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Old 7th May 2012, 10:19 AM   #1
MNBrant
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What does science think schizophrenia is?

What does science currently believe schizophrenia is? I heard that one theory was that it was random impuses, and this might be true in some cases, but, I remember being so schizophrenic that I couldnt read the street signs and after a time hearing voices that were telling me what the signs were. They also said remember when we used to help you? And in fact, for quite awhile, I was using voices to agument intelligence, to provide answers to facts I didn't have, and quips, I didn't think of myself. What do you believe it is?
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:51 AM   #2
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you've asked two questions there, not only what is it, but what causes it
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Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by poor emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction
as for what causes it, currently scientific thought has it as a result of genetic and environmental factors combined.

I think its a nightmare
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Nope I didnt say anything about what causes it, just what you think it is. As far as it being a nightmare, you might be right about that. But the voices that day did guide me home safely so it cant be all bad.
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
Nope I didnt say anything about what causes it, just what you think it is. As far as it being a nightmare, you might be right about that. But the voices that day did guide me home safely so it cant be all bad.
ya, but as those voices don't exist and are products of your imagination it was in fact you who guided yourself home safely. Thats how the rest of us do it too
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:11 AM   #5
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Yes, Marduk, I think he realises this. You're not helping.

Rolfe.
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Old 7th May 2012, 11:17 AM   #6
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I couldnt read the signs and wasnt compentent enough to look at them so it had to be some sort of esp. I suppose it also could have been some sort of internal map I was using but going by internal map is pretty inaccurate for me. I was wandering for some time before the internals took over.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
What does science currently believe schizophrenia is? I heard that one theory was that it was random impuses, and this might be true in some cases, but, I remember being so schizophrenic that I couldnt read the street signs and after a time hearing voices that were telling me what the signs were. They also said remember when we used to help you? And in fact, for quite awhile, I was using voices to agument intelligence, to provide answers to facts I didn't have, and quips, I didn't think of myself. What do you believe it is?
I believe it is a complex of different dysfunctions involving similar systems, there are at least five wide categories of schizophrenia and everyone seems to have subtle variations.

There are great difference between the people who mainly hear voices and those who mainly have delusions, some have more disorganization. There are also , and more confusing, different expressions of the negative symptoms.

I knew some people who said they were like loud thoughts, and other people who said they were like people talking to them, or jesus or some specific person.

It may well be that your voices were different and experssed an intelligent part of your self.

The other issue is that in the early stages of schizophrenia there is usually an apparent mood feature of something like mania, that usually goes away later. So it can be confusing especially for people who have psychosis with bipolar disorder. So often the differential diagnosis with bipolar and schizoaffective disorder takes a long time.

Substance abuse does not help.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I couldnt read the signs and wasnt compentent enough to look at them so it had to be some sort of esp. I suppose it also could have been some sort of internal map I was using but going by internal map is pretty inaccurate for me. I was wandering for some time before the internals took over.
Or it could have been a delay in the verbal part of your brain that was shunted into an auditory hallucination. It would have taken testing of teh features at the time to reach any conclusions.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Marduk View Post
ya, but as those voices don't exist and are products of your imagination it was in fact you who guided yourself home safely. Thats how the rest of us do it too
They are not products of the imagination if they are hallucinations, they are invalid perceptions. They appear perfectly real to the person having them, they are spurious or invalid, but quite real. They are just not associated with external senstaions, so they are sometimes labelled internal stimuli.
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Old 7th May 2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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Yes, Marduk, I think he realises this. You're not helping.
Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I couldnt read the signs and wasnt compentent enough to look at them so it had to be some sort of esp.
Rolfe, I think you're incorrect.

MNBrant, part of your question seems to be how the voices you heard could possess information you did not if they were internal to you. I don't know much about the mechanics of schizophrenia, but I think other experiments shed some light on how strangely information gets moved around in the brain.

In split brain tests, the corpus collosum was severed, diconnecting some of the information exchange between brain hemispheres. Patients experienced a disconnect between vision of either eye, between speaking and writing and drawing.

