If you or a loved one have schizophrenia or are experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, you may be frightened and confused. Here’s what you need to know about schizophrenia disorder and how to get help managing schizophrenia in your or your loved one’s daily life. For addiction and schizophrenia treatment, contact Bayview Recovery today at 855.478.3650.
What Is Schizophrenia Disorder?
Schizophrenia disorder is one of the most stigmatized and poorly understood mental health disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The American Psychiatric Association defines schizophrenia as a chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population. Episodes in which the person is unable to distinguish between real and unreal experiences characterize this condition.
There are three stages or phases of schizophrenia: the prodromal or beginning stage, the active stage, and the recovery or remission stage. Typically, a patient will cycle through these three stages in consecutive order multiple times throughout their lives.
What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
Symptoms of a schizophrenic disorder typically begin in early adulthood, between the ages of 16 and 30. During the prodromal phase of the condition, symptoms may be mild, which means you can ignore them. As the condition enters into the acute or active phase, symptoms are often unignorable.
Symptoms of schizophrenia include but aren’t limited to:
- Hallucinations: Patients with schizophrenia often hear, see, smell, feel, or even taste things that aren’t real. This is one of the most widely known and accepted symptoms of a schizophrenic disorder.
- Delusional thinking: Patients may become paranoid and think someone is following or watching them. Additionally, they may feel like someone is watching them or have delusions of grandeur where they believe they are god-like or have special powers.
- Confusion: Schizophrenic patients may be very confused about what is and isn’t real and may have great difficulty telling the difference between real and imaginary people, places, and things.
- Disorganized speech: Patients may not be able to form words or sentences that make sense; their thoughts may come out as jumbled speech.
- Problems with movement: A schizophrenic patient may jerk their muscles or have abrupt movements, or they may have periods where they are catatonic and don’t move at all for extended periods.
How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?
A licensed clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is the only one who can diagnose you or your loved one as a person with schizophrenia.
How Is Schizophrenia Disorder Treated?
Schizophrenic patients are often treated with a combination of:
- Medications: Prescription antipsychotic drugs can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms of hallucinations and delusions.
- Therapy: Counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other types of psychotherapy can help patients rationalize with themselves during episodes of psychosis.
- Hospitalization: In cases where a patient is unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality to a point where they become a danger to themselves or others, they may need hospitalization. During this time, patients receive treatments and support to help bring the patient to the recovery stage of schizophrenia.
What Is the Prognosis for a Schizophrenic Disorder?
Usually, patients who have schizophrenia will need to take medications and attend therapy for the rest of their lives. They can easily slip into the active phase of their condition from remission without warning if they stop taking or miss medication doses. That said, patients that are compliant with treatment and have a sound support system in place that can help them obtain medical assistance during a relapse generally have a good prognosis. Many patients with a schizophrenia disorder have jobs, children, hobbies, and otherwise lead fulfilling lives outside of their condition.
Contact Bayview Recovery for Help With Schizophrenia Recovery
At Bayview Recovery, we believe patients aren’t defined by their mental illness or addiction disorders. We provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient schizophrenia care in a relaxed, comfortable setting with Masters-level therapists or higher. Contact us today at 855.478.3650 to learn more about schizophrenia treatment or find an available bed.