Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that causes disruptions in how a person behaves, thinks, and feels. The symptoms are persistent, and in many people can be disabling. In addition to hallucinations and delusions, symptoms of schizophrenia can also include extremely chaotic behavior, incoherent speech, memory problems, trouble focusing, and even catatonic states. Some people will exhibit extreme states of delusion during which they will have conversations with people who do not exist.

This condition affects approximately 2.6 million people in the United States, which equals 1.1 percent of the population. In most people, initial signs of this disorder appear somewhere between a person’s late teens to their very early 30s. Sadly, only about 40 percent of people suffering from this condition get the help they need. Arbor Wellness offers specialized schizophrenia treatment programs in the hopes of offering effective treatment options to as many people as possible.

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WHAT CAUSES SCHIZOPHRENIA?

Schizophrenia affects men and women somewhat equally in terms of prevalence, but men do tend to exhibit symptoms earlier in life than women. There are several different factors that are thought to influence a person’s likelihood of developing this disorder:

Genetics: Like many other conditions, schizophrenia can run in families. Studies have found that there is not one specific gene that causes it, but it is rather the result of many different genes. This means that, even if someone in your family has it, it does not guarantee that you will develop symptoms as well.

Environment: Some environmental factors, including poverty, poor nutrition during fetal development, and living in stressful surroundings, can all influence the development of schizophrenia. 

Brain Structure: Studies have found that certain abnormalities in a person’s brain structure or chemical balance can also lead to schizophrenia. These abnormalities can begin before birth, or can begin during puberty.

 

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HOW IS SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATED?

Medications are an important part of schizophrenia treatment. Medications are usually prescribed and monitored by an experienced psychiatrist who specializes in treating schizophrenia. Antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs, and are administered at the lowest dose possible to effectively manage signs and symptoms of the disorder. Other drugs may be prescribed too, such as anti-anxiety drugs or antidepressants. It may take several weeks for a change in symptoms to be noticeable after a patient begins a medication treatment regimen. Some clients require more long-term residential care during times of severe symptoms or crisis to ensure safety, adequate sleep, nutrition and proper hygiene. 

Therapy for Schizophrenia

Therapy is also important in the treatment of schizophrenia once psychosis recedes. Individual therapy may help to assess a client’s thought patterns in an effort to normalize them. It may also help clients learn to cope with and identify early signs of relapse. Family therapy provides the necessary education and support to help family members of patients dealing with the condition while social skills training helps schizophrenic clients learn to improve communication and be able to better participate in daily activities and social interactions.

During an initial therapy session, you and the therapist will talk about your personal history and symptoms so your therapist can assess your risk and ensure the best and safest treatment plan for you. Now is the time for you to talk about any questions you have about treatment. Your therapist will also help you outline a few goals during your first session that you will strive to meet within the first few months of beginning treatment. These goals may include areas like mental health, work, physical health, relationships and any other areas of your life you want to improve. 

 

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WHEN TO GET HELP FOR SCHIZOPHRENIA

If you or a loved one have any of the signs or symptoms of schizophrenia, or have been diagnosed with this mental health disorder, pursuing help from a treatment facility for schizophrenia is important. Although the condition is not very common, it is associated with significant negative impacts on a person’s mental and physical health, as well as their ability to maintain normal relationships and hold down a job or go to school. 

Schizophrenia puts people with the condition at an increased risk of premature death due to both risky choices and a lack of proper medical care. Medical conditions that are commonly co-occurring in people with schizophrenia include liver disease, heart disease, and diabetes. Furthermore, the suicide rate is higher in people with schizophrenia as opposed to people of the general population without the condition. 

If you are experiencing symptoms of paranoia or other delusions, you might be reluctant to pursue treatment. It is common to feel overwhelmed with a new diagnosis of schizophrenia, and it can be hard to accept that you need help to get better. However, the sooner you get help, the less likely you are to develop more serious symptoms down the road. Just remember that the treatment professionals truly care for you and want to help you.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT IN SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATMENT IN NASHVILLE

When seeking help for a person with schizophrenia, an initial evaluation must be made. Your doctor and/or psychiatrist will ask a series of questions, such as how long symptoms have been present and when they were first noticed, if symptoms are continuous or occasional, how well the person functions in everyday life and more. They will also look for any underlying health issues that might be ongoing along with your schizophrenia.

To be diagnosed with schizophrenia, you have to have experienced at least two of the following symptoms for more than a month:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusional thinking
  • Poor hygiene
  • Disorganized speech or behaviors
  • Lack of facial expressions
  • Disorganization
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Paranoia

If you are diagnosed with the condition, you will likely be prescribed medication to get symptoms under control as quickly as possible. You will also be referred to a therapist for psychotherapy or be assigned to a treatment team to oversee your care.

Treatment After Diagnosis

Despite the fact that there is no cure for schizophrenia, the mental health disorder is manageable with appropriate, ongoing treatment. At Arbor Wellness, we offer a mix of medication and therapy options to keep your symptoms under control. Your individualized treatment plan may include any of the following options:

  • Mental & Physical Health Evaluation
  • Medication
  • Psychosocial Therapy
  • Education Services
  • Family Therapy
  • Case Management
  • Employment Services
 

GET ASSISTANCE AT ARBOR’S SCHIZOPHRENIA TREATMENT CENTER

The treatment team at Arbor Wellness understands the therapeutic needs of clients with schizophrenia. We strive to provide each one of our clients with treatments that help them learn to cope with intrusive thoughts, delusions, and simply managing activities of daily life. 

We put an emphasis on holistic healing for each of our clients and individualize each treatment plan. Our caring team has extensive experience in working with people suffering from schizophrenic disorders and psychosis, as well as helping their families and loved ones to learn to cope with living with someone who has this disorder. If you or a loved one have symptoms of schizophrenia, reach out to us today for help.

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