SCHIZOPHRENIA & schizoaffective disorder – Mental Health therapist Kati Morton treatment & psychosis

Hey, everyone! Today’s topic is another DSM diagnosis. And that is: Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective. What are the differences and what.

Hey, everyone! Today’s topic is another DSM diagnosis. And that is: Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective. What are the differences and what do we do if we have that diagnosis? So stay tuned! So, like I said, today’s topic is kind of going to be DSM-driven, but I’m also going to give– um, at the end you’re going to want to stay tuned ’cause I’m going to give you some treatment options and ways, either to help those around us or to get help for yourself. So don’t forget to stay tuned to the end when I give those tips out. But I’m going to talk about Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorders and what do we do if we have that diagnosis or if someone around us has that diagnosis and what does it mean, right? Because people throw around terms a lot and that’s one of my main frustrations with therapists. It’s that people will be like: “You’re so duh, duh, duh” and they’ll throw out so diagnosis. “Oh, I think they have duh, luh, la, la”. And I’m just making weird noises because it’s all over. They’ll say: “You’re schizophrenic. You have delusions. You’re anorexic. You’re borderline.” People will throw around terms without actually knowing, so that’s why I’m making my videos. Okay. So, without further ado, Schizophrenia is… I don’t… I guess I’ll just read exactly what it says. but I don’t… I want to make sure that it makes sense, so let me know if you want me to do follow-up videos. But the essential features of Schizophrenia are a mixed characteristic signs and symptoms both positive and negative, which I’ll explain, that have been present for a significant portion of time during a one month period with some signs of the disorder persisting for at least 6 months. Now, I wanted to white-board this ’cause it gets really confusing about the time, but all you need to know is that if someone has had Schizophrenia-like symptoms for more than 6 months, then they have Schizophrenia. When it’s a shorter duration, there’s all these sorts of different names that I’ve been learning from my licensing exam. But the positive and negative symptoms of Schizophrenia are as follows, okay? So positive symptoms, the way I remember this in my mind is positive, plus, we’re adding something to someone, so it’s not just me as myself. I’m seeing things that aren’t there potentially. I could be hearing things that aren’t there. I could be feeling things that aren’t there. Think of your senses. Not many people, like, smell things that aren’t there or even feel things that aren’t there. The most common are seeing and hearing. Now, when people have those… And they’re called delusions and hallucinations, okay? Now, hallucinations are those audio and visual things that we’re seeing that aren’t there. Like, if you’ve ever seen “A Beautiful Mind”, he has those 2 people that are with him that no one else can see or hear, but he can see and hear them. They’re like his friends, right? That would be the visual because he sees them and also he’s hearing them, right? So we have those, um, audible hallucinations. Okay? Now, delusions which is the next most common, is those firmly held beliefs. So… When I worked in the hospitals, I had one client who, no matter what I told him, believed I was working for the FBI. And even though I was like: “I don’t even have any of the things that it would take to work for the FBI”. You know, there’s nothing I could say. It’s a firmly held belief. Now, the most common beliefs are those of, like, the Army, FBI, “people are watching me” type and the religious type. “Jesus told me to do this. Jesus is speaking to me through my television telling me this, that and the other”. Those are the most common, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be other things. I had many clients who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, as well as their eating disorder because part of their firmly held beliefs had to do with their belief that they were overweight when they were underweight or the belief that they needed that much food, even though they didn’t or there’s a bunch of different things, right? I personally don’t usually diagnose separately, but some people do. So that’s just another example of a delusion, okay? So, so far we have hallucinations when we see, hear or feel things that aren’t there and we have delusions – firmly held beliefs. Those are positive symptoms of Schizophrenia. Okay? ‘Cause we’re adding something to it, to ourselves. Now, the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia are things that often go unnoticed longer. These are things, like what we call, like, a blunted affect which really just means lack of emotion. So someone will be very… unexciting and they have trouble expressing things and just very… very boring! Right? It’s a very blunted, like, there’s no emotion. And I’m trying to think if there are other ones that they gave… Negative symptoms, yeah. Restrictions in the range and intesity of emotional expression, flat affect, and in the fluency and productivity of thought and speech which is called Alogia which is like if you… you really have… trouble… putting… sentences together. It’s very slow and we have a lot of trouble. And that can also kind of go into the same realm as what we call “disorganized speech” which, if you work in a hospital, they call it “word salad”. And that can be like: “Why did you come out… sweeping the floors… Book! I, um… beach, towel, frustrated!” And it won’t make any sense. In their minds it makes sense, but they have a lot of trouble putting it together. And so, it comes out as this, you know, very difficult thing to understand. Until people are properly medicated, it can be really difficult and it can be frustrating for them. Imagine if you have all these things you want to express but people look at you like: “What?” Right? Because none of it makes sense together. So that can be part of that as well. Another negative symptom can be… They have trouble initiating goal-oriented behavior. So I need to get to the store because I’m out of milk, but I don’t… Like, they don’t know where to start. I may walk out without any shoes on and no money or I may walk to a clothing store looking for milk. So you can kind of see where they have trouble making that happen. Okay? So that is Schizophrenia. Now, I know there will probably be a ton of questions. It’s really… I’m taking, like, pages and pages of explanations and turning it into like 3 minutes. Right? So leave your questions below. I can do more on this if you want. Now, the second diagnosis