Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder characterized by experiences of psychosis, depression-like symptoms, and difficulties processing and interacting with your environment. While schizophrenia is often misunderstood, years of study have enabled professionals to provide meaningful treatment to support people with this disorder.
Experts describe schizophrenia as including three major clusters of symptoms: psychotic symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. While not every individual with schizophrenia will have every symptom, understanding the three categories of symptoms can aid in understanding how the disorder functions and help you to receive support.
Psychotic symptoms primarily involve a break from accepted reality. As a result of these symptoms, people with schizophrenia may have difficulty recognizing what is real, connecting with others, and taking care of themselves. Psychotic symptoms include:
- Hallucinations: Experiencing visual, auditory, or other sensations that aren’t real
- Delusions: A strong belief in something that is not real or appropriate to your culture
- Unorganized thought and speech: Unusual thinking and speaking patterns, such as nonsequiturs, speaking in gibberish, or suddenly dropping topics
- Unusual movement: Generally odd movements and postures, such as stilted or repetitive actions or sudden movements
Negative symptoms affect your ability to care for yourself and feel desired emotions. Many negative symptoms mimic or appear similar to depression. However, not all people with schizophrenia have depression.
Negative symptoms may include:
- Difficulty caring for oneself, such as showering, eating, and doing daily tasks
- Flat or seemingly “emotionless” affect
- Loss of interest in everyday tasks and chores
- Inability to feel positive emotions
- Lowered energy levels
- Social disconnects, such as withdrawing from social events or reduced communication
Cognitive symptoms affect your ability to process the world around you and make decisions.
Cognitive symptoms include:
- Difficulty making decisions
- Poor attention span or memory
- Difficulty completing tasks and goals
- Lack of insight into life
Schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders occur in about 0.25% to 0.64% of people in the U.S. It is more common in men than women and is typically diagnosed between the late teenage years to the early 30s. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia has multiple risk factors, including family (genetic) history with schizophrenia, environmental stressors, and differences in brain structure and function.
When left untreated, schizophrenia symptoms can be disabling. Some people with schizophrenia may struggle with basic self-care tasks or other necessities such as engaging in work or schooling. In addition, some people with schizophrenia may develop depression and may have suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Dealing with these symptoms on your own can be challenging. In treatment, experts can guide you through your care, help you to establish coping strategies, and keep you safe.
Alter Wellness Care’s Program
Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, offers scientifically backed, holistic services for those with schizophrenia and other disorders. If you or a loved one is seeking support for your struggles, Alter Wellness Care can help.
At our center, clients have a choice between several program types: two types of intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and our partial hospitalization program (PHP). Each program is unique, offering a range of structure, time commitment, and support.
Our Intensive Outpatient Programs
Alter Wellness Care offers two types of IOP: IOP5 and IOP3.
IOP5 is intended for more intensive care, lasting 40 to 60 days of treatment. While in this program, people in treatment will stay at a local sober living house seven days a week. Group sessions are held Monday to Friday at several points throughout the day, offering robust support for those in need.
IOP3 is intended for more moderate needs or those with busier schedules, lasting 30 to 40 days of treatment. Like IOP5, people in IOP3 stay at a local sober living house seven days a week. While in IOP3, you can choose from two morning sessions or two afternoon sessions of group therapy.
Our Partial Hospitalization Program
Alter Wellness Care’s PHP is a flexible, supportive care environment for those with lower support needs or busier schedules. Lasting 30 to 45 days total, those in our PHP stay at a local sober living house seven days a week. Structured group therapy and support are offered three to five days a week at several points during the day.
Getting Help for Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a serious mental condition that can cause hallucinations, delusions, and distorted thinking and behavior. Many people with schizophrenia may find it difficult to perform everyday tasks, care for themselves, and connect with their communities. However, with expert care, anyone with schizophrenia can live the fulfilling life they desire. Alter Wellness Care offers cutting-edge, holistic treatment programs for those with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
Both our IOPs and PHP are designed to take advantage of the latest psychiatric science to support you in your journey to recovery. Our treatment includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance therapy, and skill development groups to ensure that our patients have the tools they need to succeed.
We understand that many other support programs are heavily restrictive and offer those in treatment little agency. At Alter Wellness Care, our treatment recognizes that clients deserve holistic care that addresses all aspects of their lives. To best support you, we offer a variety of treatment modalities that are proven methods to support you in your recovery journey. All care is trauma-informed, and our experts are trained in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those in treatment learn about their mental health, create plans to achieve their goals, and connect with their communities. We take regular outings, volunteer in our local communities, and learn life skills.
To learn more about schizophrenia and how Alter Wellness Care can help you or a loved one, call (866) 515-1580 now.