Schizophrenia is a debilitating disease because it causes hallucinations and delusions. It’s important to know, however, that you have hope because consistent medical treatment can relieve your symptoms, while ongoing therapy provides tools to help you in daily life. Dr. Gregory Haley has many years of experience working with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. To learn more about treatment options and support for schizophrenia, call Alianza Healthy Thinking in Scottdale, GA and Atlanta, GA or book an appointment online.
Schizophrenia is a neurological disorder that significantly affects your ability to think clearly. It distorts your perceptions and interferes with your ability to interact with people, whether they’re coworkers, family, or friends.
Symptoms of schizophrenia usually occur for the first time between the late teen years to the early thirties. Although its exact cause has yet to be determined, experts believe schizophrenia develops from several influences including genetics, abnormal brain structure, chemical imbalances in your brain, and environmental triggers.
Psychosis, which includes hallucinations and delusions, is the primary symptom of schizophrenia. Patients with schizophrenia have at least two of the following five symptoms:
A delusion is an unshakeable belief in something that’s not true. You may believe someone is out to get you, that you’re being controlled by an alien, or that you’re a famous person, for example.
When you hallucinate, you smell, taste, hear, see, or feel something that doesn’t exist. Hearing voices is one of the most common hallucinations.
Disorganized speech arises from abnormal thought processes caused by schizophrenia. You might say random words that don’t make sense, jumble your words, or rapidly shift from one topic to another unrelated topic.
Disorganized behavior is senseless movement. Catatonic behavior occurs when you stay in the same position without moving or speaking.
This group of symptoms includes loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy, lack of purposeful activity, and an absence of emotions. Negative symptoms drain your motivation, so you may stop going to work or stop keeping up with personal hygiene.
The first line of treatment for schizophrenia is medication. As an expert in medication management, Dr. Haley may prescribe lithium or antipsychotics. Whatever medication is best for you, he carefully monitors your therapy to be sure you’re on the right dose and you don’t have side effects.
You may be able to receive long-acting injectable antipsychotics, so you don’t have to take daily pills. Some long-acting antipsychotics may require an injection every few weeks, while others are injected every three months, depending on the medication.
Combining medication with psychotherapy achieves the best results for those with schizophrenia. The team at Alianza Healthy Thinking provides comprehensive services, providing various therapies proven to be effective for schizophrenia.
Consistent schizophrenia treatment can make a significant difference in your life. Call Alianza Healthy Thinking or book an appointment online.