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SCHIZOPHRENIA DISORDER SYMPTOMS & TREATMENT

What Is Schizophrenia, Actually?

schizophrenia

According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual – 5th Edition (DSM-V), schizophrenia is a brain disorder characterized by a disruption of the usual balance of emotions and thinking. Symptoms usually include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech and behavior, and other symptoms that cause social or occupational dysfunction. Symptoms must be present for six months and include at least one month of active symptoms to be accurately diagnosed.

So, What Causes Schizophrenia?

The exact causes of schizophrenia are unknown. There are also studies that suggest there may be a slight connection between birth complications such as low birth weight, premature labor or lack of oxygen (asphyxia) during birth. Such complications can have subtle effects on brain development. (NHS 2014)

Substance abuse can also induce symptoms that are similar to schizophrenia, because of this some scientists theorize a connection between substance abuse and the development of schizophrenia. Symptoms of disorders caused by wet brain due to a chronic case of alcoholism, such as Korsakoff psychosis, or Wernicke’s encephalopathy, show similar symptoms to schizophrenia, such as visual or auditory hallucinations.

Research suggests that schizophrenia is caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Having a history of family psychosis affects the risk of developing schizophrenia. A first degree relative such as a parent or sibling, especially a twin, will show the highest risk. Research suggests schizophrenia to be both neurodevelopmental (impairment of the growth and development of the brain) and neurodegenerative (progressive loss of structure or function of neurons), researchers haven’t determined which one is more of a dominant cause, as they both are common occurrences. Epigenetic gene development plays a role in causing schizophrenia as well, studies show that environmental factors such as exposure to viruses, malnutrition, as well as psychosocial and socioeconomic factors are all part of epigenetic gene development. (NAMI 2014)

How The Brain Is Affected By Schizophrenia

  • Sensory hallucinations are caused by abnormal functioning of the basal ganglia, which controls movement and emotions, as well as integrating sensory information.
  • Hearing voices that aren’t actually there is caused by internal messages due to overactivity of the auditory system.
  • Visual hallucinations or difficulties in interpreting complex images, recognizing motion and understanding emotions on people’s faces is caused by dysfunction in the occipital lobe, which processes visual signals.
  • Frequent agitation experienced by people with schizophrenia is a disturbance of the limbic system.
  • Difficulty in planning and organizing thoughts is a common occurrence among people with schizophrenia and is caused by dysfunction of the frontal lobe. (UCLA 2010)

What Are The Types of Schizophrenia?

Paranoid Schizophrenia
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Prominent delusional thoughts about persecution or conspiracy
Disorganized Schizophrenia
  • Disorganized thoughts
  • Failure to show ordinary emotional responses
  • Laughs at inappropriate times
  • Hallucinations and delusions are less pronounced
Catatonic
  • Echolalia – verbal repeating of what somebody else says
  • Assumes unusual body positions
  • Assumes strange facial contortions or limb movements
  • May assume a position of sitting in which somebody places them (like a puppet)
  • Stereotypic behavior—actions that appear purposeless, but are continuously performed
Residual
  • Diagnosed when prominent symptoms have lessened in severity
  • Psychomotor slowing
  • Lack of initiative
  • Poor nonverbal expression
  • Evidence of at least one psychotic episode meeting the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia
Undifferentiated Schizophrenia
  • Exhibits two or more of the following symptoms, present for at least one month: delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, extreme disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms
  • Diagnosis depends on establishing progressive development of “negative” symptoms, without any history of hallucinations
  • Exhibits marked loss of interest and social withdrawal

Welcome to SOV Mental Health Schizophrenia Treatment Center

Antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat schizophrenia. Some of the most common antipsychotics are chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, haloperidol and perphenazine. Antipsychotic medications will help alleviate symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder, loose associations, ambivalence or emotional lability. Antipsychotic medications can also cause involuntary movements, cognitive dulling and other side effects.

Supportive (reality-based) psychotherapy is a popular approach used to treat people with schizophrenia, and deals with the loss, disability and stigma arising from living with the disease. Supportive psychotherapy differs from other specific techniques, as it actively reduces the severity of some of the core symptoms caused by the disability. It is a dyadic treatment that is used to alter common symptoms of schizophrenia and maintain, restore or improve self-esteem, ego function and adaptive skills.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is also a common form of psychotherapy used to treat schizophrenia. In cognitive behavioral therapy, a patient is able to receive instruction and guidance on identifying thoughts, perceptions, worldviews and general thoughts and feelings that trigger symptoms such as visual or auditory hallucinations. The therapist works with the patients to help them realize their thoughts and feelings are only perceptions, and not actual fact. Eventually, the patients are able to recognize how to alter their perceptions of the world around them. This can greatly benefit the interpersonal skills for a person with schizophrenia.

Sovereign Mental Health offers treatment for schizophrenia, as well as other mental health disorders and any other co-occurring conditions. Utilizing top-notch evidence-based therapeutic modalities, our dual diagnosis program can offer outstanding results for mental health disorders, substance abuse disorders or both.

To learn more about our mental health program, click on our live chat link or call our admissions team at (866) 954-0529.

California Treatment Center Locations

  • Sovereign Health San ClementeSovereign Health San Clemente1211 Puerta Del Sol
    San Clemente CA 92673
  • Sovereign Health San ClementeSovereign Health Los Angeles6167 Bristol Parkway
    Los Angeles CA 90230
  • Sovereign Health San ClementeSovereign Health Palm Springs2500 N. Palm Canyon, Suite D4
    Palm Springs, CA 92262
  • Sovereign Health San ClementeSovereign Health San Diego2815 Steele Canyon Road, El Cajon
    San Diego, CA 92019

Need to discuss Schizophrenia-related treatment for yourself or loved one?

Want to Know about Insurance Benefits?

Yes! We accept insurances and most private insurance plans form our admission bouquet.

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In case you want to verify your insurance benefits, please feel free to contact SMH VoB (Verification of Benefits) executive. He/She would suggest best possible options available to you.