There is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health treatment. If you are experiencing a mental health disorder or condition, then having a mental health treatment plan tailored to your needs is important. No matter what mental health disorder you may be experiencing, having a treatment plan that works best for you is crucial to better health. This is especially true if you are experiencing schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that, unfortunately, cannot be cured. However, there is help for this condition. Seeking proper care and treatment is vital to your well-being if you are experiencing schizophrenia. Having a treatment plan that works best for you is also crucial. From outpatient therapy programs to psychotherapy techniques, knowing where to turn can help you take the first step forward in getting the help you need to live a healthier life.
When it comes to schizophrenia, finding the right care and treatment can be challenging. Each case differs, and a specialist is often necessary to develop the most effective care plan, from medication to psychotherapy.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is classified by the National Institute of Mental Health as a serious disorder affecting how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Untreated schizophrenia is often recognized by difficulty functioning with daily activities, personal relationships, and school or employment.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Knowing which signs and symptoms to be aware of is crucial when talking to your doctor. This way, you receive the proper diagnosis. Symptoms of schizophrenia can range from psychotic to negative to cognitive symptoms.
The psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia can be scary. For some, these symptoms come and go, but for others, they can remain stable over a period of time. These symptoms include:
- Hallucinations: Hearing voices that aren’t there or seeing things that don’t exist in the present moment
- Delusions: If you have strong beliefs that aren’t based in fact and could seem irrational to others, potentially causing you mental harm
- Thought disorder: Thinking in an unusual way or illogically, trouble organizing speech patterns
- Movement disorder: If you experience unusual body movements, you feel the need to repeat
Those with negative symptoms may be experiencing a lack of motivation in daily activities. They may also withdraw from social life and have difficulty functioning normally. Symptoms include:
- Trouble planning and sticking with activities
- Having trouble feeling pleasure and enjoyment in daily activities
- Talking in a dull tone of voice and showing limited facial expressions
- Interacting socially in awkward ways or avoiding social situations
- Low energy and spending a lot of time in passive activities
It is important to note that these symptoms can also be mistaken for being symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions.
When experiencing cognitive symptoms, you may feel as though you have difficulty paying attention, concentrating, or lacking in memory. Cognitive Symptoms include:
- Trouble processing information to make decisions
- trouble using information immediately after learning it
- Trouble focusing or paying attention
While all these symptoms could be a cause to get checked out for schizophrenia, it is also important to know where this mental health disorder originated. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, genetics plays a big role when being diagnosed with this mental health disorder. Though we don’t know all the reasons why this disorder could be passed down from one generation to the next, studies have shown that genetics are significant.
But while genetics may play an influential role in many mental health conditions, your environment can also influence how your brain develops. Life experiences with trauma, poverty, and stressful situations can have a significant impact on developing schizophrenia. Brain function and structure are also studies scientists are studying to determine if abnormalities in the brain could cause such a disorder.
Treatment for Schizophrenia
There is help for this disorder through the combination of antipsychotic medication and psychotherapy. Talking to your doctor before making any decisions on how to treat your mental health is the first step in getting the proper treatment plan. There are several therapeutic ways to treat schizophrenia.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Schizophrenia
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is known to treat the part of the brain that deals with thoughts and beliefs that serve a negative purpose in your life. The goal of CBT is to challenge “faulty thinking” and how to better manage your emotions during stressful situations. This effective form of treatment can help you cope with and manage your symptoms, such as irrational thinking and hearing voices.
CBT works well as a psychotherapy treatment plan because it helps you learn how to cope with situations where you may feel socially awkward or lack the motivation to participate. If you feel as though you need help in these areas, CBT can effectively give you the skills to manage these symptoms.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Schizophrenia
Therapy focuses on helping you pursue better relationships, employment, and participation in activities that interest you. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is the type of therapy that helps you with emotional regulation and mindfulness.
By treating symptoms such as life-threatening behaviors and irrational fears, DBT can help you settle these symptoms. This type of talk therapy is effective in helping you live a well-rounded life without your schizophrenia symptoms getting in the way.
Treating schizophrenia can be a confusing process, especially if you do not know where to turn. Alter Wellness Care can provide you with resources that will help point you in the right direction. When seeking treatment, talk to your doctor about what will truly work for you.
If you or someone you love is challenged by schizophrenia and has nowhere to turn, don’t hesitate to contact us at Alter Wellness Care. We can provide you with mental health professionals who will diagnose and treat you properly throughout outpatient programs. You are not alone in this fight, and our programs, such as CBT and DBT, help you learn how to cope with and manage your symptoms. Schizophrenia can be stressful to live with, and by getting the help you need now, you can take the first steps to live a healthier and happier life. We can help you do just that. Give our office a call at (866) 311-3510 to learn more.