Quote:
A patient with a split brain, when shown an image in his or her left visual field (the left half of what both eyes take in, see optic tract), will be unable to vocally name what he or she has seen. This is because the speech-control center is in the left side of the brain in most people, and the image from the left visual field is sent only to the right side of the brain (those with the speech control center in the right side will experience similar symptoms when an image is presented in the right visual field). Since communication between the two sides of the brain is inhibited, the patient cannot name what the right side of the brain is seeing. The person can, however, pick up and show recognition of an object (one within the left overall visual field) with their left hand, since that hand is controlled by the right side of the brain.

It is entirely possible that while you did not experience vision as you are used to it, your eyes perceived the information and conveyed it to you through the language parts of the brain rather than the visual parts, which seem to be *somewhat* specialized by hemisphere. People take in information constantly without being aware of it on the surface.
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Old 7th May 2012, 01:28 PM   #11
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I think one of the easiest ways to describe schizophrenia is that there are no filters for all the stimulus coming into the brain, so it sort of over loads the brain and it operates in a different manner than what we consider 'normal'.

My sister has schizoid affective disorder, she is what most psychiatrists refer to as a 'high functioning person with schizophrenia'.

It has been awhile since I did any reading on schizophrenia, and I often start with the NHS website, and the latest thing that struck me was that there is a risk factor with pre-eclampsia.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Schizop...es/Causes.aspx
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:07 PM   #12
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Hm, I am high functioning in the extreme. I have no negative symptoms of my schizophrenia usually. Doing tests they say that I do better than the PHD student control when they say anything at all. I was walking out of hell at the time so as you can imagine that is a hard thing to do. The voices did help but I really didn't converse with them. I suppose it could be some sort of internal map such as what blind people use to find their way around. This has to be developed though.
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Old 7th May 2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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The NAMI class I just took taught us that schizophrenia is a physical brain malfunction caused by the nerve cells not forming fast enough in the skull before birth. They have more nerves bundled at the base of the brain than other people.

When thinking about visual input, the frontal lobe of the brains of most people are active. With schizophrenia, the brain misfires and the part of the brain that processes images is inactive and other places of the brain not designed for this, tries to compensate.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bill Thompson View Post
The NAMI class I just took taught us that schizophrenia is a physical brain malfunction caused by the nerve cells not forming fast enough in the skull before birth. They have more nerves bundled at the base of the brain than other people.

When thinking about visual input, the frontal lobe of the brains of most people are active. With schizophrenia, the brain misfires and the part of the brain that processes images is inactive and other places of the brain not designed for this, tries to compensate.
I dont think that schizophrenia can be detected yet by a MRI. This sounds like a theory more or less. I think that some people get more or less valuable information from their voices at times. Its more than just misfiring.

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Old 7th May 2012, 03:11 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I dont think that schizophrenia can be detected yet by a MRI. This sounds like a theory more or less. I think that some people get more or less valuable information from their voices at times. Its more than just misfiring.
I took a class.

This is what I remember.

My gut feeling is that this is light years ahead of the all the supposition posted here.

Plus, I have notes. I will quote them later.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:13 PM   #16
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sure post them.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bill Thompson View Post
The NAMI class I just took taught us that schizophrenia is a physical brain malfunction caused by the nerve cells not forming fast enough in the skull before birth. They have more nerves bundled at the base of the brain than other people.

When thinking about visual input, the frontal lobe of the brains of most people are active. With schizophrenia, the brain misfires and the part of the brain that processes images is inactive and other places of the brain not designed for this, tries to compensate.
That is interesting about the nerve cells not forming fast enough before birth. Hadn't heard that yet. Have read quite a bit about the brain findings on MRI, and found it interesting that when a SZ hears an auditory hallucination it registers in the same part of the brain where actual hearing of external sound registers.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:22 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I dont think that schizophrenia can be detected yet by a MRI. This sounds like a theory more or less. I think that some people get more or less valuable information from their voices at times. Its more than just misfiring.
Yes, there are quite a few studies done where MRI has been able to demonstrate physiological changes in schizoprenic brains.

