Approximately 3.2 million Americans experience schizophrenia each year; latest research suggests there is an overlapping gene signature amongst schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and autism spectrum disorder. Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that lies on a spectrum – schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, schizotypal personality disorder, schizophreniform disorder, brief psychotic disorder, and substance induced psychosis. Each person experiences the disorder differently, as there is no “one-size-fits-all”.
Many people who show early warning signs for a schizophrenia disorder experience depression, feelings of hostility or suspiciousness, have difficulty with personal hygiene, appear “expressionless”, are unable to express sadness/happiness/etc., oversleeping or insomnia, and utilize a strange use of words. When these “odd” patterns of behavior emerge, it could certainly clue in to a different disorder, but schizophrenia exhibits these often. From here, diagnosis is critical so that a person can begin seeking the help they need.
There are 5 main types of symptoms that individuals with varying degrees of schizophrenia experience:
Delusions – often regarding believing that others are “out to get” them, believing that a certain instance or environment was meant specifically for them, believing that they are famous or an incredibly important figure in society, believing that they have special powers, believing that their thoughts or actions are controlled by aliens, and more.
Hallucinations – hearing voices by misinterpreting one’s own self-talk is a common symptom experienced. The voices heard are typically vulgar, abusive, and/or critical, appearing to be coming from someone the person knows. Visual hallucinations may also occur.
Disorganized Speech – rapidly shifting from one topic to another, making up certain words or phrases that only have important significance to that person, repeating things, and using meaningless rhymes of words.
Disorganized Behavior – schizophrenia disrupts a person’s ability to perform everyday functions in life, leading them to experience a decline in daily task productivity, unpredictable emotional responses, behaviors that seem to serve no purpose, and having a lack of impulse control.
Negative Symptoms – lack of emotional expression, lack of interest or enthusiasm, appearance of lack of interest in the world, and speech abnormalities are quite common in those with schizophrenia.
If you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and are wanting to seek treatment, there are many options available to you. Long-term treatment is necessary and will likely consist of medication and psychotherapy to help you develop some tools to better manage the symptoms that are making it challenging to function in daily life. Make the decision to seek help 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.