Possible Consequences of Untreated Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia should not be taken lightly. If left untreated, it could have devastating effects on an individual’s mental health, physical health and social and economic status. Furthermore, symptoms such as delusions, reckless behavior and suicidal thoughts can lead to self-harm or even death.
But due to the stigma attached to the condition, only about half of those who are diagnosed choose to get treatment. Let’s look closely at the consequences of untreated schizophrenia and break the stigma so those affected can have the courage to seek help.
The Effects on Mental Health
If schizophrenia is left untreated, a person’s mental health can deteriorate. The symptoms of the condition can become more intense, and the patient may become obsessive-compulsive, anxious or depressed. Suicidal thoughts can also occur and should never be ignored. The rate of schizophrenic suicides is much higher than that of the general population.
The Effects on Physical Health
Though you would expect mental health to be affected if schizophrenia is left untreated, its lesser-known effects on the body and brain can be just as devastating.
A systematic review of data collected from numerous studies indicates that untreated psychosis may have a neurotoxic effect on brain structures. This can lead to brain damage and the loss of gray matter.
People with schizophrenia are more prone to heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. They also tend to develop these health problems at a much younger age than the average person, and their physical health should be monitored along with their mental health.
Social and Economic Impacts of Schizophrenia
People with untreated schizophrenia are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs and withdraw socially from others. These are coping mechanisms to help them deal with life but could easily lead to them becoming victims of violent crime, struggling to find and keep jobs and becoming destitute and homeless.
Let Alta Loma Help With Your Schizophrenia Treatment
If you’re ready to seek help for schizophrenia or other mental health issues, speak with a mental health professional at Alta Loma today. We offer long-term health treatment programs in Georgetown, TX, including supportive living and outpatient programs.
Without proper treatment, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and other psychiatric issues can spiral and lead to situations that may be detrimental to your health. This is especially true in the case of dual-diagnosis patients, who often use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication, creating a dangerous cycle that leads to increased substance abuse and worsening symptoms. We can help you break the cycle and live a healthier life. Call us today at (866) 457-3843.