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Schizophrenia in Women

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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

This episode. We are exploring schizophrenia. In women next episode. We're going to focus on the men but this whole episode is for the ladies often. We don't really consider gender dynamics in treatment or medication and this is a chronic across all health. Not just schizophrenia. A lot of medications etc are only tested on men because of risk they don't want to impact a potential pregnancy etc and on one hand. This sounds good. We're protecting pregnancy but on the other hand this means there's whole drugs that have made it to market. That may not have ever been tested with women so I think that it's exciting to consider how schizophrenia impacts the genders differently. Obviously we want to state unequivocally that if you meet two people with schizophrenia. You've met two people with schizophrenia. You know there tends to be this idea that all people with schizophrenia are exactly alike and and we hope that. This show has done a lot to dispel that misinformation. Just like if I meet two guys named gave that probably both different probably probably repeatedly you hear the difference between men and women with schizophrenia. The biggest thing is the age of onset. Women are said to develop it later than men on average. They say four to six years later than a man would be diagnosed. Let's go be diagnosed with schizophrenia. And that's one of the things I've noticed repeatedly in research across the years is that women get schizophrenia. In life later sometimes you know late twenties. They'll even say it's interesting because as you said it's diagnosed with we know from research. That people are born with schizophrenia. So the question becomes and we don't know the answer to this because research is ongoing. Do Men and women become symptomatic at the same time but men get the diagnosis faster or do women. It not develop the symptoms of schizophrenia. Until later and it's difficult to discover that and some of it is social engineering. If a woman is behaving erratically. Well of course she's a woman and this is the kind of thinking that we have to prevent and get over to make sure that everybody gets the best care but it's on one hand. It's interesting to think about when we're diagnosing people and how we're diagnosing people but on the other hand it's kind of sad if men and women are showing symptoms at the exact same age but it takes women extra four to six years to be diagnosed. That's also scary. Yes and they do say however that it's less detectable in women which I could totally see because I grew up having hallucinations but I didn't even realize myself that was weird until my late teens than I thought. I stopped talking about it so I didn't get a diagnosis either till my twenties so I could easily see you know yeah. Women tend to be more social. They tend to be more active than men. Who Have Schizophrenia? So yeah could probably fly under the radar much longer. It's interesting how you put that Rachel. You said that as soon as you notice that you were having these hallucinations and issues you hit them remained social. You remained engaged talking to the people around you whereas men when they notice them. They tend to retreat. It's that retreating that I think makes people realize that. Perhaps something is wrong you know. Why is this person? Stay in their room. Why does this person not have a job? Why is this person talking to themselves whereas because you remained social people? Don't say well. Hey we like it when Rachel comes over Rachel is Funny Rachel is Nice. She must be hearing voices in her head and experiencing psychosis elucidations. And and all of the other symptoms of schizophrenia. I can see how it could mask it especially to our friends and family who are not trained psychologists or psychiatrists and the flip side of. That coin. Is Families that schizophrenia tends to run in. There actually is no difference in the onset of age between men and women so like brothers sisters. And that's because yeah if grandma had it if mom has it you know so so cousin has you tend to be looking for those symptoms and recognize them earlier. Whether it's a boy or girl growing up Houston to notice that. They have acknowledged that if the family and friends are aware that there could be a potential problem on the horizon. They are noticing it much much sooner. There's also a study out. India that is found no difference in the average age of onset between men and women and I think that really does speak to the social dynamics between cultures because if people in India are all having the onset of schizophrenia at the same time it it would really be unusual to think that there's some sort of genetic difference between Americans and Indians. It's it's sort of speaks to this being a social construct and again research is ongoing. We're not one hundred percent. Sure of any of these things. In a lot of countries having a mental disorder is looked down upon even more so than I would say the Western world. They don't have statistics on those kinds of things because unfortunately it will go. No one is diagnosed until much later in life where they can't function at all so it is interesting. We look like how people grow up. What's expected of men and women? I do think women could fly under the radar longer. Sometimes just because you're not like well a guy at eighteen. He needs to get out. He needs to get a job he needs to at. Yeah I feel like my family. They're going to be a little softer on the girl in the Family. And the boy so. I can't easily see like that flying under the radar to your point Rachel when we talk about the social differences between men and women Which there's a lot I really think of. People who have battled schizophrenia for a long time and when I work with those people they say hey look i. I haven't had a job in five years and all of the men very much want to know what to do about their resume. They've got a five year GAP OF FIVE YEAR GAP. A five year gap and many of the women are like well five year. Gap is no problem. I was raising kids. I was a caretaker for family. It just nobody is questioning their five year gap whereas people are questioning a male's five year gap and all of this is just a tie in in some cases the differences between the treatments and the symptoms of schizophrenia. Have Considerably More to do with our society than it does with the actual disease now all that said there are disease processes and symptoms processes that work differently in women versus men as we get into the symptoms. Saying this you know like well Rachel. I'm a woman and I don't experience that that way or I'm a man and I totally have not just like across the board which tend to flare up in different genders women actually like we said are more social so different things like the flat effect. Pretty much where you don't experience emotion. You have a very dull. Expression is not seen as often in women. Women tend to even have more emotions and I know that's like Oh of course. Women are motion but with schizophrenia. A lot of times people have a blunted emotional response so they don't really react the same way quote Unquote Normal. People do but women we come off still acting more emotional to those around us inside. We might not aware able to kind of fake it much better. Our speech isn't reduced and I found this interesting. Gabe women with schizophrenia are actually more physically active than men across the board and also under that they can be more hostile. You know past episodes where he's talked about violence and schizophrenia. If you were to picture a violent schizophrenic I don't think anyone pictures of woman