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The Causes of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that affects about 1% of the population — about 2.8 million people. The condition can be debilitating without treatment and involve severe symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, and extremely disordered thinking. As many as 20% of individuals with the disorder attempt suicide at least once. In addition, many individuals with this condition also have co-occurring disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance use disorders. With schizophrenia treatment services in Dana Point, patients can get the support they need to reduce schizophrenia symptoms and manage their condition.
Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness that can dramatically affect an individual’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It can cause disordered thought patterns, social interactions, and a person’s perception of reality. But what causes this disorder to occur in the first place? According to some historians, the earliest documents of the disease date largely to the nineteenth century, but it’s likely that the mental disorder has always existed. Likely, the illness was categorized as a form of mental disability in some other context.
Although schizophrenia and schizophrenia-like illness has clearly existed for centuries, medical researchers are still largely unsure what causes it. In fact, schizophrenia’s causes may be numerous. According to many leading scholars, the causes of the illness may be genetic, psychological, and environmental, making it an extremely complex illness. Clinicians have seen that a highly stressful event or extreme emotional upset can trigger a psychotic event in individuals. Medical researchers have not unraveled why some people develop psychotic symptoms after such events while others do not.
Researchers do know that the disease frequently runs in families, which points to the genetic influence, but no single gene appears to cause the illness. Certain combinations of genes are likely responsible for leaving an individual more vulnerable to schizophrenia development. It’s also likely that neurotransmitters in the brain, brain structure, birth complications, severe stress, and even drug abuse can play a role in the development of the disease, but not all of these ‘causes’ are present in individuals who develop the illness.
Latest Advances in Schizophrenia Treatment
Alter Health Group specializes in the treatment of schizophrenia along with other mental health disorders such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, generalized anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorder. We employ the best treatments backed by the medical community to help clients achieve their recovery goals and better manage their mental health conditions.
It’s crucial for people who have schizophrenia to obtain treatment and maintain their therapy to manage their condition as effectively as possible. Therapy and medication can help reduce flare-ups of the disorder and improve symptom management. When left untreated, schizophrenia symptoms can become severe, and patients may require hospitalization. Schizophrenia symptoms are often at their worst during the early phases of the disorder, but it’s important to remember that treatment such as antipsychotic medications and therapy can help. Our schizophrenia treatment services are designed to help patients manage their condition successfully, minimizing symptoms and the necessity for hospitalization.
The latest treatment for schizophrenia begins with an accurate diagnosis. Some symptoms of schizophrenia can point to another mental illness or drug use. Once clinicians have diagnosed the disorder, they will create a schizophrenia treatment plan based on the latest treatments and best practices for treating the disorder. The disease requires life-long treatment because it is a chronic mental health disorder that cannot be cured now.
Because of the seriousness of the illness, many mental health clinics or hospitals take a team approach to support patients with schizophrenia. Mental health facilities that specialize in schizophrenia treatments often assign patients a social worker, case manager, nurse, therapists, and other mental health professionals to ensure that they receive the care and attention they need to manage their condition.
Medication often plays a central role in treating schizophrenia as it can reduce psychotic symptoms and alleviate many other symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Mainly, doctors will prescribe antipsychotic medications to schizophrenia patients, but other medications may be needed to address each individual’s unique symptoms.
Schizophrenia Treatment Options: A Broad Perspective
Patients have various schizophrenia treatment options, but medication is frequently the basis of the disease’s treatment. Antipsychotic medications can reduce the hallucinations and delusions that are hallmarks of the disorder. Schizophrenia treatment services at Alter Health Group take a broad approach. In addition to medication, we offer therapeutic approaches designed to help individuals manage their illness and improve their quality of life.
Therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients with schizophrenia manage their condition. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an evidence-based therapy that is employed to treat many different forms of mental illness, including schizophrenia. This means that it has undergone rigorous testing and effectively treats the disorder.
Family psychoeducation is also an important part of schizophrenia treatment for many patients. During these treatment sessions, family members meet with therapists to gain more information about the condition and how to provide the best types of support for their loved one in both the short and long term. Alter Health Group’s mental health services in Dana Point support families in their attempt to help their loved ones cope with their illnesses routinely.
Psychotherapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Schizophrenia
During psychotherapy, clinicians often favor cognitive behavioral therapy for treating schizophrenia. This therapy focuses on the connections between a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Schizophrenia patients can get professional help identifying unhealthy thought patterns that trigger negative emotions such as anger or sadness to achieve improved behaviors.
Ideally, patients should attend therapy on an ongoing basis as the disorder is chronic. Medication and psychotherapy can improve how patients manage their mental illness. Therapy at Alter Health Group can greatly reduce symptoms to promote a better quality of life.
