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Schizophrenia Treatment Centers, Drugs Options, Signs, Symptoms & Causes

Schizophrenia Treatment Centers, Drugs Options, Signs, Symptoms & Causes

Schizophrenia treatment is lifelong, even when symptoms subside. Schizophrenia treatment drugs along with professional psychosocial therapy can help. Uncover the facts about the best & latest treatment for Schizophrenia.

By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: February 8, 2023. 2022

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder affecting 20 million people worldwide. It affects the person’s thinking, perception, emotions, language, sense of self, and behavior. Common experiences include hallucinations, like hearing voices or seeing things that are not there, and delusions or fixed, false beliefs. There are no definite causes of schizophrenia. If left untreated, the symptoms of schizophrenia may worsen. However, schizophrenia is treatable. The earlier a person receives schizophrenia treatment, the better chance that person has to reach recovery.

Schizophrenia can occur at any age. But, the average age of onset tends to be in the late teens to the early 20s for men. Also, the late 20s to early 30s for women. Schizophrenia treatment can help affected person to engage in school or work when delivered in a timely, and sustained manner.

Diagnosis Schizophrenia Implications

If you believe that you have Schizophrenia, it is important to visit a doctor or mental health professional for an accurate Schizophrenia diagnosis assessment. A Schizophrenia diagnosis must be based on a thorough clinical assessment, taking into account the entire history and Schizophrenia symptoms observed in the patient. There are Schizophrenia treatments and strategies that can help reduce symptoms associated with the disorder.

Depending on the Schizophrenia diagnosis and what works best for your situation, prescribed Schizophrenia treatment could involve taking medication, attending therapy sessions, participating in a support group, or a combination of all three. It’s also essential to take care of yourself with proper nutrition, exercise, and rest. Additionally, education about the disorder can help reduce the stigma and provide important insight into how to cope with its symptoms.

Schizophrenia does not mean split personality or multiple-personality. In this case, most people with schizophrenia are not any more dangerous or violent than people in the general population. To clarify, it is a misconception that people with schizophrenia end up homeless or living in hospitals. Most people with schizophrenia live with their families, in group homes, or on their own. Above all, it is possible to live well with schizophrenia.

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Schizophrenia Fact Sheet

Schizophrenia Overview

A condition that impairs a person’s capacity for clear thought, feeling, and behavior.
Although the precise origin of schizophrenia is unknown, it is thought that a mix of genetics, environment and altered brain chemistry and structure may be at play.

Schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized speech or behavior, depressed participation in daily tasks, and ideas or experiences that appear disconnected from reality. Memory loss and attention problems could also be present.

Treatment is typically ongoing and frequently consists of a mix of prescription drugs, psychotherapy, and well-coordinated specialty care services.

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia is characterized by disorganized speech or behavior, depressed participation in daily tasks, and ideas or experiences that appear disconnected from reality. Memory loss and attention problems could also be present.


Schizophrenia Treatments

Treatment is typically ongoing and frequently consists of a mix of prescription drugs, psychotherapy, and well-coordinated specialty care services.

Schizophrenia Statistics

A mental disorder called schizophrenia is characterized by disturbances in thought, perception, emotional responsiveness, and social interactions. Although each person’s experience with schizophrenia is unique, the condition is typically chronic and can be both severe and incapacitating.


4.9%

With the risk being highest in the early stages of the illness, an estimated 4.9% of people with schizophrenia commit suicide, a rate that is significantly higher than that of the general population.

Source: National Insitute Of Mental Health

24 Million

Around 24 million people, or 1 in 300 persons (0.32%), globally suffer from schizophrenia. Adults at this rate make up 1 in 222 individuals (0.45%). It does not occur as frequently as many other mental illnesses.

Source: World Health Organization

50%

The great majority of people with schizophrenia do not currently have access to mental health services. An estimated 50% of patients in psychiatric hospitals have a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Source: World Health Organization


What is endogenous depression? Endogenous depression is a depressive episode believed to be caused by underlying genetic or biological abnormalities, predisposing a person to depression.
What is endogenous depression? Endogenous depression is a depressive episode believed to be caused by underlying genetic or biological abnormalities, predisposing a person to depression. We Level Up FL mental health center can answer your questions about Schizophrenia Treatment options.


