Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects how someone thinks, feels, and behaves. Relatively severe cases may result in hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, and trouble thinking. 

Sadly, schizophrenia makes life difficult and can leave a person feeling hopeless. Learn more about schizophrenia and potential treatments below.

What is Schizophrenia and Who Does it Affect?

Schizophrenia is a “chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population.” When the disorder is active, symptoms may include but are not limited to delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble thinking, and lack of motivation.

As of now, there is no cure for schizophrenia, although leading researchers are beginning to produce safer treatment options that have proven to significantly improve a person’s ability to function in the world.

Schizophrenia: Misconceptions

Schizophrenia has undergone a kind of mythology over the years, mainly as it has been portrayed in movies, shows, and other forms of media. However, contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not referring to “split personality” or “multiple-personality.” Furthermore, most people who suffer from the disorder are no more likely to be violent than the general populace.

While limited mental health resources may lead to homelessness or hospitalization, it is primarily a misconception that people with schizophrenia ultimately end up there. For the most part, people with schizophrenia live with their families, in group homes, or independently.

Schizophrenia: Symptoms & Stages

Schizophrenic symptoms can be coordinated into three major categories

  • Positive symptoms: Hallucinations, such as hearing voices or seeing things that do not exist, paranoia, exaggerated or distorted perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors.
  • Negative symptoms: A loss or decrease in the ability to initiate plans, speak, express emotion, or find pleasure.
  • Disorganized symptoms: Confused and disordered thinking or speech, trouble with logical thinking, and sometimes bizarre behavior or abnormal movements.

Each symptom has a gradation of stages that one may experience. These grade from early signs, first-episode psychosis, acute episode, remission, chronic or ongoing, recovery, and relapse. Each stage can be navigated to fruition with the correct information and preparation. Additionally, schizophrenia may present itself through several risk factors, including genetics, environment, cognitive development, and recreational drug use. 

Schizophrenia: Treatments

Schizophrenia can be treated in a number of ways, typically with a combination of medication and therapy relative to each individual. The most common form of medication is antipsychotic medicines and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—which seeks to help people cope with their condition. 

People with schizophrenia have hope to recover from schizophrenia, although they can expect periods of relapse. Communal support can reduce or mitigate the condition’s impact on someone’s life.

Living With Schizophrenia

While it poses several challenges, living a wholesome life with schizophrenia is possible. Often, schizophrenic care begins with the self. Caring for your health can help reduce anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Some forms of self-care include:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle through physical conditioning
  • Eliminate smoking
  • Eat well
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol
  • Prevent illness and accident
  • Find a safe and medical community

Seeking Professional Help for Schizophrenia | Seneca Health Services 

Are you suffering from schizophrenia? Have you turned to alternative forms of coping? We are passionate about healing our community, and our team is ready to help. 

At Seneca Health Services, we have over 40 years of experience providing behavioral health services throughout southeastern West Virginia. We offer crisis assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year to assist and support individuals, arrange and coordinate treatment services, and ensure that all of your basic needs are met. If you’d like to learn more about our services, contact Seneca Health at 888.SENECA9 or use the link provided. We know it’s hard to take the first step––let us help.