It may help to keep in mind that some people get more or less valuable creative information from lucid dream characters also, but it is still a brain phenomenon. Many times I have awakened from these dreams feeling like I've just been given some insight or advice that I couldn't possibly have thought of on my own. At other times I have awakened thinking I'd been given amazing advice only to write it down and find out it's mostly gibberish.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:22 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I dont think that schizophrenia can be detected yet by a MRI. This sounds like a theory more or less. I think that some people get more or less valuable information from their voices at times. Its more than just misfiring.
I am not sure about the way BT put it but there are things about the dopamine pathways, that may represent differentials in development, which are possible vulnerabilities to schizophrenia. It is not so much that the brain does growth fast or slow but that the path the neuron follows as it grows varies.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:26 PM   #20
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The folks at NIMPH said that they couldn't yet detect schizophrenia with a MRI. There might be severely damaged folks where this deterioration is true though.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:29 PM   #21
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MNBrant, this reminds me of The Quiet Room, written by a woman with schizophrenia, who shared a story about how, during a very disorganized part of her illness, she had tried to go to nursing school. She experienced loud and constant voices and was in a state where she couldn't follow the classes well. She said the voices assured her that they had access to all of the information she needed to pass the tests. Like you, she suspected the voices might be supernatural or have ESP abilities. She trusted them completely and took a test in which the voices gave her the answers. And she failed.

It sounds like you no longer have the voices, which is good, but unfortunately you also can't test them out like this.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:40 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
The folks at NIMPH said that they couldn't yet detect schizophrenia with a MRI. There might be severely damaged folks where this deterioration is true though.
Yes, this is true. What they have found are certain changes that seem common in the brains of people with SZ, but as far as I know they are not diagnostic.

Here is a summary of some of the findings:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2812015/
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
MNBrant, this reminds me of The Quiet Room, written by a woman with schizophrenia, who shared a story about how, during a very disorganized part of her illness, she had tried to go to nursing school. She experienced loud and constant voices and was in a state where she couldn't follow the classes well. She said the voices assured her that they had access to all of the information she needed to pass the tests. Like you, she suspected the voices might be supernatural or have ESP abilities. She trusted them completely and took a test in which the voices gave her the answers. And she failed.

It sounds like you no longer have the voices, which is good, but unfortunately you also can't test them out like this.
Well no the voices would say something like you passed your street, your on Irving, go straight etc. Other times they would say stuff of a religious or political nature that I would see discussed some months or years later. I do not rely on voices to help me get through the day. Usually I avoid them.
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Old 7th May 2012, 03:54 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
Well no the voices would say something like you passed your street, your on Irving, go straight etc.
So MNBryant, what do you think they are? I didn't get this impression from your opening post, but your later posts seem like you think they're not coming from inside your own head. Is that what you're thinking? That they're coming from someone, not you, who guides you?

The human brain is a complex thing. What we've learned is that different areas of the brain are constantly working in parallel, even coming up with conflicting ideas, and some central organizing function in your brain takes all these inputs and comes up with ideas.

We don't know a lot about schizophrenia, but we DO know that these perceived voices are just your own mind, and for some reason the part of your mind that feels like "you" is perceiving the inputs as coming from an external source. But that source is part of your own brain, it's just that yours, for whatever reason, perceives them differently than the rest of us.

To say really what is going on, would require that we know a whole lot more about how your brain works than we currently do. Something's going wrong inside the brains of schizophrenics, but we just don't know enough about normal-personality brains to identify exactly what.

Whatever it is, though, its only possible source is inside your own head. Congratulations on being a high-functioning schizophrenic. That disorder is devastating to most people that have it.
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:01 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by CurtC View Post
So MNBryant, what do you think they are? I didn't get this impression from your opening post, but your later posts seem like you think they're not coming from inside your own head. Is that what you're thinking? That they're coming from someone, not you, who guides you?

