Schizophrenia is a brain disorder characterized by hallucinations and delusions. With appropriate support and treatment, people with schizophrenia can attend school, maintain friendships, hold jobs, and live fulfilling lives.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Experts categorize schizophrenia symptoms into three significant categories: psychotic, negative, and cognitive. No person with schizophrenia is the same; each person will experience symptoms differently. Learning to recognize schizophrenia symptoms can benefit the recovery of you or a loved one with schizophrenia.

Psychotic Symptoms

Psychotic symptoms affect how you think about and interact with the world and generally involve experiencing or believing things that are not real. Psychotic symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Unorganized thoughts
  • Unusual movement

People with schizophrenia may hear, see, feel, or sense things that are not real. Additionally, delusions (false beliefs) are common. For example, people with schizophrenia may believe that they are being followed, that others can hear their thoughts, or that they have unique, superhuman powers. The thoughts and speech of people with schizophrenia may be difficult to follow and may appear to suddenly jump to unrelated topics or include unrecognizable words. Finally, people with schizophrenia may have unusual movements, including appearing stiff or moving repetitively.

Negative Symptoms

Negative symptoms affect the moods of people with schizophrenia. They may make it challenging for people with schizophrenia to go about their daily lives, connect with others, and take care of themselves. Negative symptoms include: 

  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulty feeling positive emotions
  • Having trouble planning and completing tasks
  • Retreating from or avoiding social circles 

Negative symptoms of schizophrenia are similar to symptoms of depression. In fact, people with schizophrenia are more likely to develop depression. As a result, people with schizophrenia and depression benefit most from holistic treatment approaches that consider their entire cognitive profile. 

Cognitive Symptoms

Cognitive symptoms primarily affect thinking, memory, and functioning and may result in difficulty performing everyday tasks. These cognitive symptoms include:

  • Difficulty maintaining attention
  • Having trouble planning and making decisions
  • Poor short-term memory

Cognitive functioning is vital. It is essential for people with schizophrenia to receive treatment for their symptoms to allow maximum independence and to create a high quality of life for themselves.

Schizophrenia Statistics

Schizophrenia typically begins between the ages of 16 to 30. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 0.25% to 0.65% of people in the United States have schizophrenia or a related psychotic disorder. Of people with schizophrenia, about half have additional co-occurring disorders. 

Why Is Schizophrenia Treatment Important?

Many people with schizophrenia experience severe symptoms that, without treatment, can make everyday tasks difficult. Schizophrenia is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Some people with schizophrenia may struggle with suicidal thoughts and behaviors. 

What Makes Our Program Unique?

Alter San Diego Crisis Intervention, located in the College Area of San Diego, offers expert support to those with schizophrenia. If you or a loved one is in a crisis, our Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU) can help you on the path to recovery. Our program is small, containing fewer than 16 beds, ensuring that each person in treatment receives the full attention needed to benefit most from their support. 

If you join our treatment program, you will experience a complete program designed to provide you with the strategies you need to recover from a crisis. After ensuring your safety, we work closely with our clients to define the problem or problems and provide critical, specialized support. Together, we create a recovery plan and help you to commit to enacting it.

Getting Help at Alter San Diego Crisis Intervention

We recognize that treatment can’t begin or end by addressing the crisis alone. Each person arrives in crisis through their own complex life circumstances. Our treatment program includes additional services, including:

  • Medication management: For those with preexisting prescriptions, our staff provides support in maintaining and managing your medications.
  • Whole-person wellness: In our CSU, each person receives full-spectrum, trauma-informed support that addresses a multitude of needs across their life.
  • Recovery and safety planning: We work with you to plan for your safety and recovery, giving you the tools to continue your journey after you have finished our program.
  • Support services: Treatment includes access to a variety of support services, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and psycho-educational groups.
  • Family and community support: No person is an island. While enrolled in our CSU, we help patients to access the family and community support they need.
  • Nutrition and recreation services: Big picture care means big picture care. We offer help with both diet and recreation, ensuring nothing is left out of the picture.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder that can affect every part of your life. People with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and other serious symptoms. It may be difficult to remember things, process information, and feel motivated. Everyday necessities, such as succeeding in work and school, taking care of yourself, and maintaining your relationships may be a challenge. With appropriate treatment, people with schizophrenia can learn strategies and techniques to live the lives they seek. A happier, healthier you is possible.

Located in the College Area of San Diego, Alter Mental Health Crisis Stabliziation Unit can help you gain control of an emergency mental health crisis. We’ll keep you safe while teaching you the skills and medication management to begin your healing journey. If you or a loved one is seeking help for schizophrenia, call us at (619) 457-4613.