Schizophrenia is a complex mental health condition that affects a person’s behaviors, emotions, and thought patterns. This disorder usually presents in early adulthood, though some indicators might be evident in adolescence. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for schizophrenia; however, people can manage symptoms of this condition through therapy, medications, and practiced coping skills. Schizophrenia residential treatment centers in Florida use these methods to give those struggling with this condition the help they need to live full and rewarding lives.

Schizophrenia is a chronic neurological condition that can have a severe impact on a person’s ability to function and maintain relationships. This life-long disorder affects 2.6 million adults in America and about 1 in every 100 people worldwide. Compared to other mental health conditions, the numbers of those living with schizophrenia are relatively low; however, the impact it has on sufferers is long-lasting and can be extraordinarily debilitating.

In fact, symptoms can be extremely intense and have negative repercussions not only for those living with the disorder but for those around them. For instance, this condition can cause a detachment from reality as well as violent outbursts, impacting interpersonal relationships. Without a strong support system, it can be incredibly difficult for people living with schizophrenia to take care of themselves, maintain jobs, or fully engage in their lives in a meaningful way.

Only a medical or psychiatric professional can officially diagnose schizophrenia. However, having a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of the disorder can help you or a loved one get the help that you need.

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

In most cases, you can categorize symptoms of schizophrenia as either positive or negative. Specifically, people experience positive symptoms in addition to reality, while negative symptoms refer to lost abilities. Positive symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Disruptive thinking and speech patterns
  • Skewed sense of reality
  • Sudden movements/twitching (can be violent or aggressive)

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia include:

  • Minimal facial expressions
  • Lack of emotional expression
  • Reduced or confused speech
  • Little motivation
  • Difficulty with concentration and follow-through

Additional symptoms of schizophrenia include:

  • General lack of focus
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty with understanding information and executing learned skills
  • Social withdrawal

Types of Schizophrenia

Historically, schizophrenia diagnoses were sub-categorized into one of five types. While the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) no longer differentiates between subtypes of schizophrenia, they are still useful in understanding the layered and challenging nature of this disorder. These types include the following:

  • Paranoid Schizophrenia. Characterized by heavy paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions.
  • Hebephrenic or Disorganized Schizophrenia. Marked by the absence of hallucinations and delusions, and the presence of disorganized speech and behavior.
  • Undifferentiated Schizophrenia. When a wide variety of schizophrenia symptoms are present.
  • Residual Schizophrenia. When “leftover” manifestations of schizophrenia remain after primary symptoms have lessened in intensity and frequency.
  • Catatonic Schizophrenia. Characterized by reductions in voluntary movements, sometimes causing individuals to become close to immobile.

Causes of Schizophrenia

There is no one known cause of schizophrenia; however, researchers believe the condition is rooted in a combination of biological, hereditary, and environmental factors. Additionally, trauma and stress can trigger symptoms, particularly in individuals with a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia can run in families. But, this does not mean that if someone in a family has the disorder, other family members will develop it. In fact, different studies suggest there are multiple genes involved that may predispose someone toward developing schizophrenia.

It is believed that environmental factors like poverty, traumatic events, exposure to viruses, abuse, abandonment, nutritional problems before birth, and stressful surroundings may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. While the issues that may trigger schizophrenia usually take place during childhood, symptoms may not present until later in life.

Scientists believe irregularities in brain function, structure, and interactions between neurotransmitters can contribute to the development of schizophrenia. Also, hormonal imbalances may play a role in its development.

Drugs do not directly cause schizophrenia. However, there is evidence that substances such as cocaine, LSD, cannabis, or amphetamines can trigger the condition in those who are already predisposed for it.

Risks of Untreated Schizophrenia

When left untreated, schizophrenia can have severe consequences. Unfortunately, this condition interferes with communication, decision-making, and risk assessment which can cause dangerous, if not deadly, complications. Common consequences of going without schizophrenia treatment include:

  • Homelessness. Untreated schizophrenia can make it difficult to hold down a job or maintain personal relationships, increasing the likelihood of becoming homeless. In some situations, individuals might also struggle to know where their home is or how to get there.
  • Accidents. Unfortunately, those with schizophrenia sometimes wander into dangerous areas. For example, it is not uncommon for them to accidentally walk into the street and be struck by a vehicle.
  • Illness. Communication is key in getting effective medical care. However, those with schizophrenia often struggle to describe symptoms and are even believed to have an elevated pain threshold, making them more susceptible to unknowingly living with a disease.
  • Suicide. The stress, anxiety, and confusion associated with this condition can drive individuals to extremes. Sadly, it is not uncommon for individuals with this disorder to take their own lives.

How Is Schizophrenia Treated?

Neuroscience Institute uses a combination of science-based interventions and holistic treatment options to help our clients manage the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Generally, these treatment methods are meant to identify and address the underlying causes of the condition while teaching healthy coping mechanisms and essential life skills. Overall, the goal is to find a sustainable way to manage the side effects of schizophrenia, so those with the disorder can therefore experience long-term balance and wellness in their lives. Specifically, treatments used at schizophrenia residential treatment centers in Florida include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Neurofeedback therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)
  • Psychiatry
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics
  • Individual, group, and family therapy
  • Holistic treatment (yoga, meditation, massage therapy)

Residential Treatment Centers For Schizophrenia In West Palm Beach, Florida

You deserve to live your life to the fullest, and it is time to seek treatment for your schizophrenia. Thankfully, Neuroscience Institute in West Palm Beach, FL offers multiple ethical and innovative research-based methods to treat people living with schizophrenia. As well, we provide mental health resources as added support with treatment. Our caring and compassionate team is dedicated to whole-body healing and is ready to help you. To get started today, call or visit our admissions page.
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