Schizophrenia Treatment Center
A face-off with reality
Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic and disabling brain disorder, distorting the interpretation of reality. The brain’s chemistry is affected and an individual may experience hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and highly disordered thinking and behavior.
The afflicted are prone to the belief that others can hear their thoughts and experience other similar delusions, all the while portraying paranoid behavior, catatonic states and inappropriate behavior.
About 1 percent of Americans are schizophrenic. Schizophrenia affects more than 21 million people worldwide.
Sovereign Health Group is a residential rehabilitation treatment company for substance abuse, mental health disorders and dual diagnosis. Our expert staff provides our patients with cutting-edge treatment programming and a full continuum of therapeutic care monitored by various licensed health professionals.
Experts believe schizophrenia is caused by a variety of factors.
- Genetic makeup is considered to be a probable cause. The illness affects 1 percent of the general population, but occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder (parent, brother or sister). Individuals with second-degree schizophrenic relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents or cousins) are also more susceptible than the general population. The risk is highest for an identical twin of a person with schizophrenia, as chances of developing the disorder increase by an alarming 40 to 65 percent
- Many environmental factors are held responsible as well, such as exposure to viruses or malnutrition before birth, problems during birth and other unknown psychosocial factors
- Chemical imbalance in the brain involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate is another probable cause. There are various minor differences noted in the brain of a schizophrenic such as enlarged ventricles, lesser gray matter and less or more activity in various regions
Signs and Symptoms
Schizophrenia normally begins to manifest in an individual between the ages of 18 and 35, though the onset is normally later in women than it is in men. There are three main categories for schizophrenia: positive, negative and cognitive.
Positive symptoms largely include delusions and hallucinations, which are normally associated with schizophrenia.
- Psychotic behaviors not seen in normal individuals
- A loss of reality
- Hallucinations: seeing, smelling, touching or hearing things that others cannot; most commonly hearing voices
- Disorganized thinking or dysfunctional thinking, confused thoughts, inability to express ones thoughts in an easily understood manner
- Agitated movement or other repetitive movements denoting a catatonic state
Negative symptoms essentially refer to behavior patterns that show a lack of ability to perform the activities of a normal daily life.
- A disruption in normal behavior or feelings; often seen as depression or other mental health disorders
- Silence; won’t talk even when forced to interact
- Activities that bring no pleasure
- Inability to begin or sustain planned activities
- Monotonous voice; lack of movement in the person’s face
- Inability to perform daily tasks unassisted
Cognitive symptoms include problems within the brain. It encompasses inability to:
- Comprehend information or make decisions
- Pay attention or focus
- Utilize information after learning it
Treatment with Sovereign
Our evidence-based treatment programs deal with mild to moderate levels of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, which refers to a person suffering from not just schizophrenic symptoms, but an affective mood disorder as well. Our customized and individualistic treatments are based on a detailed assessment prior to treatment, designed to identify and treat any other co-occurring conditions.
Treatment is life-long and largely based on reducing the symptoms. It will focus on soothing the symptoms and often includes the use of traditional antipsychotic medications and psychosocial treatments such as therapy.
Psychosocial therapy can provide additional help for those who have already been stabilized through medication. This kind of therapy can help schizophrenics learn life skills and handle daily life activities such as work, communication and taking care of themselves and their relationships. Those who choose to take part in psychosocial therapy normally remain on medication and are able to maintain their recovery better than those who do not partake in therapy. Additionally, undergoing illness management skill therapy helps people learn more about their illness, how to cope with their illness and how to watch for signs and symptoms.
Cognitive behavioral therapy, focusing on thoughts and behavior, can help a schizophrenic with finding ways to test the reality of his or her thoughts and feelings. For those with severe schizophrenia, hospitalization might be the best option.
We combine individual and group therapy with alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, equine therapy and art therapy in order to create a balanced and holistic program for each patient and along with traditional medication. Incorporating family-support therapy alongside self-help groups and peer support groups can prove to be important in providing help with relationship problems that often result due to the disorder.
Treatments for schizophrenia will differ depending on each person and the severity of his or her condition. This is why it’s important to find a location and a program that treats the person rather than the disease and does it the right way. The Sovereign Way.