Can Stress Cause A Schizophrenia Attack Or Episode?

Question

Asked by bluebunny

Can Stress Cause A Schizophrenia Attack Or Episode?

If someone is under more then normal stress can this cause them to go into a schizoprenia episode? but when not under stress and after the situation causeing stress the episode and systomps of schizoprenia go away.

When put understress i shut down and show symtoms of this including thinking of killing myself how can it be detrimed if it's a stress problem and depression vs. schizoprenia as both are in my family.

Answer

Hello bluebunny,

With the history of SZ and depression in your family, you need to consider carefully what's going on in your own life. How often do you cycle in and out of stress-provoked schizophrenic episodes? How quickly do you bounce back into a well state after each episode? Are you able to function to the degree that you would like? Are the schizophrenic episodes disabling? I don't see how any schizophrenic episode could be a good thing, and if I had the choice, I'd rather not have a schizophrenic episode at all, then to keep riding them out when they come and go.

There is a diagnosis, "Brief Reactive Psychosis" that psychitrists give a patient who has undergone extreme stress, and I agree with everything Jerry, the other expert, wrote. He said that even mild stress could provoke a schizophrenic episode in someone who has a tendency towards SZ.

You have to be honest with yourself about the level and intensity and frequency of the stressors that set off your schizophrenic episodes. One major life stressor could cause a brief reactive psychosis; everyday irritants that cause a similar reaction are another story. Be honest with yourself: do you want to keep having psychotic episodes when medication could possibly stop them, or at least alleviate their severity and frequency?

The point is, stress can cause schizophrenia. From what you've said, you haven't been able to control, stop or halt your stress. You seem to be suggesting that if the stress is out of your life, the schizophrenia will be gone too. Again, you need to be honest about your history of having symptoms.

I know others [and I myself had stress-induced schizophrenia] who decided to stop their medication once they got better, and this resulted in the SZ coming back in full force. It's like playing Russian Roulette: you don't know when the last episode will occur that will send you permanently over the edge, and that could happen if you just keep letting stress "pull the trigger."

If I had the choice between having symptoms or having an episode every so often, and being on the medication and not having symptoms or being able to control the symptoms so that I didn't have a psychotic episode, the choice is clear to me.

My break with reality was sudden, total and irreversible. Even though the stress was out of my life, when I stopped taking the meds, I relapsed.

I believe you owe it to yourself to consider taking some kind of SZ medication. Having a schizophrenic reaction every time you're under stress is not healthy, and you deserve peace of mind.

Respectfully,

Christina