Schizophrenia causes severe disruption of thought processes, emotions, and behaviors. It is a chronic and severe disorder that affects an individual’s ability to think clearly, communicate effectively, and understand reality. Symptoms of schizophrenia can be divided into two categories: excess or loss of normal functions.
Symptoms of an excess or distortion of normal functions include:
- Hallucinations: perceptions of things that are not present in the individual’s environment.
- Delusions: false beliefs that are not based on reality and that the individual firmly holds onto despite evidence to the contrary.
- Disordered thinking and speech: can manifest as difficulty in organizing thoughts, expressing oneself, or following a conversation.
- Unusual or disorganized behavior: can include agitation, catatonia, or other abnormal behaviors.
Symptoms of a diminution or loss of normal functions include:
- Affective flattening: a lack of emotional expression or response.
- Alogia: poverty of speech, or difficulty in expressing oneself.
- Anhedonia: the inability to experience pleasure.
- Avolition: a lack of motivation or drive.
- Asociality: a lack of interest in social interaction.
Signs of Schizophrenia in a Loved One
For loved ones, it can be challenging to understand and cope with the persistent symptoms of schizophrenia in their loved one. Between the ages of 16 – 30, they may notice changes in their loved one’s behavior and may observe signs such as:
- Difficulty communicating or expressing themselves
- Withdrawal from social interactions
- Unusual or bizarre behavior
- Difficulty completing daily tasks
- Difficulty telling the difference between reality and fantasy
- Suspicious or paranoid thoughts
Treatment for Schizophrenia & Schizoaffective Disorder
Schizoaffective disorder occurs when someone has both schizophrenia and a mood disorder. It shared all of the same symptoms of schizophrenia with additional symptoms of a mood disorder such as depression or mania.
Our evidence-based, therapeutic interventions for the treatment of schizophrenia include a combination of medications and psychosocial interventions, such as:
- Antipsychotic medications: Antipsychotic medications are the primary treatment for schizophrenia. They work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain, which helps to reduce the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations and delusions. There are two types of antipsychotic medications: first-generation (typical) and second-generation (atypical) antipsychotics.
- Psychosocial interventions: Psychosocial interventions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, and social skills training, can help people with schizophrenia manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. These interventions can help individuals develop coping strategies, improve communication and relationships, and learn life skills such as managing finances and daily tasks.
- Supportive services: Individuals with schizophrenia benefit from our supportive services such as vocational rehabilitation, group therapy, and peer support. These services can help individuals maintain independence and improve their quality of life.
- Care Coordination: Our case managers work closely with our client’s outside healthcare team to ensure that they continue to receive the appropriate treatment and medication. They also coordinate with other service providers, such as vocational rehabilitation or housing assistance programs.
Our Experts Are Here for You
Complex disorders such as schizophrenia require treatment by advanced clinicians. Reach out today for information on our residential treatment for schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder.