Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that can severely disrupt a person’s daily life. At CenterPointe Hospital, we can help people who have schizophrenia learn to cope with symptoms and live happier, more productive lives.
Schizophrenia may cause a person to see or hear things other people cannot. It is common for a person who has schizophrenia to experience symptoms like disorganized thoughts and false perceptions of reality that can lead to feelings of isolation.
Signs & Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The average age a person begins to show signs and symptoms of schizophrenia is 16-30. A schizophrenia diagnosis very rarely occurs in people over the age of 45.
Someone who has schizophrenia can experience cognitive impairment, which may make it difficult for them to manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. At times, they may have trouble carrying out their day-to-day activities.
There are three types of symptoms of schizophrenia.
Positive symptoms: These symptoms can cause an individual to misinterpret or lose touch with reality. Examples of positive symptoms include:
- Disorganized thoughts
- Meaningless or muddled speech
- Irregular motor behaviors or catatonia
Negative symptoms: These symptoms may cause disruption in normal behavior and emotion. Examples of negative symptoms include:
- Difficulty completing routine tasks
- Reduced ability to experience pleasure
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Difficulty expressing emotion or speaking
- Avoidance of social settings
Cognitive symptoms: These symptoms may be subtle and difficult to identify, and they can interfere with a person’s ability to think clearly. Examples of cognitive symptoms include:
- Memory challenges
- Difficulty focusing
- Inability to understand information
- Intense emotional distress
A person who displays any signs or symptoms of schizophrenia may be in crisis and can benefit from the help of a professional.
While schizophrenia is relatively rare, it is one of the most debilitating mental health disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has reported the following statistics on schizophrenia:
- It ranks in the top 15 leading causes of disability worldwide.
- Approximately 4.9% of people who have schizophrenia die by suicide.
- For individuals in the United States who have schizophrenia, the average potential life lost is estimated to be 28.5 years.
Effects of Schizophrenia
If left untreated, schizophrenia may cause extreme physical, emotional, and behavioral problems that can negatively impact all areas of a person’s life. However, an early diagnosis and quality care can help someone who has schizophrenia get on the path to better health.
Depending on a person’s specific situation, effects of schizophrenia may include:
- Family conflicts
- Inability to maintain employment or attend school
- Social isolation
- Suicidal ideation
Schizophrenia affects everyone differently. Each patient at CenterPointe Hospital receives personalized care to help them achieve their unique treatment goals.
Common Causes of & Risk Factors for Schizophrenia
Studies indicate that a combination of physical, genetic, and environmental risk factors may contribute to a person’s chances of having schizophrenia.
Genetic: Schizophrenia can run in families, but many people who have schizophrenia do not have a family history of the illness. Research suggests that while there is no one gene that causes schizophrenia, there are many genes that may increase a person’s likelihood of developing it.
Physical: Researchers have found that an imbalance in brain chemistry may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Studies show that the structure of the brain, such as the ventricles, looks different in those who have schizophrenia.
Environmental: Scientists believe that external factors like prenatal exposure to toxins, trauma at birth, maternal malnutrition, and viruses may increase a person’s likelihood of having schizophrenia.
Therapies Used in Schizophrenia Treatment
While schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, it doesn’t have to define a person’s life. With effective treatment and comprehensive support, someone who is battling symptoms of schizophrenia can learn coping skills to help them find lasting healing.
At CenterPointe Hospital, each person completes an initial assessment that helps us develop a customized treatment plan for them that is tailored to their individual strengths. Depending on a patient’s unique needs, their personalized care may incorporate:
- Individual, family, group, and experiential therapies
- Medication management services
- Basic medical care
How to Choose a Schizophrenia Treatment Center
Our team understands that asking for help can be overwhelming, and our aim is to make the treatment process as stress-free as possible for each person who seeks care at our facilities. We help our patients by providing them with the programming and resources they need to enjoy a brighter tomorrow.
We offer inpatient, residential, and outpatient services for individuals who are battling moderate to severe behavioral health concerns like schizophrenia. At CenterPointe Hospital, patients can receive focused care from a team of compassionate professionals.
Our staff believes that with the proper support, patients can build a solid foundation for healing. To promote each patient’s continued success after they complete treatment at our facility, we provide them with a detailed aftercare plan that may include follow-up therapy services, facility recommendations, and additional resources.
CenterPointe Hospital is located in St. Charles, Missouri, and we offer additional outpatient services at our facilities in St. Louis, Missouri, and Maryville, Illinois.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at CenterPointe Hospital.