Schizophrenia is a serious, chronic brain disorder affecting about 1.2% of the population in this country, and it always requires professional psychiatric intervention. If you suspect a family member or friend might have the disorder, call or schedule an appointment online to meet with one of Uptown Psych’s experienced psychiatrists, located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Individuals with schizophrenia usually don’t have the capacity or self-awareness to seek treatment on their own. It usually falls on family and friends to recognize a problem.
Schizophrenia Q & A
What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that poses problems with cognitive ability, behavior, or emotions. Symptoms can vary, but often involve struggles to cope and function with everyday life. They can include:
- Delusions, or beliefs not rooted in reality
- Hallucinations, or seeing and hearing things that do not exist
- Disorganized speech (from disorganized thoughts)
- Abnormal motor behavior (odd posture, excessive or wasted movement)
Sometimes, schizophrenia is harder to recognize in teenagers. Here are some symptoms to look out for in younger people:
- A tendency to withdraw from family and friends
- Lack of motivation (can manifest in a drop in school performance)
- Difficulty sleeping
- Depression or irritability
Even though these symptoms sound troubling when treated most people with schizophrenia can improve vastly over time.
What causes schizophrenia?
The exact causes aren’t known, but researchers tend to agree that a mix of brain chemistry, genetics, and environmental factors can play roles in who develops schizophrenia. Neuroimaging has shown that the brains and central nervous systems of people with schizophrenia are different in makeup to people who do not have the disorder. It’s a brain disease.
Even though the cause isn’t known, there appear to be certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of having schizophrenia, including:
- Family history of schizophrenia
- Using drugs (psychoactive or psychotropic) during youth
- Inflammation or autoimmune diseases that affect the immune system
Is there a cure for schizophrenia?
No, there is no cure for schizophrenia. However, advances in research are leading to new, safer treatment options.
What treatments does Uptown Psych offer for schizophrenia?
If left untreated, people with schizophrenia can spiral out of control, often leading to things like:
- Substance abuse
- Social isolation
That’s why it’s critical to seek treatment. At Uptown Psych, treatment for schizophrenia always requires medication. The team at Uptown Psych believes that a long-term therapeutic alliance with an experienced therapist is essential for effective, long-term management of the disorder. With consistent medication, monitoring, and counseling, people with schizophrenia can see symptoms tempered and lead normal lives. But there’s one central issue: trust. To manage this illness, trust is crucial in developing a long-term relationship with a trusted professional who can help.