According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one in every 300 people develop or have the mental disorder schizophrenia. There is a stigma associated with it that comes from a misunderstanding of the condition and the lack of specialized mental health care. Here are some facts about schizophrenia and other schizophrenia spectrum disorders.
What Is Schizophrenia?
The American Psychiatric Association defines schizophrenia as a “chronic brain disorder.” The exact cause is unknown, but there are likely both genetic and environmental factors involved.
What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
The symptoms of schizophrenia can vary in severity from person to person. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5) lists them as:
- Disorganized or catatonic behavior
- Negative symptoms (such as a reduction in pleasure, words, and motivation)
- Disorganized speech
What Are Other Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders?
In medicine, spectrum refers to a range of linked conditions that may share similar symptoms. There are a number of schizophrenia spectrum disorders that fall into this category. Two common ones include:
- Brief psychotic disorder – Involves one or more of the symptoms for at least one day but for less than one month.
- Schizoaffective disorder – Meets the criteria for schizophrenia plus major depression or manic episodes.
There are also unspecified disorders that may fall into this category.
Are There Risk Factors for Schizophrenia?
Some factors might increase a person’s risk for this or a related condition, such as:
- Substance use
- Environmental factors
- Traumatic brain injury
Not everyone diagnosed with schizophrenia has these risk factors, though.
How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?
A diagnosis of schizophrenia involves ruling out other possible causes, organic and mental, for the symptoms. That will likely include:
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Physical exam
Get Treatment for Schizophrenia at Revitalize Mental Health
Understanding schizophrenia requires a delicate approach that goes beyond stereotypes and misconceptions. Treatment for schizophrenia and other related disorders would involve a multifaceted antipsychotic care plan that includes psychotherapy and management of the symptoms. Find out more by making an appointment at Revitalize Mental Health located in Denver, CO. Just call 720-295-6703 or go online to submit a contact form.