Schizophrenia Disorder Treatment
Schizophrenia affects about 1 percent of the American population, says the American Psychiatric Association (APA). A chronic and severe mental health disorder, schizophrenia is characterized by a combination of cognitive, behavioral and emotional dysfunctions, and impairment in social, self-care and vocational areas of functioning.
A chronic and disabling condition, schizophrenia involves multiple complications involving thought, perception, behavior and emotion. As the disorder worsens, it gives rise to problems in thinking, emotions and behavior, including social isolation, motor impairments, depression, attention problem, depersonalization, aggression and sensory integration problems.
Schizophrenia is a complex problem so the treatment facilities for schizophrenia aim at reducing the symptoms and decreasing the chance of a relapse. An effective treatment can help people with schizophrenia lead productive and rewarding lives. Schizophrenia disorder treatment at schizophrenia rehabilitation centers involves medication, psychotherapy, psychosocial treatments and other therapies.
Schizophrenia: Causes and symptoms
As per research, schizophrenia affects both men and women equally, but may have an earlier onset in case of males. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), symptoms of schizophrenia in men usually start in the late teens to early 20s and in women, the symptoms usually appear in the late 20s to early 30s. Though the underlying causes of schizophrenia are still unclear, researches attribute the disease to various causes like genetics, biology, brain chemistry, substance use and possible viral infections.
While the earlier symptoms of schizophrenia are usually less severe, when left untreated, symptoms can worsen over time. Early signs may include unusual or odd beliefs or perceptual experiences, vague speech, unusual behavior and social withdrawal. Over time, people suffering from schizophrenia may have difficulty keeping friends, working or caring for themselves.
Similar to other mental illnesses, the duration, frequency and severity of symptoms can vary; however, the incidents of severe psychotic symptoms often decrease during a patient’s lifetime. Following are the symptoms of schizophrenia:
- Positive symptoms
- Paranoid delusions
- Distorted perceptions
- Disorganized speech
- Cognitive symptoms
- Trouble focusing
- Poor executive functioning
- Problem with working memory
- Negative symptoms
- Reduced speaking
- Diminished emotional expression
- Difficulty beginning and sustaining activities
- Reduced feeling of pleasure in daily activities
Individuals previously diagnosed with schizotypal or paranoid personality disorders are considered more likely to develop schizophrenia. The mental disorder is often comorbid with substance-related disorders, depressive symptoms, adjustment problems, anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic disorder and heightens the risk for suicide and suicidal thoughts.