The human brain is a complex thing. What we've learned is that different areas of the brain are constantly working in parallel, even coming up with conflicting ideas, and some central organizing function in your brain takes all these inputs and comes up with ideas.

We don't know a lot about schizophrenia, but we DO know that these perceived voices are just your own mind, and for some reason the part of your mind that feels like "you" is perceiving the inputs as coming from an external source. But that source is part of your own brain, it's just that yours, for whatever reason, perceives them differently than the rest of us.

To say really what is going on, would require that we know a whole lot more about how your brain works than we currently do. Something's going wrong inside the brains of schizophrenics, but we just don't know enough about normal-personality brains to identify exactly what.

Whatever it is, though, its only possible source is inside your own hea d. Congratulations on being a high-functioning schizophrenic. That disorder is devastating to most people that have it.
I have my theories, it could be fallen angels, angels, dieties, priests of various cults, symbiotes, psion cells, esp, etc. you know it might be a coincidence but when I was in the hospital my sister showed up in a ghetto type tee shirt with a black angel on it. Now she is dieing of liver disease. I am reading the gurps psychotronic gamebook it discusses animal and human brains in boxes. I have had hallucinations in the past where they were preparing to do just that.
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:20 PM   #26
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It sounds like you DO currently experience the voices. If they are external to you, they should know things you don't know. I don't mean street names (those are things your brain was probably able to perceive, as Cavemonster described above). Have them guess a friend's middle name, or get somebody to open a magazine to any page and have the voices identify what they are looking at. Test them and see.

Do you always have the voices like this, or are they coming back just recently?
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:24 PM   #27
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If I hear voices or have disordered thoughts I up my meds. I don't need voices to do my job and they are too hard to control.
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Old 7th May 2012, 04:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
I have my theories, it could be fallen angels, angels, dieties, priests of various cults, symbiotes, psion cells, esp, etc.
It sounds like you think it is just about anything but coming from your own brain. Can you explain more about why?
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Old 7th May 2012, 05:17 PM   #29
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Hmm, Could be anything. I tend to be secretive about what I see and hear. I dont know if thats helpful or not. Some voices say yes some voices say no. Heh.
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Old 7th May 2012, 05:52 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
The folks at NIMPH said that they couldn't yet detect schizophrenia with a MRI. There might be severely damaged folks where this deterioration is true though.
My understanding that in the degenerative form of schizophrenia there are noticeable changes. And there are some changes in locus during fMNRI
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:01 PM   #31
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Can you interact with the voices or is it all one way, like listening to the radio?
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:12 PM   #32
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Articles from just the first page
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?t...%20development

Dendritic Spine Pathology in Schizophrenia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22546337

Comparing the neural bases of self-referential processing in typically developing and 22q11.2 adolescents.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22483077

BACE1 Dependent Neuregulin Processing: Review.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22455478

Sex, glia, and development: Interactions in health and disease.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22387107

Interplay between DISC1 and GABA signaling regulates neurogenesis in mice and risk for schizophrenia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22385968

The importance of the NRG-1/ErbB4 pathway for synaptic plasticity and behaviors associated with psychiatric disorders.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22378872

This stuff gets deep real fast and always points to the multifaceted nature of teh brain, never a single factor
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:14 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Can you interact with the voices or is it all one way, like listening to the radio?
As a case manager we always encouraged our clients to not interact , but some do. It really depends how florid their symptoms are.

Muttering and eye darting/staring, extremely slow response to questions, things to watch for in an assessment. One individual I met took 90 seconds to respond to questions.
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Old 7th May 2012, 06:28 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Can you interact with the voices or is it all one way, like listening to the radio?
If you're interested in schizophrenia and the experience of voices, this is one person's account that it is very interesting:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.p...ghlight=case46
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:14 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by MNBrant View Post
If I hear voices or have disordered thoughts I up my meds. I don't need voices to do my job and they are too hard to control.
I am sorry for what you have to go through, but it's great that you're high-functioning.

