Condition: Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia affects perception & causes stress. Seeking help can lead to a normal & happy life. It’s a serious condition, but manageable with support.


What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness that affects a person’s ability to interact with reality. If left untreated, patients may have a more difficult time engaging in work, school, and relationships. Some people who suffer from schizophrenia may not always have insight that they need treatment. However, the earlier one seeks treatment, the better the outcome may be. Lifelong treatment is usually necessary.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that impacts one perception of the world, which oftentimes leads to debilitation and stress. But it is still possible to live a normal and happy life if one seeks out help.

Schizophrenia affects perception & causes stress. Seeking help can lead to a normal & happy life. It’s a serious condition, but manageable with support.

How to treat Schizophrenia

The goal of treatment is to help those individuals with schizophrenia manage their symptoms in order to improve everyday functioning and to pursue their passion.

Medications for Schizophrenia

Antipsychotic therapy has been proven to improve psychotic symptoms. This can include diminishing the delusions and hallucinations associated with schizophrenia. This may be done with pills or injectables given every two weeks or every month.

Your PsychiaTreat Psychiatrist will go over all the potential side effects and weigh the pros and cons before starting this class of medications.

Other treatment strategies include family education and support. This type of support may bolster the loved ones and aid in their ability to care for the patient.
Coordinate with other medical specialties. People with schizophrenia are more likely to suffer from chronic medical illness. To provide quality care, the psychiatrist and other medical providers should collaborate in order to deliver optimal care.

What causes Schizophrenia

There can be several risk factors that contribute to schizophrenia. 

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

It is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia in order to seek treatment as early as possible. Generally, those with schizophrenia show signs from late adolescenthood to young adulthood. Symptoms can present in a variety of ways but it typically affects one’s perception and ability to think rationally.

This is when a person sees, hears, tastes, smells, or even feels things or objects that are not there. Auditory hallucinations or hearing voices is very common in those with schizophrenia. 

This is defined as a fixed and false belief. Oftentimes, the individual will strongly believe something that is not true despite being shown contradictory evidence. This can include paranoid delusions where there is a fear that one's life is in danger, or referential delusions that one is receiving messages through the environment or media. There are many other types of delusions.

This is characterized by the person's inability to think or talk in a coherent and logical manner. This can be seen as the person unable to clearly express themselves in a reasoned way.

A person may display movements that are bizarre or troublesome in nature. An example of this is repetitive movements with one's extremities. 

This may be seen as loss of motivation or interest in daily activities. One can have little to no expression on one’s face and be withdrawn. 

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia may include:

  • Having difficulty with being motivated for everyday activities
  • Difficulty with enjoyable previously enjoyed activities
  • Being socially withdrawn
  • Decreased energy 


Some individuals may have decreased in cognitive abilities over time including:

  • Difficulty sustaining attention 
  • Trouble learning new things 
  • Trouble making decisions 
  • Trouble remembering things 

Common Mistaken Beliefs about Schizophrenia

Myth– People with schizophrenia are violent.

Fact– Most people with schizophrenia are not violent. In fact, they are at higher risk of violence and victimization than those without the illness.

Myth– People with schizophrenia belong in a mental institution.

Fact– While some may benefit from a psychiatric hospital, many people living with schizophrenia lead happy and normal lives with treatment.

Myth– They have a split personality or dissociative identity disorder.

Fact– These are very two different disorders. People with dissociative identity disorder have two or more distinct identities that periodically take control of them.

Myth– People with schizophrenia are not intelligent.

Fact– While those suffering from this condition may have some difficulty in certain cognitive tests, this does not mean they are not smart. In fact, there are several notable figures who are known for their intelligence including Nobel Laureate John Nash (his story was portrayed in the film ‘Beautiful Mind’).

Schizophrenia Statistics

Estimated prevalence of schizophrenia in the U.S is slightly below 1% of all U.S. adults. However, it accounts for one of the leading causes of disability. Those with the disorder are at higher risk of having chronic medical conditions including heart and liver disease. 

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