Here are some of the warning signs that can indicate that a person is heading toward an episode of schizophrenia. He started to withdraw socially and preferred a life of isolation. He exhibited irrational behavior and his decisions were bizarre. He developed beliefs that he had not held previously and came out with the oddest statements that simply did not make sense to anyone. He questioned our intentions and motivations. His inappropriate laughter was hurtful to us as well as to others. His sleeping habits changed drastically and he listened to loud music till the early hours of the morning, then slept till noon or even later. He had always been one to take care of his appearance but started dressing sloppily, neglecting basic hygiene. He often appeared in inappropriate clothing, as though the weather was not connected to what he chose to wear.
What did we do? Well, what could we do? We consulted a psychologist and after a few visits he referred us to a psychiatrist who asked questions by way of assessment and stressed the importance of early intervention. He insisted that early treatment was meant to delay the onset of the illness decrease its subsequent severity, without giving a diagnosis. No name was mentioned, making it difficult for us to understand why he prescribed pills. Please remember that mental illness is invisible most of the time. But, as we did not know very much about mental illness, we were in the dark. Today, there is a ton of information on the internet so even if one is as ignorant as we were, the early signs will be easier to recognize.