Role of Antipsychotic Drugs in Schizophrenia Treatment
Antipsychotic drugs typically play a key role in the treatment of schizophrenia. These medications reduce psychotic symptoms and episodes. Unfortunately, schizophrenia drugs, in many cases, can cause unpleasant side effects like tremors or muscle contractions, so people with the disorder often stop taking the medications. In many cases, antipsychotic medications can begin to alleviate certain schizophrenia symptoms such as aggression or anxiety within a few hours. However, it may take a few weeks before patients experience relief from delusions or hallucinations. Refraining from taking medication can result in renewed schizophrenia symptoms and an escalation of the illness.
Antipsychotics are usually prescribed as an oral medication but they can be offered by injection too. Although antipsychotic drugs are the main medications used to treat the disorder, they are often not the only ones. Clinicians can prescribe medications to treat other symptoms associated with the illness too. At Alter Health Group, we treat each patient individually to ensure that we meet each person’s specific needs.
Comprehensive Review of Schizophrenia Medications
Patients who have schizophrenia may be prescribed a wide range of medications. The most common schizophrenia medications include antipsychotic drugs, but patients may be prescribed other medications that target various symptoms of the illness or other present mental health symptoms associated with other conditions. Schizophrenia medication names that are commonly prescribed to patients with the disorder include:
These medications treat psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Many patients are also prescribed other medications that involve symptoms that are associated with various mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and panic. For instance, doctors might prescribe lithium to stabilize a patient’s mood or sertraline to alleviate symptoms of depression.
If you have schizophrenia or are struggling with mental health symptoms, you can visit Alter Health Group for treatment. Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that does require lifelong management. Our clinicians specialize in schizophrenia treatment that takes the latest treatment innovations and best treatment practices into account. Avoiding treatment can harm a person’s mental health and overall well-being.
Remember that Alter Health Group also offers family psychoeducation to support families who need help coping with their loved one’s mental health condition. Psychoeducation can provide family members with improved disease awareness to spot symptoms of flare-ups more easily and provide effective support for their loved one such as providing medication reminders or transportation to therapy sessions.
Contact Alter Health Group to learn more about our broad range of mental health therapies. Our clinicians are dedicated to customizing treatment for each patient. After completing a patient’s treatment course, we can begin therapy designed to promote mental health wellness.
Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia Treatment Services
What causes schizophrenia?
Medical researchers do not know for certain what causes schizophrenia. They believe the condition likely involves environmental, psychological, and genetic causes. It’s not uncommon to find that schizophrenia runs in families, but no single gene is suspected of developing the condition. Numerous factors likely lead to disease development. Medical researchers continue to study the disorder that is among the most debilitating mental health conditions.
What are the optimal treatment approaches for schizophrenia?
Clinicians who follow the best schizophrenia treatment practices rely on those that are sanctioned by the medical community. Treatments for the disorder include psychotherapy and medication. In fact, medication plays a pivotal role in the treatment of schizophrenia. Medication can reduce the delusions and hallucinations that are common to the disorder. Psychotherapy may encompass various treatment approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy and stress inoculation therapy.
What are the latest advances in schizophrenia treatment?
The latest advances in schizophrenia treatment most often involve new medications that are designed to manage symptoms of hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disordered thinking. Some of the latest medications combine schizophrenia drugs into one. New drugs are being designed to target psychotic symptoms but with far fewer side effects, which is great news for individuals with the disorder. According to medical news outlets, researchers have been striving to overhaul antipsychotic drugs to alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia.
How does psychotherapy aid in schizophrenia treatment?
Psychotherapy is most effective for patients with schizophrenia when their psychotic symptoms are being controlled. During cognitive behavioral therapy or stress inoculation therapy, patients learn strategies for recognizing problematic patterns of thoughts to develop strategies for managing stress. They get support challenging unhealthy thoughts and thought patterns to begin to change them. Psychotherapy helps patients manage their stress and achieve their recovery goals.
What is the role of cognitive behavioral therapy in treating schizophrenia?
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy involved in many types of mental health treatment. Patients and therapists meet to discuss how their thoughts and feelings can impact behaviors. Unhealthy thoughts and feelings can lead to negative behaviors. Therapists help patients challenge problematic thoughts and feelings during treatment sessions to change them.
How do antipsychotic drugs work in schizophrenia treatment?
Antipsychotic drugs can alleviate schizophrenic symptoms of delusions and hallucinations, but it may take a few weeks before relief occurs. These drugs can also alleviate aggression and anger. Some people do not respond well to traditional antipsychotic medications. They may benefit from alternative antipsychotic medications.
What are some common medications used for schizophrenia?
There are various medications used to treat schizophrenia that include antipsychotic drugs, anti-anxiety medications, and antidepressants. Medication is generally the cornerstone of schizophrenic treatment. Common medications prescribed to schizophrenia patients include Haloperidol, Fluphenazine, and chlorpromazine.
How can I seek optimal treatment for schizophrenia?
If you struggle with schizophrenia, you can obtain high-quality Schizophrenia treatment services at Alter Health Group. Let our clinicians evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan that is unique to your particular circumstances. Treatment can reduce this complex disorder’s symptoms that currently have no cure.
To learn more about what Alter Health Group can do to help you or your loved one find Schizophrenia treatment services, please call us at 949-570-6454 today.