Who Gets Schizophrenia?
Less than one percent of the population is affected by schizophrenia, according to the APA. Signs of schizophrenia usually appear in a person when they’re between the ages of 16 and 30, and people usually don’t develop it after age 45. Both males and females can develop the mental disorder, though it’s generally thought to be slightly more common in males and more likely to develop at a younger age in males, according to the NLM.
Many young adults will experience first episode psychosis (FEP) due to schizophrenia, where they will experience a frightening mental state that is broken from reality. This is the first time someone experiences a schizophrenic psychotic episode.
What Are the Causes of Schizophrenia?
Is schizophrenia genetic? The answer is complicated. Schizophrenia can run in families, but sometimes individuals are the only ones in their family to have it, and other times people don’t have it even when several of their family members do.
When it comes to the causes of schizophrenia, the NLM says genetics, environment and brain chemistry may all play a role. According to the NIMH, genetic information alone can’t predict who will get the mental disorder; instead, different genes may increase the risk, particularly when they mix with environmental factors a person has experienced. Those factors could include viruses, malnutrition in the womb, problems during birth, and psychosocial factors that are known to otherwise impact physical health (stress, hopelessness, depression, etc.).
Is There a Cure or Treatment for Schizophrenia?
There is no cure, but there is treatment for schizophrenia. With proper care, most people living with schizophrenia can live full, productive, and rewarding lives. Medicine for schizophrenia, including antipsychotic medications, can help manage or reduce existing symptoms and prevent future worsening of symptoms, according to the APA. Antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed medicine for schizophrenia, according to Mayo Clinic, though antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs also may be effective. Finding the right drugs to treat schizophrenia can be challenging because many of the medications cause adverse side effects.
Medication is critical in reducing symptoms of psychosis, but it is only one of the various steps of necessary treatment. Other forms of treatments, such as therapy, rehabilitation, skills training, and family education, can also help mitigate symptoms and give people with schizophrenia the tools and support they need to succeed as they manage their chronic mental disorder.
Supporting Your Loved One
Having schizophrenia is extremely overwhelming and terrifying, and it has a large impact on an individual’s loved ones. It is important to become educated on the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia so that if a loved one starts showing symptoms, you can know how to help. Remember to seek professional help and a diagnosis right away, even if you aren’t sure if the symptoms point to schizophrenia. The diagnosis process can be very overwhelming, and finding the right medication can be equally stressful. Be sure to express love and support for your loved one to help them through this difficult time.
What Is Schizophrenia Treatment and What Does It Look Like at PRC?
The Phoenix Recovery Center offers medication and other forms of treatment to help those who have schizophrenia. Diagnosing schizophrenia takes time, but even if someone has yet to receive a formal diagnosis, The Phoenix can perform an assessment and determine which treatment program may be right for them. The Phoenix Recovery Center does not act as a psych ward or hospital, but rather a rehabilitation center. An inpatient schizophrenia treatment center like the Phoenix allows individuals to get away from daily life stresses and work towards stabilizing their mental disorder. The Phoenix also offers rehab for alcohol and substance abuse, and a dual diagnosis treatment for individuals suffering from both substance abuse and mental health disorders. The programs offered by The Phoenix include an Inpatient Residential Program, Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Day Program, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), or General Outpatient Program (GOP).