Schizophrenia is a very common and serious mental health condition that starts when people are young. It affects how they think, feel and act for the rest of their life. Although schizophrenia is a lifelong disease, there are treatment options available to manage the symptoms so people with this condition can lead a happy life. Let’s look at the causes, symptoms, and treatments for this mood- and thought-altering disorder.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia usually begin in young people in their teens or early twenties. Symptoms can start slowly or all at once. As time goes by, the symptoms will get worse and be very obvious and cause major life changes.
Often mistakenly labeled as the mental illness, depression, schizophrenia makes a person out of touch with reality. The way someone thinks and acts might be very different from the way they thought and acted before the condition began.
Symptoms of schizophrenia can include:
- A marked decrease in social functioning
- Thoughts of self-harm and suicide
- Grandiose thoughts of great power and intellect
- Flat emotional affect
- Inability to follow instructions and/or to express thoughts clearly
- Hallucinations (seeing and hearing things and people which are not present)
- Delusions, or incorrect thinking about feelings, abilities and other people (particularly their motives)
- Lack of eye contact and facial expressions
- Paranoia (someone or something is going to do something harmful, or a catastrophe is about to happen)
Causes of Schizophrenia
Despite research and decades of clinical data, healthcare providers still do not have a definite cause for schizophrenia. However, many speculate that a deficiency in brain structure or neurotransmitters may be to blame. Other factors could include:
- Age of the biological father at conception (older than the norm)
- Maternal illness during pregnancy
- Developmental issues early in infancy and childhood
- Sleep pattern problems (insomnia, for example)
- Consuming psychotropic recreational drugs during the teens or early adulthood
Treatments For Schizophrenia
Treatment for schizophrenia begins with an intake consultation with a mental health professional trained and experienced in chronic brain disorders. Treatment typically involves several different things. This can include medicine like Haldol to suppress delusions and hallucinations, talking with a counselor to help with everyday tasks, and cognitive behavior therapy to create healthier nerve pathways in the brain. Healthier nerve pathways help people think more clearly and accurately.
Help For Schizophrenia Signs and Treatment Near Me
If you suspect you or someone you love has a brain disorder, such as schizophrenia, please contact EPIC Health Partners for a consultation with one of our highly skilled providers. Our team is skilled in the patience, persistence and individualized therapies people with schizophrenia need to achieve wellness and to optimize function in their day to day lives.
Please call us at (434) 835-4601 to arrange an appointment, or request one online. We have locations in Richmond, Martinsville and Danville, VA.
Also, if you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide, please get help right away. Call 911, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 873-TALK (8255). Or, you may text 741-741. Hope and help are just a call or a text away.