Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, and Treatments

Schizophrenia is a serious behavior and brain disorder that affects the way a person acts, feels, and thinks. Those that suffer from this disorder can have problems knowing the difference between fantasy and reality, expressing their feelings, and making decisions. In some cases, the way the brain processes thoughts can cause the individual to be less motivated and disorganized. Many also hear voices and things others want to hurt them, are plotting against them or can read their minds.

The social stigma concerning schizophrenia is completely biased in the belief that those suffering from this disorder have split personalities and will hurt other people. The truth is that these individuals do not have more than one personality and suffer the symptoms alone. They may seem angry and withdrawn but often harm themselves. Around 10% of individuals with schizophrenia commit suicide within the first ten years of developing the disorder.

Even though schizophrenia is a lifelong disorder and there is no cure, medication and counseling can aid in providing help so the individual can improve their lives and manage the symptoms. Schizophrenia therapists in Lowell, Arkansas use various types of counseling methods to provide the best care for individuals with this disorder.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Every person is different and the symptoms can be different according to the way the disorder reveals itself, the way it progresses, the age it develops, the severity, and how long the symptoms last. However, the symptoms have been placed into specific categories which include cognitive, negative, and positive. Each of the categories shows that there are brain function issues. Individuals with this disorder will have times where they are better and then get worse and then get better again, often in cycles.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Memory problems

  • Attention problems

  • Organizing and planning

Negative Symptoms

  • Loss of emotion

  • Loss of motivation

  • The ability to make plans is reduced

  • The ability to speak is reduced

  • Reduction in finding pleasure in life

  • Has a hard time staying on a schedule

  • Withdrawals from society

Positive Symptoms

  • Delusions

  • Hallucinations

  • Thought Disorders

Subtypes of Schizophrenia

  • Paranoid schizophrenia

  • Disorganized schizophrenia

  • Catatonic schizophrenia

  • Residual schizophrenia

  • Schizoaffective disorder

Age of Schizophrenia Development

In the majority of cases, both men and women suffer equally with schizophrenia and all ethnic groups. At the age of between sixteen and thirty delusions and hallucinations begin. Men, on the other hand, develop symptoms earlier than women. However, after the age of forty-five and prior to the teen years, schizophrenia is not seen.

Treatment for Schizophrenia

Even though there is no cure, it can be treated and managed through medicine and behavioral counseling. For those that are having serious symptoms such as suicidal thoughts may need hospitalization.

The most common medication used is antipsychotic that aid in relieving the delusions and hallucinations.

Cognitive and behavioral therapy can then help “retrain” the brain once symptoms are reduced.

Counseling helps individuals with schizophrenia improve their motivation, personal hygiene, and communication. Learning how to cope with their disorder will help individuals live a productive life and normally have fewer relapses. Family counseling can also help all family members understand schizophrenia and help the person with the disorder live a better life.