Schizophrenia is a pervasive disorder that may worsen over time. While there is no single cure, the upside is that schizophrenia can be treated, and individuals living with the disorder can go on to live productive and successful lives.
Can You Fully Recover From Schizophrenia?
Similar to other mental health disorders, schizophrenia never truly just goes away because there is no one cure. Fortunately, there are therapoes and coping techniques that enable an individual with schizophrenia to live a productive life.
Treatment can be seen to be most effective when recived after the individuals first psychotic episode. Treatment delay may affect chance of recovery.
While there have been many people that have found success in living and managing their schizophrenia there is still a lot that is unknown about the disorder. The causes of schiziprenia are still not fully understood so schizophrenia remains a life long diagnosis.
Does Schizophrenia Improve With Age?
Schizophrenia does not typically worsen or get better with age with age. Schizophrenia symptoms may improve over time for some people while they may worsen or remain the same for others.
Chronic illnesses like schizophrenia can be managed with medication and therapy, but they don’t disappear as you age.s
What Causes Schizophrenia?
The causes of schizpiohrenia have yet to be understand or discovers. Research has hypotheszied thst the causes of schizophrenia are a combination of genetic, neruological, and environment factors.
It also suggest that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain that may contribute to schizpohrenic signs and symptoms. Becuase of the chemcial imblance in the brain, medication plays an immense role in the recovery process.
What Leads to a Shorter Life Expectancy?
Studies show that individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia have a shorter life expectancy by 8 to 10 years. There are various harm factors that come into play. When experiencing positive symptoms of hallucinations and/or delusions or paranoid delusions they are more likely to get
into a car accident or walk out into traffic.
They are also less likely to take care of basic care needs or go to the doctor when experiencing a major medical illness such as cancer. Individuals with schizophrenia are also more prone to weight gain, with some being due to antipsychotic medications. They are also prone to heart disease and diabetes and have high rates of smoking.
- Confusion about what is real or imaginary
- Preoccupation with religion
- Belief in clairvoyance
- Heightened or dulled perceptions
- Odd thinking and speaking processes
- Racing thoughts or slowed down thoughts.
- Lack of friends
- Interacting in a mechanical way
- Poverty of speech or content of speech
- Flat emotions
- Decrease in facial expressions
- Monotone speech
- Lack of spontaneity
- Difficulty in abstract thinking
Chances of recovery improve when there is a treatment plan for symptom management, stress
is reduced, and early signs to episodes are identified. Here are recovery steps to take:
1. Accepting the diagnosis: This is a starting point to the recovery journey.
2. Manage symptoms: This is done with the proper medications and talk therapy.
3. Lower stress: Pay attention to warning signs
4. Recover basic social skills: This means attending to personal hygiene, meal planning and
prep and budgeting, and time management.
5. Keep a structured daily schedule: Occupy your time with household chores,
entertainment, school, volunteering, or employment at a part time basis and gradually
working up. Identify simple goals and work toward them.
6. Avoid recreational drugs, tobacco, and alcohol as these can worsen symptoms and
interfere with psychotropic medications.
Clinical Facility Based Treatment – There are different levels of care offered at treatment
facilities for varying medical necessity. These levels of care are often covered by most
insurance companies. Encourage your loved one to speak to professionals to gain a higher
understanding and education on the levels of care and what appropriate facilitates would meet
their personal needs and symptoms. Listed from most intense to least intense levels:
Inpatient Hospitalization – this is the highest level of containment. Inpatient
hospitalization may be done at a voluntary or involuntary basis and is for individuals
who are in imminent danger to themselves or others, presenting a significant risk. The
focus of treatment at this level is short-term stabilization and safety.
Residential (RTC) – This program provides 24/7 monitoring in which the individual lives
on site. This level of care is for individuals who are significantly impacted by their
symptoms and display adaptive living skill deficits preventing them from accessing
treatment from their home.
Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or “Day Treatment” – This program provides care
five days a week for six to eight hours per day. This level includes group and individual
sessions with psychiatric care. Participation in the program does not include housing
though some facilities may provide supportive housing with an out-of-pocket cost if
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – IOP can be provided at three or five days a week
for at least three hours a day. The program will focus on group sessions for the
individual to gain skills to manage their symptoms. This level of care may include
individual therapy and psychiatry for medication management.
Outpatient (OP) – At this level, individuals are engaging in psychiatry and therapy and
few times per month or once a week depending on their presentation and symptoms.
First Light Recovery offers the mental health residential level of care and treats individuals with
schizophrenia. We are here to help aid in the recovery process.