Did you know that there are more than 24 million people with schizophrenia in the United States alone? Schizophrenia can be a challenging mental disorder since it can warp the affected person’s perception of reality. Fortunately, mental health treatment centers exist to provide help. What are the causes of schizophrenia? Keep reading and learn more about the signs and symptoms of this mental disorder and how mental health treatment centers can help.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia tends to manifest itself in late adolescence and early adulthood. Many people don’t get a diagnosis of schizophrenia until they are an adult, even if the symptoms start many years earlier. Symptoms of this mental disorder in teens are not as apparent as in adulthood.
Usually, the symptoms begin mildly and worsen over the years. For example, in adolescence, the affected person might become more withdrawn and no longer interested in interacting with people, even close friends or family members. The teen may also show signs of disinterest or depression.
In adults, the symptoms are much more apparent. There are different classes of symptoms of schizophrenia, such as delusions, hallucinations, negative symptoms, and more. In the case of delusions, the affected person might start to believe that certain things are true even when they are not. Mental health treatment centers can help identify symptoms and make sense of irregular behaviors.
For instance, an affected person might think that their friends are planning to hurt or attack them in some way. The delusions may be more grandiose, such as the person believing that they are being spied on by an authority figure, such as a government agency. The person may also experience hallucinations. Hallucinations may cause a person to see, taste, hear, or feel sensations that aren’t there.
Symptoms may include a disinterest or inability to do specific tasks. A person with schizophrenia may stop showering or brushing their teeth. The person may also exhibit unusual or uncharacteristic behaviors, such as not emoting or speaking in a flat tone. They may also show disorganized thinking and speech and fail to make any sense when speaking. This is sometimes known as the word salad, and it often occurs in those with severe schizophrenia.
It is vital to know that the symptoms of schizophrenia will not go away on their own. Instead, the symptoms will get worse over time. Delusions and hallucinations may start as very mild and infrequent, but as time goes by, they will become more frequent and intense.
People with schizophrenia may also have difficulty distinguishing what is real and what is a hallucination, which can affect a person’s mood. Often, the affected individual will become irritable or angry, especially when confused.
Causes and Treatment Options for Schizophrenia
The causes of schizophrenia are not precisely known. Many believe that schizophrenia has genetic causes. Genetic factors likely cause this mental disorder, but there may be some other factors involved as well. People with a family history of schizophrenia may be more likely to develop this mental disorder. Environmental factors may also play a role. Exposure to certain toxins or pollutants may play a role in the development of schizophrenia later in life.
While the causes of schizophrenia are not confirmed, it is essential to get treatment as soon as symptoms appear. If left untreated, people with schizophrenia may start to abuse drugs or alcohol, become violent, or have suicidal thoughts.
The symptoms of this mental disorder will also make it difficult for the individual to lead a normal life. Fortunately, several mental health treatment centers can offer help.
Antipsychotic medication is usually the first line of treatment for this mental disorder. These drugs affect the brain in a way that inhibits or lessens the intensity of schizophrenia symptoms.
While medication can be effective, it may take several attempts to find the proper medication and dosage for each individual. It usually takes several weeks for treatment to take effect. Treatment requires patience, but the result is worth the effort.
Second-generation medications are proving to be much more effective. They do not cause many side effects, which is beneficial for many patients.
Individual therapy involves one-on-one sessions with a therapist. Therapy can help a patient manage and cope with the symptoms of schizophrenia. Training certain social skills may also be helpful, especially for those with difficulty interacting with people.
Schizophrenia and Mental Health Treatment Centers
Schizophrenia is a serious and incurable mental disorder. It involves hallucinations and delusions and can make everyday life impossible. Mental health treatment centers can help. With the proper medication and therapy, a person with schizophrenia can regain their life. Learn more about mental health treatment options in South Florida.