What is Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that can be extremely disabling without proper treatment. It’s symptoms are expressed in mood, thoughts, and behaviors, often presenting itself during the late teenage years. Research now presents that the disorder is neurodevelopmental, meaning symptoms are the result of faulty development of the brain from birth.
As adolescence is known as a time of change, physically and mentally, it is not surprising that this is often when the symptoms begin to emerge. Many struggle with the following:
- Social Isolation
- Functional Impairment at School and Work
- Disorganized Thoughts
- Auditory Hallucinations
- Lack of Interest and Motivation
- Constricted or Blunted Facial Expressions
- Cognitive Function Impairment
When the individual with schizophrenia loses all contact with reality, unable to distinguish what is real from what is going on inside their own minds, they are experiencing psychosis. Psychosis is toxic to the brain, leading to even further dysfunction.
How does Wellington Retreat treat Schizophrenia?
Although Schizophrenia can be treated, it cannot be cured. Antipsychotic medicines are able to help resolve such symptoms as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking. However, they are not as effective with resolving blunted affect, social isolation, decreased motivation and enjoyment. Commonly used antipsychotic medicines are Zyprexa, Risperdal, Geodon, Abilify, and Clozaril. All are quite effective, but different side effects are to be expected, as with any medicine.
Along with medication management, Wellington Retreat assures that individuals engage in psychotherapy to learn how to cope with the illness. Group and individual therapies are both very effective, and Wellington Retreat encourages the participation in both.
Substance abuse is common in individuals who suffer from schizophrenia and worsens the symptoms. It is imperative that this also be addressed simultaneously with treatment for the disorder in order for progress to be made.