Schizophrenia is an uncommon mental illness capable of altering your basic perception of reality. However, not everyone affected by this illness develops the same kinds of symptoms. Instead, a person may experience a complex mixture of mental health changes. Knowledge of the potential symptoms and causes of schizophrenia may help you detect its presence. A well-designed schizophrenia treatment program will help you recover if you are diagnosed with the illness.
Symptoms and Causes of Schizophrenia: Potential Roots of the Illness
No one knows exactly why schizophrenia occurs. In each case, multiple factors may play a role. These factors can include:
- Abnormalities in your brain chemistry
- Your genetic background
- Fetal malnutrition
- Exposure to toxins or viruses in the womb
- Drug use as a teen or young adult
You may or may not share the same risk factors with other affected people. The single most common risk is having a close relative with schizophrenia—your odds of developing the illness increase significantly in this situation.
In terms of drug use, LSD and other hallucinogens are most closely tied to schizophrenia. However, recent research also shows a possible link to marijuana. If you use this drug, your risks for psychotic episodes increase. This is especially true if you use it often or at a very young age.
Early Signs of Schizophrenia
When it first starts, schizophrenia can be hard to detect. That’s true because it tends to produce non-specific symptoms that could have other causes. Examples of these early signs of schizophrenia include irritability and a drop in personal motivation. They also include poor grades in school, relationship problems, and sleeping difficulties. Issues like this are common among teens and young adults in general. When they lead to illness, they are known as prodromal schizophrenia.
Symptoms and Causes of Schizophrenia: Diagnosable Symptoms
There are five potential symptom categories for schizophrenia. These categories are:
- Delusional thinking
- Disorganized speech and thought
- Disorganized motor behavior
- Negative symptoms
To be diagnosed, you must have at least two types of symptoms. Those symptoms must include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thought, and speech.
Delusions and hallucinations are the most classic symptoms of schizophrenia. Either symptom can produce the state of mind known as psychosis. Disorganized thought and speech lead to illogical jumps or gaps in your way of thinking and talking. The term disorganized motor behavior refers to the aimless, childlike, or unpredictable movement of the body.
Negative symptoms reflect an absence of certain normal behaviors or abilities. These missing things may include your ability to speak or express emotion. They may also include your ability to feel pleasure or make plans.
The goal of schizophrenia treatment is to minimize the illness’ effects. If you’re affected by psychosis, you will receive antipsychotic medication. Psychotherapy can help you reestablish functional patterns of thought and behavior. Specific methods used for this purpose include supportive therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Additional treatment options are also commonly used to help you recover. Main options include family therapy, social skills training, and vocational rehab. Daily living support of some kind is also typical.
Seek Schizophrenia Treatment at New Start Recovery
Need help for schizophrenia? Then turn to the experts at New Start Recovery. We specialize in the treatment of dual diagnoses. This is the term for multiple mental health issues that occur at the same time. Dual diagnosis is common in people with schizophrenia. It often involves serious problems with drugs or alcohol.
Our customized treatment plans support effective relief of your schizophrenia symptoms. They also support your recovery from substance abuse or addiction. To learn more about our available options, call us today at 833.433.0448. You can also reach us through our online form.