Schizophrenia, Dr Hayden Finch, Hallucinations discussed on A Bipolar, a Schizophrenic, and a Podcast
And women and specifically what? It's like to be a woman and getting treatment with schizophrenia. It's a great interview and we're going to go ahead and play that right now. Our guest today is Dr Hayden finch a psychologist from Iowa. Thank you so much for being with us today. I'm so happy to be here. Thank you for the opportunity. Our episode today. We're focusing on women who have schizophrenia specifically as a psychologist what issues have you seen? That women with schizophrenia tend to seek help. With what when interesting. We tend to have more emotional symptoms with their schizophrenia than men do so often. They're coming to treatment. Things like relieving anxiety and depression. See that more in women than in men but they also have a lot of trauma. They tend to be victimized quite a lot in their lives and do not often a focus of treatment and then lots of things related to family. Planning and RELATIONSHIPS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA. Across the board tend to be more social than men who have schizophrenia. Why do you think that is? Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into positive symptoms and negative symptoms and positive symptoms. Don't mean good. They just need that. Something is there. That shouldn't be there so for example hallucinations or delusions whereas negative symptoms are things that aren't there should be a lack of motivation or lack of facial expressions. The men tend to have more negative symptoms than women do do they have a lack of social drive and a lack of social interest whereas women don't have their symptoms as much but also women. Their onset of the illness tends to be a few years later than men and they have a bit more opportunity to develop their personality and their social skills and their twenty s and that will protect their social skills through the rest of their lives talking about the positive symptoms. You just brought up. Do Women tend to have a different type of hallucination than men experience necessarily we see the same types of hallucinations and delusions? Sometimes with women the content will be a little bit different than it will focus on their children a little bit more war safety a little bit more often. They're very similar in Tai Bow. Just the content can vary a little bit. What are the biggest challenges for woman with schizophrenia? Who is pregnant? The most obvious one has to do with medications. So a lot of women with or schizophrenia will stop taking most medications while they're pregnant. Just to err on the side of safety and so when it comes to a woman with schizophrenia who gets pregnant. A lot of them will discontinue their medications for the same concerns about potential effects on the fetus and sometimes those concerns are coming from the woman herself sometimes. We're families times even from her doctor but stopping medications during pregnancy for one schizophrenia increases the risk for relapse so think about sixty five percent of women with schizophrenia. Who Don't stay on their medication during pregnancy will relapse during your pregnancy. So then they have more problems with their mental health during pregnancy. So most women who don't have schizophrenia. Don't report major changes in their mental hall during pregnancy. But women with schizophrenia. Due in part again because of that medication being but then psychosis during pregnancy can affect seeking prenatal care not recognizing signs of labor. Were problems during the pregnancy. They might not even recognize that they're pregnant. Do there can be lots of negative consequences on the pregnancy and on the fetus when the coast develops so? I am a woman with schizophrenia. Let's say that I found out that I'm pregnant. What would you suggest being my next steps? It the situation where you need to talk to your doctor. Psychiatrist about what medications are safest during pregnancy? We do have some information about medications. Anti even that are relatively safe during pregnancy. But it's a balance between protecting yourself and your mental health and the secondary effect that has on the baby. It's a really difficult balance. It's an individual decision arm and it really depends on the particular woman her help her history her symptoms and all of but it's very difficult decision to make with respect to medications. What are the biggest challenges when it comes to being a mother with schizophrenia? All moms are overwhelmed right so you have that regular level of being overwhelmed with responsibilities but then on top of that you're trying to manage your own mental health so you're trying to get organized with postnatal checkups and Pediatrician Appointments Plus Your Own Medical Appointments and mental health appointments. They often don't have as much support as women without schizophrenia. So there aren't as many family members to lean on for emergency childcare on the have extra hands when they just need a break I also symptomatically can have more difficulty reading accused. The baby is giving them so they might misinterpret what the baby is needing or wanting and that can interfere with the relationship that they developed with the baby and a lot of women with schizophrenia. During that postpartum phase will have a pretty significant exacerbation in symptoms now. A lot of women are at risk for postpartum depression. But women with schizophrenia. Especially those women who weren't taking their medication during pregnancy are at especially high risk and that can increase the need for hospitalization. But a lot of women then won't seek hospitalization really truthfully because the majority of women with schizophrenia. Lose custody of their children in my research I found the so many of the women who have children. Who Have Schizophrenia? Also are single mothers and you very often lose custody due to either not being able to afford to provide for that child because the mother or self is having a hard time working and being able to provide or having to be hospitalized. What would you say like if you have someone come into you? Who's in that situation? The biggest thing I think is is asking for help before there's a problem so if you're noticing that your symptoms are making it hard for you to care for the baby if you're getting extremely overwhelmed with caring for a baby or even a child. It's important to ask for help before a problem comes up. Those are the women who have the greatest likelihood of being able to maintain custody versus waiting until there is a major problem. The child is neglected. Or even abused. Then it's very difficult to make an argument to maintain custody. It's a situation where we definitely want to prevent problems rather than try to correct problems and most women if they have a family and they're going through treatment like you're just trying to juggle everything and everybody who has kids and whatnot are just constantly trying to juggle their lives with schizophrenia added. What advice do you have for women? I didn't biggest thing we can all do. Really but especially women with schizophrenia. Or women who are involved in mental health system is to find out exactly what services are available in your area so you can call two one one which is a public line where they'll connect you with services in your area but you can be looking for things like housing for mothers and their children family services support groups for parents with mental illness. Respite care for when you really need a break. There are specialized clinical services for parents with mental illness. There in home services where a provider will come in your home and help you learn parenting skills or learn how to interpret with. The children are needing Even transportation services can be a big help for people who are trying to juggle it all so that's one thing is is making sure that you know what services are available and you take advantage up down but also to the extent? I think it's helpful to integrate. Your family entered the treatment so look providers who are willing to work with you and your child is there. A lot of opportunities were skill development there or invite your parents or your partner do therapy and work on communication there opportunities or integrating it so that you don't have quite so much to juggle and you can actually build skills to make it easier to juggle all of it. Something that surprised me seems to be someone should have said it to me. Long before now but with schizophrenia and women a lot of women don't tend to get schizophrenia. Until they hit menopause or they are not have it and it gets a whole lot. Worse Caminha Poss- time. I had no idea what advice do you have? I mean if I'm already hit that age range and I haven't had schizophrenia yet. That's a lot to suddenly hit. You what is your advice for seeking.