Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. It can occur at any age, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men, and the late 20s to early 30s for women. It is uncommon for schizophrenia to be diagnosed in a person younger than 12 or older than 40. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling but seeking appropriate treatments it I possible to live well with schizophrenia.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30. In rare cases, children have schizophrenia too.
The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive.
Positive symptoms: “Positive” symptoms are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality. Symptoms include:
Negative symptoms: “Negative” symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. Symptoms include:
Cognitive symptoms: For some patients, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle, but for others, they are more severe and patients may notice changes in their memory or other aspects of thinking. Symptoms include:
There are several factors that contribute to the risk of developing schizophrenia.
Treatments and Therapies
Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. Treatments include:
Antipsychotic medications are usually taken daily in pill or liquid form. Some antipsychotics are injections that are given once or twice a month. Some people have side effects when they start taking medications, but most side effects go away after a few days. Doctors and patients can work together to find the best medication or medication combination, and the right dose. Check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website: (http://www.fda.gov/), for the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, or newly approved medications.
Psychiatric Rehabilitation (PR) in psychiatric disorders promotes recovery, full community integration, and improved quality of life for persons who have been diagnosed with any mental health condition that seriously impairs their ability to lead meaningful lives. These services are collaborative, person directed, and individualized. These services are an essential element of the health care and human services spectrum, and should be evidence-based. To achieve the above is usually carried out in two intervention strategies. The first strategy is centered towards the clients and aims at developing the patient’s skills in interacting within an environment of choice such as living, learning, working or socializing. The second strategy is ecological and directed towards developing environmental resources to reduce potential triggers. Most consumers need a combination of both approaches.
Cognitive behavioral Therapy for Psychosis
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp) is an evidence-based treatment approach shown to improve symptoms and functioning in patients with psychotic disorders. CBTp aims to enhance function despite difficult symptoms and experiences such hallucinations, negative symptoms, thought disturbances, and delusions. CBTp forms a collaborative treatment alliance in which patient and therapist can explore distressing psychotic experiences and the beliefs the patient has formed about these experiences, with the goal of reducing distress and disability caused by these experiences. CBTp is a structured, time-limited, and goal-based treatment modality. CBTp can be delivered in individual and group modalities, has long-lasting benefits after the termination of therapy, and is cost effective
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure, done under general anesthesia, in which small electric currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure. ECT seems to cause changes in brain chemistry that can quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental health conditions.
ECT often works when other treatments are unsuccessful and when the full course of treatment is completed, but it may not work for everyone.
How to help someone I know with schizophrenia?
Caring for and supporting a loved one with schizophrenia can be hard. It can be difficult to know how to respond to someone who makes strange or clearly false statements. It is important to understand that schizophrenia is a biological illness.
Here are some things you can do to help your loved one:
P.S. If you or someone you know in the community needs help for any of the symptoms stated above and would like to speak with a professional call us now at
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