Schizophrenia is a widely misunderstood mental health condition. Those living with the disorder are still met with stigma and often labeled by others as chaotic, unstable or violent. In reality, these stereotypes are based on inaccurate depictions in the media and couldn’t be further from the truth. Most patients with schizophrenia are ordinary people dealing with a difficult diagnosis, but sometimes need a little extra support to cope with their symptoms.

At Alta Loma, we know how hard it is to live with a mental disorder like schizophrenia. Without proper treatment, the symptoms can become overwhelming and interfere with almost every aspect of daily life. That’s why we provide an array of transformational psychiatric services at our facility in Georgetown, Texas. By combining a structured environment with the latest therapeutic modalities and a dedicated clinical team, we give individuals with psychiatric issues the chance to reclaim a sense of emotional stability and work toward a healthy, fulfilling and independent lifestyle that isn’t burdened by the symptoms of mental illness.

Coping

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder that interferes with perceiving reality, relating to others, and thinking clearly. Individuals living with schizophrenia can have problems distinguishing what’s real from what isn’t and may experience hallucinations, disordered thinking and feelings of paranoia. Symptoms often start in the late teens or early 20s and involve subtle changes in thinking, mood and behavior, but as the condition progresses, episodes of psychosis can occur that are highly distressing. Schizophrenic episodes can cause significant impairment in normal functioning, but a combination of therapy, support and medication can help stabilize patients and decrease the intensity of these symptoms for a substantial improvement in quality of life.

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Schizophrenia symptoms can come and go throughout a person’s lifetime, but many individuals don’t realize that their thoughts, feelings or perceptions are distorted until they’re diagnosed with the disorder. And because the early stages of schizophrenia can mimic stress, normal teenage behavior or other mental health conditions, diagnosis usually occurs after symptoms become more obvious. Those living with schizophrenia typically experience two types of symptoms, positive and negative, which refer to changes in thinking or behavior that aren’t usually present or an absence of normal functioning.

Positive symptoms (“adds” a mental experience or phenomenon):

  • Hallucinations (auditory, visual, tactile, etc.)
  • Delusions, paranoia and irrational fears
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Disorganized speech and thought patterns

Negative symptoms (“takes away” from normal thoughts, feelings or behaviors):

  • Feeling emotionally withdrawn or isolated
  • Low motivation and energy
  • Lack of pleasure (anhedonia)
  • Flat emotional affect/trouble expressing emotions
  • Difficulty planning or participating in activities

These symptoms can vary depending on the person experiencing them. For example, some people may hear voices or think that song lyrics, TV shows or billboards contain a special message just for them, while others may feel paranoid or suspicious of their friends and family. Regardless of how the symptoms of schizophrenia appear, they can cause individuals to lose touch with reality and are highly disruptive to daily life. Certain risk factors, such as substance abuse, stress, stopping medication or a significant life event, can cause symptoms to worsen, making it important to practice good self-care and have a treatment plan in place for dealing with triggers, crises or emergencies.

Schizophrenia and Autism Spectrum Disorder

The brain is a complicated mechanism, and researchers have recently discovered that schizophrenia and other mental illnesses share genetic risk factors with autism spectrum disorders. This helps to explain why autistic individuals are nearly 3.6 times more likely than others to be diagnosed with a schizophrenic disorder. When these two conditions coexist, it’s known as co-occurring disorders and has important implications in developing a successful treatment plan that manages the symptoms of both disorders.

Alta Loma is uniquely equipped to help patients living with schizophrenia and a co-occurring autism spectrum disorder. The complexities of these disorders can be difficult to treat, but our comprehensive care plans are tailored to the needs of each resident and provide leading solutions for restoring a sense of balance and stability. By focusing on long-term strategies that elicit lasting change, our program ensures that residents have the support they need to manage their symptoms and live a healthy, successful and productive life.

Schizophrenia Treatment at Alta Loma

Schizophrenia is a serious diagnosis, and the right treatment is key to helping individuals find relief from their symptoms and improve their mental wellness. The most effective treatment plans encompass the full scope of one’s mental, physical and emotional health needs and provide support throughout the entire recovery process, giving them the chance to heal and develop the skills they’ll need to stay healthy.

Alta Loma does all of this and more by integrating a range of effective modalities into each individual’s treatment plan. Rather than address each symptom separately, we take a holistic approach that helps residents navigate various aspects of living with a mental illness. Schizophrenia affects every facet of one’s life, and some of the techniques we use to promote meaningful change include:

Schizophrenia requires a multidisciplinary approach for maximum therapeutic benefit, and treatment plans often include a combination of therapy, medication, social support and crisis planning. Because addiction and co-occurring disorders are common in those with schizophrenia, we also provide integrated substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment to ensure that each individual’s needs are met throughout the recovery process.

Contact Alta Loma

Healing on Your Terms

Living with schizophrenia isn’t easy, but Alta Loma can help you or a loved one take control of your symptoms and achieve a stable, balanced life. Our transformational psychiatric services are ideal for those who haven’t been successful in other treatment programs and combine a range of effective modalities for improved mental wellness. To learn more or speak to one of our friendly representatives, contact or call us today at (866) 457-3843.