Schizophrenia Causes

According to World Health Organization [1], research has not identified one single factor. Furthermore, the interaction between genes and a range of environmental factors may cause schizophrenia. Apart from this, psychosocial factors may also contribute to schizophrenia.

  • Genetic factors. Schizophrenia can run in families. Only one percent of people develop it over their lifetime. However, if one parent has schizophrenia, the children have a 10 percent chance of developing the condition – and a 90 percent chance of not developing it.
  • Biochemical factors. Certain biochemical substances in the brain may cause the symptoms of schizophrenia. Especially a neurotransmitter called dopamine. One likely cause of this chemical imbalance is the person’s genetic predisposition to the illness.
  • Stress.  Stressful incidents often happen at the start onset of schizophrenia. Most of the time, people with schizophrenia become anxious, irritable and unable to concentrate before any acute symptoms occur. The illness itself has caused the stressful event. Therefore, it is not always clear whether stress is a cause or a result of schizophrenia.
  • Alcohol and other drug use. Harmful alcohol and other drug use, may trigger psychosis in people who are vulnerable to developing schizophrenia. Examples are cannabis and amphetamine use.  To clarify, substance use does not cause schizophrenia, but it is strongly related to relapse.
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Schizophrenia Symptoms

Before a diagnosis, a psychiatrist should conduct a medical examination to rule out substance misuse or other neurological illnesses.  Due to the fact that it might mimic the symptoms of schizophrenia. To emphasize, a person must have two or more of the following symptoms occurring persistently to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.

  • Hallucination: most commonly involve hearing voices. Apart from this, other less common experiences can include seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things that to the person are very real, but that is not actually there.
  • Delusion: are firmly held beliefs not supported by objective facts  For one thing, people who have delusions often also have problems concentrating, confused thinking, or the sense that their thoughts are blocked.
  • Abnormal behavior: disorganized behavior such as wandering aimlessly, mumbling or laughing to self, strange appearance, self-neglect, or appearing unkempt
  • Disorganized speech: incoherent or irrelevant speech
  • Disturbances of emotions: marked apathy or disconnect between reported emotion and what is observed such as body language or facial expression.

Most people with schizophrenia improve and regain normal functioning and even become symptom-free. No matter what challenges you presently face, there is always hope.

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Schizophrenia Treatment

Schizophrenia is treatable. If you have schizophrenia, it’s important to get treatment as quickly as possible. Schizophrenia treatment with medicines and psychosocial support is effective. However, most people with chronic cases lack access to professional schizophrenia treatment. There is no known cure for schizophrenia, but it can be treated and managed in several ways.

Effective schizophrenia treatment depends on several factors. Medication alone is not enough. Self-education is important.  Also, clients and families can talk to their doctors and therapists about schizophrenia treatment options. Additionally, building a strong support system, taking self-help measures, and sticking to a professional schizophrenia treatment plan can contribute to recovery success. Schizophrenia treatment modalities include:

  • Psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and assertive community treatment, and supportive therapy. This will likely also be a big part of the plan to help you understand and manage your symptoms.
  • Antipsychotic medications can help reduce the intensity and frequency of psychotic symptoms. These drugs work on chemicals in the brain such as dopamine and serotonin. In effect, they ease symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.

Treatment for schizophrenia is tailored to the individual. A combination of medications and psychosocial therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, can help manage symptoms of schizophrenia and reduce the risk of relapse. Medications are typically started at lower dosages and slowly increased until the desired effect is achieved. Antipsychotic medications are generally prescribed to reduce positive symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions. Other medications, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers, may also be prescribed to help with additional symptoms.