Mind if I ask what medications you are taking? I've been reading a lot about schizophrenia and mental illness recently. I don't have schizophrenia, and I probably don't have any serious mental illness; however, I've always been a very quiet, socially withdrawn, morose kind of person who is almost incapable of making friends. I am very socially inept, and find socializing in groups impossible. For some reason I find it easier to communicate through typing than talking.

I also have various obsessions. My parents were very worried about me for a long time. They nearly took me to a psychiatrist, but they changed their mind. Plus, compared to my "disturbed" brother I was the "normal" one, so they always thought I would snap out of it unlike my brother who had to go to special schools and needed frequent psychotherapy.

Although I haven't been formally diagnosed(since I avoid doctors), I have just about all the traits of a high-functioning autistic. Anyway, one of the reasons I have been reading a lot about schizophrenia recently is because it appears to be linked with autism.

Schizophrenia, Autism Linked to Several of the Same Genes

It appears they may be caused in part by the same genes. However, the brain abnormalities, as revealed by MRIs and other methods are quite different in schizophrenia and autism. This doesn't stop me from exploring the similarities between autism and schizophrenia, although I fortunately have none of the symptoms of schizophrenia.

It is of course possible to be both schizophrenic and autistic. In fact, it appears that if you have one, you're more likely to have the other. Science unfortunately doesn't understand enough about either condition. Best of luck to you.
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:35 PM   #36
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The voice in my head says that this thread is a woo scam. I'm not saying that. The voice in my head is saying that. I'm just letting you know.

In my experience, the voice in my head is smarter than me. I'm not saying that this thread is a woo scam trap. I'm just telling you what I heard.
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Old 7th May 2012, 07:36 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
If you're interested in schizophrenia and the experience of voices, this is one person's account that it is very interesting:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.p...ghlight=case46
Very interesting. What struck me was how the voices differ from what I might hear, for example, on the subway from strangers. They may be distracting, as someone shouting at you might be, but the key feature is that they seem to have access to emotions that outside voices do not.

So, for example, they are often described as "disturbing" or "causing fear" or come with some other emotional tag that isn't based solely on the content of the speech. It is the difference between someone yelling "Fire!" at me and me realizing there is a fire. That's fascinating, that part.
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Old 8th May 2012, 05:56 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The voice in my head says that this thread is a woo scam. I'm not saying that. The voice in my head is saying that. I'm just letting you know.

In my experience, the voice in my head is smarter than me. I'm not saying that this thread is a woo scam trap. I'm just telling you what I heard.

MNBrant has posted in other threads, and this thread is in line with his previous posts. I am not in any serious doubt that he is genuinely schizophrenic, on treatment, and trying to understand what goes on in his brain.

Rolfe.
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Old 8th May 2012, 06:38 AM   #39
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There's more evidence appearing day by day that what you think as your thoughts are not really generated consciously -- that they're generated unconsciously and then passed through your consciousness for review, just like any other sensation.

Given that, I could easily see this mechanism getting amped up on steroids, so to speak, so it seemed like someone else was shoving these ideas into your consciousness. You didn't "think" them, so why are they there? Someone else thought them, obviously.
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Old 8th May 2012, 07:00 AM   #40
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I can. I used to be not able to but now I can. Sometimes we can be sitting next to one another and have a chat. I get messages in chat forums, in person, in the media, and in my head. In an earlier post I, I posted that my sister was seen wearing an image of a black angel on her tee shirt and sometime later was disagnosed with advanced liver disease and is dying. Soon thereafter someone said in a chat room I was in that she will have wings. When I asked the person directly why he said that, he said I feel a little confused. I take 2, 4 mg doses of pherphenizine with 2, .5 mg doses of klonopin. I have another 8 mgs pherphenizine prn and a 10mg olanzapine prn that I can take if I hear voices. I manage my own meds, telling my doctor what I want to take and at what dose.
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