Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that affects your ability to think, twists your perceptions, and changes the way you interact with other people.
The first symptoms of schizophrenia usually occur between the ages of 18 to 35. Though the cause remains unknown, experts believe that this condition arises from a combination of genetic tendencies, imbalanced brain chemicals, and environmental triggers.
Schizophrenia is known for causing psychosis, which refers to hallucinations and delusions. The various symptoms of schizophrenia are grouped into five categories:
A delusion is a false belief that you won't give up even with evidence that your belief is not real. Some people may think they're a famous person or that their brain is being controlled, to give you two examples.
Hallucinations occur when you see, smell, hear, taste, or feel something that doesn't exist. Auditory hallucinations such as hearing voices are the most common.
Disorganized speech comes from abnormal thought processes. Examples of disorganized speech include jumping from one topic to another unrelated topic, repeating what someone else said, and speaking to a person who's not there. You may also speak words that are jumbled or don't make sense.
Disorganized behavior includes repetitive and senseless movements. People who have catatonic behavior stay in the same position without moving.
People with negative symptoms lose all interest in their usual activities or lack the motivation to do anything, including keeping up with hygiene.
After your initial interview and evaluation, your Providence Medical & Mental Health Clinic provider develops a personalized treatment plan that may include:
Many people with schizophrenia need antipsychotic medications that reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized speech and behavior. These medications may also help prevent a relapse.
Therapy helps patients deal with the negative and cognitive symptoms. You also learn coping skills that help you manage the daily challenges of schizophrenia, whether you need support for holding down a job or forming relationships.
Providence Medical & Mental Health Clinic also provides coordinated specialty care, referring you to specialists as needed and working together as part of a support team dedicated to improving your quality of life.
If you experience symptoms of schizophrenia, call Providence Medical & Mental Health Clinic or book an appointment online today.