is Schizoaffective disorder. Now, I’ve heard from many of you that you’ve gotten this diagnosis and this is the difference. I’m just going to differentiate it from Schizophrenia itself. So Schizoaffective Disorder, it means that you have an uninterrupted period of illness during which there is either a major depressive, manic or mixed episode concurrent with the symptoms to meet Schizophrenia. So you’ll have a delusion or a hallucination while you also are having some sort of depressive episode or you could be manic. It could be part of your… It’s honestly Bipolar crashed into Schizophrenia and it created Schizoaffective. If Bipolar and Schizophrenia had a baby it’d be Schizoaffective Disorder. Okay? And that’s the easiest way to understand it. And people will have different sub-types. I mean, some people will only have major-depressive just like people with Bipolar II. Remember my old video? If you haven’t checked out my Bipolar video, you should check it out because I put it on the whiteboard and I kind of explain the different episodes. So that’s what Schizoaffective Disorder is. So you may have some psychosis- the delusions, hallucinations- but you also have that mood lability that goes along with, um, Bipolar Disorder. Okay? Now, like I said, what do we do? So we have these diagnoses… I’m going to move this because it’s making me hot. Oof! Okay. So, what do we do? The number 1 thing, whether this is you or this a friend or a family member, they need to get medication. And I know, medication… Agh! The Devil! We don’t want to be on it. We want to be holistic, but trust me when I say medication can save your life. Okay? The sooner we get on it, the sooner we can get better. Think of your brain as like a balloon and it’s filled with sand. Okay? And as we connect, let’s say we have a hallucination, right? And I connect: “Oh, that figure. I see that shape and that’s a person”. And I talk to that person. We’re rolling a marble in that sand. And the more we allow that to happen, the deeper the ridge in the sand gets. And it’s harder for our mind to break out of that. Does that make sense? That’s the best way for me to conceptualize it. So let’s say we’ve only made that connection a couple of times and then we get our medication on board and we realize that those delusions and hallucinations aren’t real. We stop making that groove deeper and our brain can heal and we can live our life in a more normal manner. Okay? So please, please, please get medication and encourage those people around you to get proper assessments. And if this is you, please go see a doctor. Go to the hospital. Make sure you get a proper assessment. And you can get the proper medication. And ask questions about your medication. We want to make sure the side-effects are good. They don’t interact with other medications and stuff like that. The second thing is: please find a group or a PHP program. At many hospitals they have these where you can go and you can meet other people who are working on this. And it can be so refreshing and good to know that other people have struggled and they’re doing fine. They’ve worked things out. And you know, different government agencies will help you get paid for this and get the help you need. There’s even boarding cares where you can live and stay if you’re older and they’ll take you to and from PHP programs. I used to run one with some other colleagues of mine at a… There’s a group of hospitals down at Orange County I used to work at. So they’re available. They’re there. Please look into that. And the last thing I always encourage people to do is do reality testing. So if you are not the person who has this diagnosis, but you’re a close family friend or any of the above let them know that you’re a safe person that they can talk to and they can be honest with. And reality testing is this: so let’s say I have Schizophrenia. I live with Sean, right? I hear something. I hear someone talking. I hear someone saying: “Hey, so Kati you really need to do that because that person, remember they’re going to hurt you.” I can look at Sean and say: “Did you hear that voice? It was like woman’s voice and it sounded like this.” And he says: “No, I didn’t hear it.” I’ve just done reality testing. I’ve just checked in with someone who I know doesn’t have Schizophrenia and I’ve asked them about something that I heard. And I’m just checking. I’ve had clients when we’re at the hospital, right? We’re at the hospital and there’s a lot of overhead. Which I think this is cruel, but they’ll do overhead calls like: “Nancy, to the 4th floor. We have a whatever”. Right? And it’ll come through all the speakers. This is really hard for people who have Schizophrenia and are trying to do reality testing. They’ll ask me: “Kati, did you hear that?” “Yeah. No, that was really… It was the nurse. She was calling.” “Okay. Just making sure”. Right? Because if we are having those breakthrough symptoms, if we’re seeing or hearing again, we may need to increase our medication or switch or things like that. So those are the things that I would recommend. Getting a treatment team, right? The groups, the PHP programs, getting on medication and doing reality testing as often as we can to make sure that everything is being helpful and giving us, I guess, the aid that we need. Right? So let me know if you have any further questions. Share your experiences as always. And we will work together towards a Healthy Mind and a Healthy Body. Just as a side note, know that there is no stigma attached to either of these diagnoses or any diagnosis. Our hospitals and our treatment teams and people in the mental health field are more than well-equipped to handle this. We see it all the time. We want you to come and talk to us. ‘Cause the sooner we can get help, like I said, the sooner we can get you well and back in your life and feeling better. Right? And just so you know, I know I use the acronym PHP . What that stands for is “Partial Hospitalization Program”. And these are usually at different hospitals or clinics. And what that means is you come during the day for different groups or therapy sessions and then you leave in the evening and you go back to your house. So it’s just partial. So you’re there for part of the day. And don’t forget to check out my website also. I have a lot of different people helping in the forums, interacting. If you have questions and if you have this diagnosis, start a forum board, start something where you can communicate to one another. You can share your tips and tricks and get more help. And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel ’cause I put out videos 5 days a week and you don’t want to miss them. Right? Okay. Thanks! Subtitles by the community

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