People with Schizophrenia generally think of it as a mental disorder, but it is a widely misunderstood mental health condition that needs Schizophrenia treatment. Those living with the condition are met with stigma and often labeled by others as chaotic, unstable, or even violent, all of which are the myths of schizophrenia.
In reality, these stereotypes are based on other psychotic disorders, feeding inaccurate depictions that 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. Treating Schizophrenia is what Alta Loma Transformational Services, near Austin, in Georgetown, TX does best.
Premier Schizophrenia Treatment
At Alta Loma Transformational Services, we know how hard it is to live with a mental disorder like schizophrenia. To care for your mental health, we specialize in schizophrenia treatment.
People with schizophrenia should get treatment as soon as the illness starts showing; early detection can reduce the severity of their symptoms. Recovery while living with schizophrenia is often seen over time, and involves a variety of factors including self-learning, peer support, school and work, and finding the best early intervention team.
Without proper treatment, symptoms of Schizophrenia can become overwhelming and interfere with almost every aspect of daily life. From Acute Schizophrenic Episodes to a severe psychiatric crises, the mental health professional team at Alta Loma will be here for you come day one!
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 (like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, support groups, psychosocial therapy, etc) and a dedicated clinical team, we give individuals with Schizophrenia 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 serious mental illness.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric and severe mental disorder that interferes with perceiving reality, relating to others, and thinking clearly. The American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines Schizophrenia as a chronic brain disorder that affects less than one percent of the U.S. population. When schizophrenia is active, symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, trouble with thinking and lack of motivation.
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.
Although medications can have adverse effects like weight gain and increase in blood sugar, changes in nutrition and exercise can help address these side effects. It is necessary for a person with Schizophrenia to continue with their treatment plan, even if the symptoms improve to ensure their recovery.
Symptoms often start in the late teens or early 20s and involve subtle changes in thinking, mood, and behavior — these are the early warning signs. 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 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 mental illness. 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 psychotic 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 are then put on a Schizophrenia spectrum and can vary depending on the person experiencing them. For example, some people may be hearing 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, and minimize the effects of the mental illness.
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 schizophrenic disorder. When Schizophrenia and Autism 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 Transformational Services, in Georgetown, TX 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 healthy, successful, and productive life.
Schizophrenia Treatment at Alta Loma
The right treatments, along with practical and emotional support from your loved ones, will go a long way to help you navigate your life.
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 ways to treat schizophrenia encompass the full scope of one’s mental, physical, and emotional health needs. Alta Loma provides support throughout the entire recovery process, giving people with Schizophrenia cope with the symptoms better and the chance to heal and develop the skills they’ll need to stay healthy.
Alta Loma, near Austin TX, offers a community of mental health teams that do 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 mental disorders. Schizophrenia affects every facet of one’s life, and some of the techniques we use to promote meaningful change include:
- Primary Program at The Ranch
- Extended care at The Villa
- IOP/PHP options
- Psychiatric assessments
- Integrated mental health and addiction treatment
- Medication management
- Life skills education
- 12-step support
- Comprehensive care coordination
- Nutrition plans
- Strategies for healthy living
People with schizophrenia and schizophrenia spectrum disorders will also benefit from the support of their family, friends, and community services. Anyone caring for someone with schizophrenia can help by learning how to spot the onset of an episode, encouraging the person to adhere to their treatment plan, and supporting them through their experience.
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 us today and start your path to recovery.