Should You Seek Out Schizophrenia Treatment?
Schizophrenia can be a serious and terrifying illness that can cause you great distress and slow down your attempts to seek schizophrenia treatment. If you are suffering symptoms that are common in schizophrenia, you may be wondering when you should seek out treatment. This review discusses how schizophrenia is defined, the signs that indicate a possible case of schizophrenia, when to seek treatment, and more.
Schizophrenia: definition, when to seek treatment, and more
Noticing signs of schizophrenia can be a scary experience. The good news, however, is that there are available treatment options that can provide long-term relief and help patients function normally. It is important to recognize and not ignore signs of schizophrenia as they are not likely to improve without treatment intervention.
What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness that is marked by symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis refers to a break from reality and can include hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking.
Hallucinations refer to sensing things that do not exist. While this can include any sense, such as taste, smell, and touch, the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia is hearing voices. Some with schizophrenia may experience seeing things that are not there, but this is less common.
Delusions involve beliefs that are not true and persist despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary. For example, you may believe a celebrity is in love with you, or that you are being persecuted by government agencies or a higher power. Some delusions may be bizarre, such as the belief that aliens have replaced your brain.
Disordered thinking is noticeable if your speech is disorganized or unusual. This can be expressed in a variety of ways, such as only giving brief responses to questions even when the question would naturally expect elaboration. You may offer no voluntary speech and might only speak when prompted. Alternately, your speech may be abruptly halted mid-sentence, followed by a long pause, and then resumed with topics unrelated to the original subject.
There are other ways for schizophrenia to manifest, such as through abnormal motor behavior or other strange activities without any goal. You may suffer negative symptoms, which refer to the absence of normal conduct. This might mean a flat affect, a loss of interest in activities, or an inability to experience pleasure.
Should you seek out schizophrenia treatment?
If you are experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, you should seek treatment right away. Schizophrenia often begins with mild symptoms that get worse over time, so prompt treatment is essential.
Treatment is handled primarily by a psychiatrist, and the first-line method is to use medication, typically antipsychotic medication, sometimes in conjunction with other types of drugs. Antipsychotic medication helps control dopamine in the brain, which is responsible for many symptoms of schizophrenia. It can sometimes take several weeks of taking medication before you notice any effects.
While antipsychotic medications have greatly evolved to have significantly fewer and less severe side effects, they nonetheless still may be serious enough to make you want to stop treatment. Unfortunately, noncompliance with medication regimens is common in those with schizophrenia. If your side effects are problematic, tell your psychiatrist. With such a wide variety of antipsychotic medications currently on the market, he or she may be able to prescribe a different medication that will not affect you as harshly.
How does the schizophrenia treatment process work?
The first step in schizophrenia treatment is a consultation visit with a licensed mental health professional. During the first visit, the physician can assess your symptoms, medical history, mental health history, medications, and more. They may also run blood tests (and other diagnostic tests) to gather as much information as possible.
From there, they can provide a treatment recommendation depending on the diagnosis. Of course, there are other potential mental health issues that may be causing the patient’s symptoms, and a mental health evaluation is essential to verify the underlying cause and determine if schizophrenia is the cause or a contributing factor.
If you wait too long to seek help with symptoms of schizophrenia, they may become more severe and potentially extremely debilitating. The good news is that individuals who seek schizophrenia treatment before severe symptoms develop are often able to function normally each day and live a happy and fulfilling life.
So why wait? If you believe you are experiencing such symptoms, contact our office to discuss what options are available for you. We can schedule a time for you to visit with our team. During your first visit, we can work toward an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Get more information here: https://nycpsychiatricassociates.com or call NYC Psychiatric Associates at (917) 391-0076
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