Schizophrenia is a serious and chronic mental disorder involving a breakdown in the relation between thought, emotion, and behavior, leading to misperceptions, inappropriate behaviors, and feelings. Our providers and the team at Ohio Psychiatric Services in Lancaster, Ohio, understand that those with schizophrenia can withdraw from reality and personal relationships into fantasy and delusion. They are committed to providing the most effective treatments and therapies available for schizophrenia patients. To learn more, call Ohio Psychiatric Services or book an appointment online now.
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects the way you think, feel, and behave. Many people with schizophrenia suffer a departure from reality that causes them to hear voices that are not there or see things that are not there. In severe cases, schizophrenia can make people think they are in danger when they are not. This disorder can even impact your ability to keep up with school, hold down a job, or form personal connections with friends and family.
Who is at risk of schizophrenia?
Symptoms of schizophrenia typically start between ages 16 and 30. Most people do not develop this disorder after the age of 45. Men often develop symptoms at a younger age than women. While schizophrenia can affect anybody, some of the most common risk factors include:
- Having a close relative with schizophrenia
- Chemical imbalances in the brain
Scientists also believe environmental factors, such as exposure to viruses, malnutrition before birth, or birth complications, also raise your risk of schizophrenia.
What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
Experts typically break schizophrenia symptoms into three separate categories:
Positive symptoms are characterized by psychotic thoughts or behaviors, including:
- Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that are not there)
- Delusions (untrue beliefs)
- Difficulty organizing thoughts
- Strange body movements
Negative symptoms make it difficult to show emotions and to function properly. The most common symptoms include:
- Reduced expression (flat voice or facial expressions)
- Speaking less than before
- Difficulty completing activities
- Minimized feelings of pleasure
- Feeling withdrawn
Cognitive symptoms affect your thought process, making it difficult to understand information and make decisions. You may experience trouble concentrating or struggle to use information effectively after learning it.
How is schizophrenia treated?
The Ohio Psychiatric Services team typically recommends a combination of counseling and medication to relieve the symptoms of schizophrenia. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Counseling: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that treats problems and increases happiness by changing dysfunctional behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. This type of psychotherapy helps patients identify negative or harmful thoughts and use strategies to overcome them and change their actions. The primary goal of CBT is to provide patients with real solutions.
- Medication: Most experts advise taking antipsychotic medication every day to avoid psychotic symptoms, like hallucinations and delusions.
- NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) therapy: TMS therapy is a medication-free treatment for depression and anxiety disorders that uses gentle magnetic pulses to activate certain parts of the brain. Studies show that TMS therapy can help relieve some of the negative symptoms of schizophrenia, including depression, reduced ability to feel pleasure, and feeling withdrawn.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment with Ohio Psychiatric Services, call the office or book a consultation online today.