What Is Schizophrenia & What Are Its Symptoms?

Are you pregnant and feeling a little forgetful of late? Are you feeling confused and delusional during your pregnancy and are worried? Well, if you can relate to the above situations reading this post is a good idea.

If you are hallucinating ever since you became pregnant, do not dismiss this as ‘pregnancy brain’. Do you know what you are experiencing could also be a sign of schizophrenia? Do not panic! Simply read on to know more about schizophrenia and pregnancy .

What Is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder. It can mainly affect the way you act, react, look at the world around you and think. Those who are suffering from schizophrenia have a different perception of things and reality. It can often lead to a distinct loss of connection with real situations. [1]

What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia?

There are no specific tests that can diagnose schizophrenia completely. However, the condition does have the following symptoms:

  • Feeling delusional.
  • Not being able to react emotionally to various conditions and situations.
    • Not being able to concentrate.
  • Hear voices in the head.
  • See imaginary people around.
  • Wariness of people, especially strangers, as well as different environments.
  • Worrying that someone is trying to harm you.
  • Can jump between subjects without any obvious reason or logic.

How Can Schizophrenia Affect Your Pregnancy?

If you have schizophrenia during pregnancy, it increases the risk for both you and your unborn baby. According to an article in Clinical Psychiatry News, women who suffer from schizophrenia are at a higher risk of experiencing unwanted pregnancies and poor prenatal care than others who do not suffer from the disorder. Women who suffer from schizophrenia while expecting are likely to face trouble in their personal relationships too [2].

Complications Due To Schizophrenia During Pregnancy:

Women who suffer from schizophrenia while pregnant are likely to suffer twice as much complication in comparison to those who don’t. Here are some of the common problems pregnant women suffering from schizophrenia face [3]:

  • Not able to identify pregnancy on time.
  • Not able to identify signs of labor.
  • Placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta separates from the uterus.
  • Septic shock. [4]
  • Induced labor and cesarean delivery.

In most cases, women who have schizophrenia are likely to suffer from diabetes, blood clots, and high blood pressure before they become pregnant. Such health complications can considerably affect their pregnancy.

Can Medication Help Pregnant Women Suffering From Schizophrenia?

Here are a few ways in which medication can help treat schizophrenia during pregnancy:

  • Medication can help prevent the patient from refusing prenatal care. It will help improve and monitor the health of both the mother and baby[5].
  • Medication can cure the patient’s loss of appetite. It will help both the mother and the unborn baby receive adequate nutrition.
  • Medication will also help prevent the patient from taking alcohol, tobacco or other substances that may harm the baby.

You can safely use most of the antipsychotic medications during your pregnancy to treat schizophrenia [6]. However, do consult your doctor before you take any medication for schizophrenia when pregnant.

Schizophrenia may begin as a slow symptom but can take on life-threatening proportions, especially during pregnancy. It is extremely important to get timely medical care to prevent any untoward incident. If you feel you have any of the above symptoms, do trust your partner or your doctor and speak about it. Pregnancy and schizophrenia are a hazardous mix.

If you know someone who has undergone treatment for schizophrenia during pregnancy, please tell us more about the treatment.

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