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How can a veteran’s family recognize early signs of schizophrenia?

The signs of the onset of schizophrenia are frequently missed by the family or loved ones of a veteran with the disorder. The disorder develops gradually, and the symptoms are less severe or noticeable at first, so they may be ignored or assumed to be reactions to normal stress. If you notice changes in eating or sleep patterns, lack of energy or interest in life, confused thinking, headaches, weakness, and changes in the way your veteran takes care of themselves (neglect of bathing or grooming), these are all potential precursors to full-onset schizophrenia. In most cases, the schizophrenic veteran has been experiencing strange feelings and thoughts, anxiety, and even hallucinations, months before anyone notices a change in their behavior. When the feelings and thoughts become frightening or overwhelming to them, they may have a breakdown, which is often the first indication to others that something is seriously wrong.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.