Psychosocial therapies can also be a beneficial form of treatment for schizophrenia patients. These therapies often involve learning how to better manage life stressors, improving interpersonal skills, managing emotions more effectively, setting goals, and developing problem-solving abilities. Therapists also work with families to help them better understand the disorder and provide support for the patient.

In addition, lifestyle changes are important in managing schizophrenia. Getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet, avoiding drugs and alcohol, exercising regularly, and finding meaningful activities can all help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. It’s also important to find a supportive network of family or friends who can offer assistance when needed.

With these combined schizophrenia treatments, people with schizophrenia disorder can lead productive lives. Supportive housing programs are available to help individuals manage their illness while living independently or semi-independently in the community.

With ongoing treatment and support, those living with schizophrenia have a good chance of recovery and leading fulfilling life. The right schizophrenia treatments, along with practical and emotional support from your loved ones, will go a long way to help you navigate your life.

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Schizophrenia Treatment Medications

There are several different types of schizophrenia treatment medications, each designed to target different symptoms. Schizophrenia medications can be broken down into several different categories. Common types include antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety medications, and antidepressants. Each type is used to treat specific symptoms, so the type of medication and dosage will depend on an individual’s unique needs. It’s important to work closely with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.

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Schizophrenia and Co-occuring Issues

Around 50 percent of individuals suffering from schizophrenia also struggle with drug and alcohol abuse. For instance, the most commonly abused legal and illegal drugs among schizophrenic patients are alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and marijuana. Substance abuse can intensify the severity of schizophrenic symptoms. Also, increase the number of psychotic episodes, and increase the risk of outcomes like hospitalization, incarceration, and suicide attempts.

Some people who abuse drugs may display symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia, which may lead people to think that those with schizophrenia may be “high on drugs.” This can, at times, make it difficult to diagnose schizophrenia or co-occurring disorders. Thus, alcohol or drug abuse can mask the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Alcohol and marijuana are both central nervous system depressants. In essence, it can have a sedative effect on the mind. Stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine can temporarily help the mind feel more focused. Given these points, schizophrenic patients with cocaine use disorder are at increased risk of suicide, low-treatment compliance, and hospitalization. Seventy percent of people with schizophrenia have nicotine dependence, which can make them more likely to experience a relapse of symptoms.

We Level Up FL Mental Health Center offers a schizophrenia treatment suitability assessment. And learn which schizophrenia treatment options are right for your circumstances and personal situation.

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Sources

[1] World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/schizophrenia

[2] – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4159061/ National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. Patel KR, Cherian J, Gohil K, Atkinson D. Schizophrenia: overview and treatment options. P T. 2014 Sep;39(9):638-45. PMID: 25210417; PMCID: PMC4159061.

[3] Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine Eells TD. Psychotherapy of Schizophrenia. J Psychother Pract Res. 2000 Oct;9(4):250-254. PMID: 11069278; PMCID: PMC3330613.

[4] Electroconvulsive therapy for schizophrenia – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15846598/ Tharyan P, Adams CE. Electroconvulsive therapy for schizophrenia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Apr 18;(2):CD000076. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000076.pub2. PMID: 15846598.

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181760/ – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine Winklbaur B, Ebner N, Sachs G, Thau K, Fischer G. Substance abuse in patients with schizophrenia. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2006;8(1):37-43. doi: 10.31887/DCNS.2006.8.1/bwinklbaur. PMID: 16640112; PMCID: PMC3181760.

[6] The Role of Genetics in the Etiology of Schizophrenia – Gejman PV, Sanders AR, Duan J. The role of genetics in the etiology of schizophrenia. Psychiatr Clin North Am. 2010 Mar;33(1):35-66. doi: 10.1016/j.psc.2009.12.003. PMID: 20159339; PMCID: PMC2826121.

[7] SAMHSA -https://www.samhsa.gov/serious-mental-illness/schizophrenia

[8] About Mental Health – https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/learn/index.

[9]  Mental Health Treatment Among Adults Aged 18–44: United States, 2019–2021 – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[10] Schizophrenia Treatment – https://welevelupnj.com/mental-health-services/schizophrenia-treatment/