Schizophrenia is a Mental Health Disorder
“Schizophrenia” is kind of a scary word—and not just because it is long and has a “z” in it. We think this scary vibe is due, in large part, to the way the disorder has been misrepresented in pop culture over the years. Encounter enough scary depictions of something, and the word for that thing starts to seem frightening in and of itself.
But schizophrenia—or schizoaffective disorder—is a mental health disorder in the same way that depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are mental health disorders. Like those disorders, schizophrenia can be treated.
Let’s take a closer look at schizophrenia.
A Sense of Having Lost Touch with Reality
Functioning successfully in the world requires an ability to identify what is real. That might seem obvious, but for a person with schizophrenia the nature of reality is often anything but obvious.
Individuals who are suffering from schizophrenia often have trouble determining what is real and what is imaginary. To observers, it may appear as though the person in question has lost touch with reality entirely. It may well feel that way to the person struggling with the disorder.
Understandably, a person experiencing this difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy may also find it difficult to manage and express their emotions. The disorder affects important systems in the brain, changing the way someone thinks, feels, and acts. It will come as no surprise to learn that the results of these changes can be truly debilitating.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are varied, and not everyone experiences the same set of warning signs and indicators. It is also important to note that symptoms sometimes come on quickly—over a period of weeks or months—but can also develop slowly over a period of years. If you suspect that you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, it is important to see a doctor right away.
Early indicators of schizophrenia may include:
- Symptoms related to having difficulty separating reality and fantasy:
- Hearing or seeing things that are not there
- Feeling as if they are being watched
- Feeling indifferent to a critical situation
- Responding fearfully or irrationally to a loved one
- Speaking or writing in peculiar or nonsensical ways
- Other symptoms:
- Deteriorating work or academic performance
- Deteriorating personal hygiene
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Deteriorating sleep or concentration
- Significant weight loss or gain
Inpatient Care for Schizophrenia
At Peak View Behavioral Health, our clinical team has the expertise and experience necessary to provide effective treatment for schizophrenia. Our inpatient program—which is available to those who are experiencing severe symptoms or who may be at risk of harming themselves or others—includes intensive treatment and support. Individuals who are admitted following an assessment are provided with care and monitoring 24 hours a day.
The Peak View team seeks to stabilize the individual’s symptoms in a safe and supportive environment. Inpatient care often includes a combination of medication, therapy, and other interventions that help manage symptoms of the disorder and improve the individual’s overall functioning. Treatment may also include social skills training and vocational rehabilitation that can help a person more easily reintegrate into their community when inpatient treatment comes to an end.
Family therapy and education are also available as part of Peak View Behavioral Health’s approach to addressing the needs of an individual with schizophrenia. Our team works to develop a comprehensive outpatient treatment plan that provides ongoing care, resources, and support.
Here Is the Reality: Peak View Behavioral Health Can Help with a Range of Conditions
A Schizophrenia Diagnosis is just one of several conditions we can treat at Peak View Behavioral Health. At our facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we can also help individuals struggling with substance use disorders, the various kinds of depression, bipolar disorder, suicidal thoughts, or other mental health issues like anxiety or panic disorders. We can help adolescents, adults, and entire families. We also proudly serve Veterans of the United States armed forces via our Tactical Recovery program.
Each of our range of services and programs involves evidence-based practices supported by our team’s extensive experience and expertise. All care at Peak View Behavioral Health is personalized—because no two individuals have identical needs—and grounded in empathy. We provide a safe place where you can renew a sense of balance in your life and embrace a spirit of hope.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health disorder or a substance use disorder, we are ready and eager to help.