Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem to have lost touch with reality. Although it is not as common as other mental disorders and varies among individuals, schizophrenia is typically persistent and can be both severe and disabling.
People who suffer from schizophrenia will require lifelong treatment. Early treatment may help to get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook. At Valley, we understand schizophrenia and have experienced staff to treat this debilitating disorder.
Schizophrenia Averages & Statistics
What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start between ages 16 and 30. In rare cases, children have schizophrenia too. The symptoms fall into three categories as follows:
“Positive” symptoms are psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality.
The symptoms include te following:
Thought disorders (e.g., disorganized thinking as evidenced by disorganized speech)
Movement disorders (agitated body movements)
Tangential speech (train of thought wanders, never returns to original topic)
Flight of ideas (rapid flow of thought, accelerated ideas)
Loose associations (ideas appear with loose or inapparent associations)
“Negative” symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors.
The symptoms include the following:
Reduced facial expression or voice tone (also known as “flat affect”)
Reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life
Difficulty beginning and sustaining activities
For some individuals, the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle. For others, they are more severe and they may notice changes in their memory or other aspects of thinking.
The symptoms include the following:
Poor “executive functioning” (the ability to plan and prioritize, manage time, and organize thoughts and materials)
Trouble concentrating or paying attention
Problems with “working memory” (the ability to use information immediately after learning it)
How is Valley Treating Schizophrenia?
Paying regular attention to your mental well-being is good and should be a very normal part of healthy living. At Valley, we know there is no one-size-fits-all approach to mental health, which is why we take the time to care for each client individually and consider their broader story. Every client that walks through our doors is assessed holistically and cared for in a comprehensive way within a solution-focussed approach.
We offer a wide variety of counseling and counseling environments for a wide variety of clients:
Our individual counseling focuses in on each client and their unique story in order to discover the solutions that are right for them. After pairing our clients with the ideal therapist, we take the time to press into the cognitive, behavioral, and motivational aspects of our client’s recovery while also considering dual-diagnosis.
At Valley, we offer FDA approved psychiatric medication as part of our comprehensive treatment plan. Each medication program is prescribed by a trained medical professional (e.g., psychiatrist, nurse practitioner) within a broad scope of long-term care.
While every client needs to be individually motivated to seek treatment, one of the largest factors in successful treatment is a solid support system. Our family and couples counseling partners with immediate family, primary caregivers, adopted families, and support systems to get everyone on the same page in caring for their loved ones.
Incorporating complementary or alternative medicine is often referred to as an integrated approach and works best when used alongside professional treatment. Don’t replace conventional medical treatment or psychotherapy with alternative medicine.
With that said, here are some things proven to be helpful when dealing with Schizophrenia:
Exercise is generally classified as aerobic (running or walking), resistance (weight training), or mindfulness-based (yoga or tai chi). Exercise is known to improve cognitive mechanisms due to a diversion from negative thinking, social contact, and feelings of control over one’s health. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or another activity within your scope of mobility that you enjoy.
Getting a healthy amount of sleep is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you’re having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about what can be done.
One natural resource known to help with sleep is melatonin. Some have reported that the amount of sleep they get affects the severity of their schizophrenia symptoms. Melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep-wake cycles, may encourage quality shut-eye. It seems that people with schizophrenia have higher “sleep efficiency” when they take melatonin. Since melatonin also helps calm your body’s stress response, some researchers think it may relieve stress-related symptoms such as paranoid thoughts, too.
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