Help Is Available at Alter Mental Health
Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that affects emotions, thinking, relationships, and decision-making. It can occur at any age; however, the average age onset is late teens to early 20s for men and late 20s to early 30s for women. It is a chronic disorder without a cure, so effective schizophrenia treatment in San Diego focuses on managing symptoms. Treatment can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. With the right schizophrenia treatment approaches, individuals with schizophrenia can live productive, happy lives.
Alter Mental Health offers top-rated schizophrenia treatment in San Diego in a comfortable, non-hospital setting. We provide short-term crisis stabilization in San Diego as an alternative to inpatient hospitalization which can help individuals gain back control of their mental health and get on track toward long-term recovery goals. Programs include around-the-clock intensive psychiatric and medical care. Our focus is ensuring patient safety and providing individualized treatment plans that fit each person’s needs and goals.
Schizophrenia treatment centers like Alter Mental Health in San Diego will begin the treatment process with thorough physical and psychological evaluations to correctly diagnose patients. Clinicians will use the information gathered to create personalized treatment plans centered around evidence-based therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). Medications are also essential in stabilizing schizophrenia symptoms.
Alter Mental Health goes beyond conventional treatments found in the best schizophrenia treatment centers in California by incorporating holistic methods. We believe that effective schizophrenia treatment needs to look beyond the symptoms and treat the person as a whole, considering all areas of their lives contributing to and affected by their disorder.
How Common Is Schizophrenia?
Over 46 million Americans experience a mental health disorder in a given year. According to the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America, as many as 3.5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is about 1.1% of the population. It is estimated that roughly 100,000 people will be diagnosed in a given year. In comparison, 18.1% of Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and 6.9% have been diagnosed with major depression. Unfortunately, only about half of the number of people diagnosed with mental health disorders, including schizophrenia, get the treatment they need.
Women are more likely to get the disorder than men; however, they also tend to have less severe symptoms. Several factors can contribute to the development of schizophrenia including stress and drug use. Also, around half of the people with schizophrenia have a co-occurring mental health disorder such as anxiety, depression, or substance use disorder.
Why Is it So Important to Get Treatment for Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a severe mental health disorder with symptoms of psychosis such as delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thoughts. If schizophrenia goes untreated, these symptoms may worsen, severely impacting the quality of life and even being dangerous. Even with mild symptoms, schizophrenia treatment in San Diego is highly advisable. It is a progressive, lifelong condition that may cause changes to the brain’s structure over time.
Untread schizophrenia can also lead to adverse health effects on the body. Research has found that people with the disorder die 15 to 20 years earlier than the average person. Poor physical health has been seen as a secondary effect of the disorder as a person with debilitating mental health symptoms is less likely to exercise, eat a healthy diet, and care for their overall health. There is also a high level of stress associated with psychosis symptoms. Poor diet, high stress, and lack of exercise can lead to several health problems including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, malnutrition, certain cancers, and diabetes.
Individuals may also attempt to self-medicate with substance use. People often turn to drugs or alcohol to manage mental health disorders, which can become a substance use disorder and lead to physical health effects, such as liver disease. Untreated schizophrenia can also lead to a mental health crisis, leaving a person incapable of taking care of themselves or at risk of self-harm or harming others.
While there is no way to predict whether a person will experience severe schizophrenia symptoms if gone untreated, early interventions have been shown to have better long-term outcomes and fewer complications. Schizophrenia treatment centers in California can help at any disorder stage and effectively manage symptoms. Individuals can also learn self-care techniques to improve their mental and physical health.
What to Expect from the Current Treatment for Schizophrenia
Current treatment for schizophrenia will be unique to everyone as everyone experiences it differently. Treatment can involve several facets including medication, psychotherapy, group therapy, community caregivers, and family education. There may also need to be treatment for co-occurring disorders including substance use disorder.
Treatment will begin with a thorough physical and psychological evaluation. Complete medical exams are needed to out other conditions that may be causing symptoms such as substance abuse, medical condition, bipolar disorder, or other possible causes. Clinicians will also use this information to create an individualized treatment plan including medications and a combination of different types of therapy which can include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
- Solution-focused therapy (SFT)
- Psychoeducational and process groups
- Holistic practices, such as nutrition and exercise
What Are the Treatment Goals for Schizophrenia?
Most treatment for schizophrenia in San Diego occurs through outpatient treatment. Individuals will visit their schizophrenia specialist near them regularly or arrange for home visits in their homes if possible. Once thorough assessments have been completed, a treatment plan will be developed. Schizophrenia specialists will adjust medications if necessary and the person will participate in various forms of therapy.
Treatment goals for schizophrenia can change as the person improves or relapses. For example, during the first psychotic phase or relapse, the goal is to treat positive symptoms (i.e., hallucinations, delusions, etc.) and ensure patient safety. This phase of treatment may require inpatient hospitalization or a crisis stabilization unit. After the person is stabilized, long-term treatment goals center around the patient keeping up with managing their disorder, therapy compliance, and good self-awareness and education about their condition.
Schizophrenia cannot be cured, so treatment is centered around managing symptoms. Treatment goals for schizophrenia include:
- Decreasing positive and negative symptoms of psychosis
- Reduce symptoms of co-occurring disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Reduce the risk of other mental health disorders developing
- Prevent relapse
- Enhance the quality of life
- Ensure the person’s development in areas such as work, school, and social life continue to improve
- Maintain or increase cognitive abilities such as memory and concentration
- Minimize medication side effects
What to Look for When Considering Schizophrenia Treatment Centers in California
With so many options for schizophrenia treatment centers in California, it can be challenging to determine which places offer the correct type of treatment. When looking for a mental health facility, some aspects to look for when choosing effective schizophrenia treatment in San Diego include:
- They conduct a thorough initial intake: When entering a schizophrenia treatment center in California, it is essential to be correctly diagnosed. Initial intakes can provide clinicians with the information to diagnose and create effective treatment plans.
- Clinicians will monitor patients 24 hours a day: Schizophrenia can lead to self-harming thoughts or behaviors. Patients must be monitored around the clock to ensure their safety and provide care for psychosis.
- Treatment plans are personalized: Every person experiences schizophrenia differently. Effective schizophrenia treatment in San Diego is based on individualized treatment plans that will address each patient’s unique struggles with the disorder.
- They use evidence-based treatments: The best schizophrenia treatment centers in California will center their programs around evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), medication management, and dialectical behavioral therapy.
- The facility is state licensed and accredited by an outside party: Schizophrenia treatment centers in San Diego that are state licensed and accredited by an outside party like the Joint Commission, clearly follow guidelines that provide the best care.
- They provide long-term planning and referrals upon being discharged: Schizophrenia requires long-term care, and the best treatment facilities will make sure patients have a clear plan, resources, and the proper referrals to continue with treatment as they return to home life.
Call Alter Mental Health and Get Effective Schizophrenia Treatment in San Diego
Alter Mental Health can offer you the best choice regarding effective schizophrenia treatment in San Diego. Our crisis stabilization unit is an alternative to inpatient hospitalization in a more comfortable and tranquil environment. Patients receive the best in evidence-based practices for schizophrenia and clinicians will take their time and expertise to ensure they come to the right diagnosis. Our programs are based on holistic mental health services aimed at treating the person as a whole and not just their symptoms. Each patient will leave our facility with an aftercare plan which includes recovery goals and referral for ongoing services.
If you or your loved one are struggling with schizophrenia or are experiencing an acute relapse, please call us today at 657-218-5095 to talk to one of our assessment counselors and begin immediate admittance. Our helpline is available 24/7 so please do not hesitate to contact us.