Did you know around 1% of Americans have schizophrenia? Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder which may cause for people to hear voices that other people don’t. Often, people with schizophrenia may not make any sense when they talk, or on the contrary sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes, these people seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.

Treatment for schizophrenia helps to relieve many symptoms, however many people just learn to cope with the symptoms throughout their lives without seeking any professional treatment.

What Causes Schizophrenia?

Research and development is in constant progress to try to find out where the disease comes from and how to better treat the illness. Scientists believe that schizophrenia is caused by several factors. For one thing, it has shown to run in families. About 10% of people who have a first degree relative of the disorder will get it. However, even though scientists believe this to be one of the factors that causes the disease, there is not any “one gene” that causes the disease itself.

Another consideration are the differences of brain chemistry and structures of those affected by schizophrenia. Scientists think that an imbalance of neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and glutamine) may also play a role in schizophrenia. Neurotransmitters are substances that allow the brain to communicate with each other. Still, there is more research to be done in relation to these factors.

Some negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia include the “flat effect,” in which a person’s face does not move when talking or talks in a monotonous voice, lack of pleasure in everyday life, lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities, and not speaking a lot even when forced to interact. Other symptoms may include the inability to understand information and use it to make decisions, trouble focusing/paying attention, and problems with working memory (the ability to use information immediately after using it).

Where to find Treatment for Schizophrenia

Because the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown, treatments focus on eliminating symptoms of the disease. As there are many symptoms, there are also many treatment options. Each treatment or medication may have side effects, therefore it is crucial to do an extensive amount of your own research or ask your mental healthcare provider many questions.

Treatments range from antipsychotic medication, psychosocial treatments, illness management skills, integrated treatment for co-occurring substance use, family education, cognitive behavioral therapy, self-help groups and rehabilitation.

Many with the disorder work with a mental health professional to assess and decide what steps to take next. However, people with schizophrenia often resist treatment and are primarily taken care of by their families.

At the David Lawrence Centers, we provide innovative and comprehensive mental health programs to those suffering from mental illness in Naples and all of SWFL. These programs have been developed to meet the needs of adults who experience challenges and may not know how to overcome them.

Services available include voluntary and involuntary evaluation and treatment for individuals experiencing a psychiatric crisis who meet the criteria under the Florida Mental Health Act. Here, professionals can work together with the patient’s family and come up with a plan that includes more tests, potential medications, and other treatments.

To learn more about our mental illness treatment programs, click here or call us 24/7 at (239) 491-7602.

Oct 20, 2015 | Mental Health

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