to reek of paranoia and agitation. I would keep a fixed glare even when not looking at anyone and slowly choose my words and not say much, often looking out of windows more than looking at the people I was talking to. I would sit there and not talk and have an irritated expression on my face, but if I was drunk, I would always be happy and carefree, so I made friends with other heavy drinkers and I actually was just one of the guys for a while. I misinterpreted social cues like I was mildly autistic (people hitting on me didnt register, other people had to point out what just happened to me after I told them what someone said) and I was seemingly cognitively impaired, as I took a while to answer questions or think of how to say things, but I made a 3.5 during that time.

Now I am recovered on meds and I come off as quiet at times but have better social skills, actually good social skills with people I know. One on one with a person, I do outstandingly well for a schizophrenic, but when I am in a party setting, I usually end up sticking with a few people who have similar interests after scoping everyone out. I used to be all over the place, everyone was my friend whether they liked it or not LOL. I would often organize things and include people I didnt even particularly like just to make sure everyone was included.

Now I let others organize things, but sometimes I pick up the leader role and gather my friends to do something or hangout. I often end up leading if no one else will and someone needs to initiate a friday or saturday night, for example if I text all of my friends “whats up” and they all reply “nothing”, I invite everyone over and then think of somewhere to go, like out to eat or to go get some beer (my friends are half 21, I can only have like 1 drink cuz of my meds though). Like last night I went to a big party and the friend I bought wanted to leave after I informed him that the girl he had been talking to for 2 hours was engaged. I was bored too, there were too many drunk people and I just wasnt fitting in. I still managed to have intelligent conversations with a few people though.

People look at me and see someone who has a military hairstyle, clean shaven face and muscular physique and they assume I am rather serious and talk about ideas and theories instead of just blather and act silly. I’ve had deep conversations on neuroscience with people at parties before, for example, it actually happens alot like “what are you majoring in?” “Psychology, concentrating in behavioral neuroscience” and then they have all these questions and misconceptions. If they seem intelligent and all and are other psych majors or know a fair amount about psychology, I often mention my condition and how medications work, and that half of the time makes them speechless and half of the time makes them ask me a lot more questions. Now my look gives the opposite impression that it did before, I used to be skinny and had a long goatee and was rather grunge looking.


#19

There was a time I dated a girl for almost six months and I told her from the start I was Sz. She seemed very cool with that until one horrid week, I had a psychotic episode. Then she said… “Oh man, you weren’t joking. You have Sz.” and then she broke up with me.

That has always made me wonder. Did she not notice for 6 months? Did she think I was just that odd in the humor department? How did she not really get that I was not like everyone else?


#20

I usually don’t look at people much when speaking to them so that kinda gives a sign but they dont know what it is. maybe they think, i dont like them, but thats not it