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Had schizophrenia. Now pregnant. Is there any complication?

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Dr. Srikanth Reddy

Psychiatrist

Practicing since :2007

Answered : 2770 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 28 Jan 2013 in Schizophrenia
Question: I just learned that my 6 to 7 week pregnant wife to be/fiance was supposedly diagnosed years ago in china with schizophrenia or a mild version of it. I understand now her mom is currently impacted by the disease. I also understand that she stopped taking her medication as she felt not having symptoms anymore. For the past 2 years she has been living without medication and seems to be quite fine. I also learned that her sister is apparently not impacted by this. As far as her brother is concerned I do not know.

1) how do I make sure my fiancé has schizophrenia or not?
2) can you have schizophrenia for November and then not have it on August sort of speak?
3) if she has schizophrenia for sure does it mean the baby will have it too?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 1 hour later
Hello,
Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting your query.
I can understand what you are going through and you have asked very objectively the things you want to know.
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness and cannot be diagnosed objectively with any blood test or radiological investigations as yet. The only way to diagnose the illness is to identify the symptoms of schizophrenia and getting getting a mental status examination done by a psychiatrist. The some symptoms should be lasting for at least 1 month to be diagnosed as schizophrenia. The best way to diagnose whether your fiancee has schizophrenia or not is to XXXXXXX a psychiatrist along with her family members and giving him a detailed account of her behaviour and also getting a mental state examination done. But even if it is a schizophrenia, there are very good therapies available.
Response of different people to treatment of schizophrenia is different. usually a person with first episode of psychosis is treated for 2 yrs and then 33% of them do not develop any symptoms and do not require any further treatment. Some respond to the second course (3 yrs) of anti psychotics and some not respond to anti psychotics at all. To predict who will respond or who will not is very preliminary and cannot be said anything for certain. usually if the symptoms respond to drugs, patients are doing well by the end of 4-6 weeks on treatment.
If she has schizophrenia the baby is at risk and there is a 15% higher chance of developing schizophrenia as compared to the general population. Even though the risk is significant, still there is a good chance that the baby will not have schizophrenia at all. Even if he/she develops schizophrenia, there are good treatments available and there is no need to panic.
Hope I am able to solve your query.
I will be happy to help you if you need any further clarifications.
In case you are satisfied by the answer, you can close the query and rate the answer and write a review if possible.
In future if you want a direct and detailed discussion about your problems, you can contact me on the following link:
WWW.WWWW.WW Wish you good health!

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Srikanth Reddy 1 hour later
Thanks a million for your great help!

What do you mean by 1st episode?
Are there other episodes and what would they be?

How do we know one person is 1st episode versa 2nd, versa 3rd or...?

Best.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 5 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for posting a follow-up query.
First episode is called a episode of psychosis which generally gets better with drugs and the patient remains a symptomatic as had occurred in the case of your girlfriend. She was symptom free for 2 years with out any drugs. Now if she is again having symptoms then it is a new episode and will be a second one provided the earlier episode was the first she ever had. No, there is no way you can identify the number of episodes, except for the reliable history.
Hope I have answered your query.If yes you can close the discussion and rate the answer and write a review if possible.
I will be more than happy to help you if you need any further clarifications.
In future if you want to discuss with me directly you can use the link:
WWW.WWWW.WW Wish you a good health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Srikanth Reddy 58 minutes later
How does this disease progress? What do we need to expect for my fiancé?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 56 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for posting a follow-up query.
As I have said before, the illness has a very variable course and differs from person to person. After you seek treatment and depending on how she responds, her course will depend. If she recovers fast, she may not have frequent recurrences. However if she doesn't recover fast, she may even stay almost as she is right now. It varies and until you start the treatment it will be difficult to predict. But you should always start the treatment with a positive hope.
Hope I have answered your query.If yes you can close the discussion and rate the answer and write a review if possible.
I will be more than happy to help you if you need any further clarifications.
In future if you want to discuss with me directly you can use the link:
WWW.WWWW.WW Wish you a good health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Srikanth Reddy 9 hours later
Thanks again for your great help!

Is there different stages to the disease?... Low, medium and severe!
If so what would be the behavior of the patient?
Depending on the level:
Can a person live normally?

Can they be of a threat to themselves or others?

What happens if a person is on her own while an episode occurred in an idolsted place like an apartment w/o anyone and any medication and any ability to seek help?

What about a baby safety if such an episode occurred?

How to set-up the environment to make sure a mom impacted by the disease is safe in any situation along with her baby or w/o a baby when her partner or husband is away for any reasons?

Should my wife be in regular contact with her doctor/specialist? Hiw does this work?

How can I help my wife to be to live in a very safe environment?

Best.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Srikanth Reddy 4 hours later
Hello,
Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting up a follow-up query.
I will like to clear you answers one by one:

Q: Is there different stages to the disease?... Low, medium and severe!
If so what would be the behavior of the patient?
Depending on the level:
Ans: Yes in lay terms you can say that there are stages of illness with severity increasing as years progress, but many times, when on drugs, schizophrenia shows exacerbation episodes lasting for 1-3 months. Rest of the time patient may doing completely fine or she may be having residual negative symptoms.
During exacerbation there may be symtoms of hearing of voices, fearfullness, suspiciousness, increased talk, sleep disturbance. And during rest of the period patient will have reduced communication and with drawn behaviour or complete normalcy. Its difficult to predict in which way a patient will go.

Q.Can a person live normally?
Ans: If the illness doesnt have many negative symtoms, then patient may live a normal life. However at times schizophrenia can have a relentless progress and in that case cannot live a normal life.
Q.Can they be of a threat to themselves or others?
Ans: During exacerbation, if the delusions are against you then she can be a danger to you. Otherwise not. She will be more of a danger to herself.

Q.What happens if a person is on her own while an episode occurred in an idolsted place like an apartment w/o anyone and any medication and any ability to seek help?
A: The episodes in schizophrenia are not short like 10-15 min as ocurs in seizures. they start gradually in 2-3 days, if at all they have to come, and also last for 2-3 weeks. You will start noticing the change in the behaviour gradually.

Q.What about a baby safety if such an episode occurred?
Ans: Generally, mothers dont harm their babies, but if there is a exacerbation, then they may have a poor judgement.

Q.How to set-up the environment to make sure a mom impacted by the disease is safe in any situation along with her baby or w/o a baby when her partner or husband is away for any reasons?
Ans: The best way is to involve the neighbours and family members in her care, so that they can notice a change.

Q:Should my wife be in regular contact with her doctor/specialist? Hiw does this work?
AnsYes she has to be in regular contact with a psychiatrist, say ones a month. If she takes medications regularly, then there is a very small chance of relapse. However if she stops the medications. The chances increase.

Q:How can I help my wife to be to live in a very safe environment?
You can keep a watch on her and mostly she will be fine on drugs.

Hope I have answered your query.If yes you can close the discussion and rate the answer and write a review if possible.
I will be more than happy to help you if you need any further clarifications.
In future if you want to discuss with me directly you can use the link:
WWW.WWWW.WW Wish you a good health!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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