Schizophrenia and Autism: Similarities and Differences

JohnnyHG writes: There is evidence schizophrenia is developmental like Autism. I would exclude the cases of diagnosis of someone with a history of drug use or brief psychotic hallucinations from environment. The fuck up just gets delayed – it’s latent, which is why it happens in one’s teens/early 20s rather than toddlerhood. But there are signs lasting years leading up to it if I am correct, prodromal? It doesn’t happen overnight.

Experts have watched videos of children who later went on to develop the condition and could pick them out after a while. Often poorer school grades, abnormal movements, and irritable behavior could be found. Plus the negative and cognitive symptoms overlap heavily with Asperger’s/ASD or just Autism Disorder. I believe they bundled it all up because there is too much heterogeneity, hence the distinction between AS and Autism was a bit artificial.

Some things seem to be opposites: clumsiness in autism vs. stupor/stiffness in SCZ, repetitive literal speech or no speech in autism vs alogia or garbled speech in SCZ, obsessiveness with one topic in autism vs apathy in SCZ, but stereotypies are shared and so are bizarre habits. However, there is a different flavor to them, hard to describe.

Do you believe it is neurodevelopmental or stick with the old belief it’s degenerative?

Thanks for the excellent comment. I share your views. I have long believed that schizophrenia is developmental. Really they are born with it or born with the tendency. With enough stress or genetic loading, they get schizophrenia, and if they have little stress or low genetic loading, they either get schizotypal personality disorder (really just mild schizophrenia) or they may get schizophrenia with a later onset.

There really are two things they are seeing in the early symptoms.

The first are the early symptoms – clumsiness, oddness, poor grades, irritability, etc. Those are childhood symptoms.

Then there is the prodrome which hits in adolescence at some point. This causes a slow deterioration over a few years’ period leading to the classic onset from 16-24. I was best friends with a man with paranoid schizophrenia for a year. I hung out with him every day that year. It was a most interesting experience!

At the time, he was 27 years old and he was in the prodromal phase of paranoid schizophrenia. It had been going on maybe since age ~22, so five years. A long slow prodrome is common in paranoid schizophrenia. He was hearing voices the whole time, but his charming personality was quite intact. He was half-Black, very good-looking, and very charming, and he attracted White women everywhere we went together. He later got slowly worse and worse, and after a while, he was not even talking much. I haven’t heard much about him since, as my relatives are telling me to avoid him.

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Filed under Asperger's Syndrome, Autism, Mental Illness, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Psychotic Disorders, Schizophrenia, Schizotypal

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