Identifying Schizophrenia and Developing a Treatment Plan

Identifying schizophrenia can be difficult, given the diverse symptoms. Schizophrenia is an often debilitating disorder that impairs one’s ability to think and behave rationally. Individuals with schizophrenia have a difficult time differentiating fantasy from reality. These symptoms manifest in a variety of ways, and no known method can cure the disorder. This article will look at how schizophrenia impacts individuals in five different categories.

The disorder affects the cognitive, behavioral, mood, phycology, and speech of the individual. While this disorder requires lifelong care, there are effective methods of treatment that can improve the quality of life and alleviate symptoms. Alter Behavioral Health has established an intricate network of healthcare professionals dedicated to providing therapy specialized care for individuals who have schizophrenia.


How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.


Identifying Schizophrenia: Causation

A whole host of conditions are believed to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. Although, researchers have not identified any one specific cause for the disorder. It is widely believed that a combination of developmental, psychological, genetic, and environmental factors contribute to potential psychotic episodes. Because there are so many factors that play into the foundation of the disorder, treatment is lifelong.

Individuals with schizophrenia have exhibited traits that suggest an increased risk for the development of the disorder. Some of these risk factors are family history, complications at birth, drug use, and differences in brain development. Schizophrenia tends to be passed down genetically. Many individuals with the disorder have a family history of the condition.

Identifying schizophrenia can often start at birth. Studies have also shown that individuals that are underweight, premature, or experience a lack of oxygen during birth have the potential to develop the disorder.

Brain development has also been brought into the conversation of schizophrenia. Individuals with the disorder show subtle differences in the structure of their brains, suggesting that the disorder originates there. Drug use has also been linked to the development of schizophrenia. Certain narcotics can produce side effects that mimic symptoms of schizophrenia and can even trigger psychotic episodes in some who may be susceptible to the disorder.

Identifying Schizophrenia Symptoms

This disorder affects individuals in several different ways. Schizophrenia affects the cognitive, behavioral, mood, phycology, and speech of the individual. The nature of the impact of this condition makes treatment long-term.

Cognitive Impairment

Schizophrenia has a profound impact on cognitive functions. Many individuals will experience confusion, disorientation, slowness in processing, and even distorted beliefs about themselves. Schizophrenia tends to create feelings of superiority and uniqueness. Some individuals even exhibit beliefs that normal events or interactions have special meaning. There is sometimes a grandiose way of thinking and interpreting information.

Behavioral Symptoms

Complications centering around behavior and interpersonal interactions are some of the most apparent symptoms of schizophrenia. Isolation is common among individuals with this disorder, as they often have a difficult time connecting with others. Individuals also exhibit increased irritability, compulsive behavior, aggression, self-harm, and difficulty restraining themselves. Behavioral symptoms prove to be some of the most disruptive and destructive difficulties that individuals with schizophrenia struggle with.

Mood Dysregulation

Individuals who have schizophrenia experience severe difficulty regulating their moods. This may look like outbursts of strong emotions and a propensity to become easily dysregulated. Schizophrenia can produce strong feelings of anger, apathy, irritability, detachment, and inappropriate emotional outbursts. Difficulties regulating mood can make public interaction difficult and increase the need to isolate and detach from relationships.

Psychological Complications

The impacts of schizophrenia on an individual’s psychology are profound. These symptoms are usually what come to mind for most people when they think about the disorder. One of the primary symptoms of schizophrenia is visual and audible hallucinations. These hallucinations are often comprehensive and make it difficult to differentiate the hallucinations from reality. Other psychological symptoms include depression, paranoia, and anxiety.


How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.

Identifying Schizophrenia: Treatment

As previously mentioned, treatment for schizophrenia is a lifelong commitment and requires a dedicated team of care providers. Alter Behavioral Health offers several methods of treatment for individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia. Considering there is no known cure for schizophrenia, a combination of different treatments is most recommendable. To begin the treatment process, a cohesive group of healthcare providers needs to be assembled.

One of the most effective methods for treatment is the use of medications such as antipsychotics. One of the most difficult symptoms to treat is visual and audible hallucinations. Using antipsychotics to help mitigate these particular symptoms provides a good foundation for helping the individual engage with reality. Often individuals with schizophrenia have a hard time separating the hallucinations from real life. Regulating this system is incredibly valuable in the therapeutic process.

Pairing antipsychotic medications with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) adds another layer of care to the equation. CBT helps the individual engage with their thoughts and belief system. Considering the impact schizophrenia has on the mind and thought patterns, a professional must intervene and help establish boundaries for the individual. Professional counselors can also help the client engage with their trauma and develop coping skills for regulating strong emotional outbursts.


How Can We Help?

Providing a Compassionate and Safe Environment for Healing.


Schizophrenia is a serious and often debilitating mental illness. Although there is no way to cure this disorder, there are methods for treatment that can significantly improve the quality of life for the individual. Treatment needs to be holistic and consistent over the course of the individual’s life. Alter Behavioral Health has a dedicated plan for treatment and a broad community of professionals that are ready to provide the care needed to help individuals with schizophrenia. For inquiries, contact us at (866) 691-4386. Even though there is no cure for this illness, there is space to dramatically improve the lives of the individuals who are struggling and help equip family members and friends to provide further support.