Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by faulty perception, inappropriate actions and feelings, withdrawal from reality, and unstable relationships often due to delusions and/or hallucinations. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) emphasizes that while schizophrenia affects both men and women equally, earlier onset of the disorder is likely to occur in males. If you’ve been diagnosed with this disorder, you may experience difficultly initiating plans, disordered thinking and speech, abnormal movements, and problems with your attention and memory. Another common issue among those with schizophrenia is maintaining social connections – and a recent study explains why.

A 2015 study published in the journal Schizophrenia Research sought to explore social cognition and metacognition in those with schizophrenia and how this affect their quality of life; 39 individuals who were diagnosed with schizophrenia were recruited for the study, and several tests were performed. Results from the study showed that deficits in both social cognition and metacognition were linked with the type of quality of life an individual has – meaning both could greatly affect the way a person with schizophrenia relates to others, too. What do these terms mean?

Social cognition is often described as a person’s ability to process, store, and apply information about other people and social situations. For example, if you have schizophrenia, you may have trouble forming impressions of others or finding meaning behind others’ behaviors. Metacognition is more focused on one’s awareness and understanding of their own thought processes, also described as “thinking about thinking”. An example of a deficit in metacognition would be having difficulty evaluating your own progress towards completion of a task, having difficulty identifying skills and strategies to solve a problem, or having trouble monitoring your own reading comprehension. Now that you know what these two terms mean, how can they impact social connections?

The ways in which we interact with others relies heavily on our ability to process impressions and behaviors of others as well as of ourselves. Social cognition and metacognition are how we know who likes us as a friend, who is upset with us, what else we need to get done, and more. If you have schizophrenia and struggle with these skills, they can be strengthened through social skills training. Many people with this disorder have become better with social interactions through intensive treatment and through developing a strong social support network. You are not alone. Speak with someone from a reputable treatment center today.

Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.

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