Online Schizophrenia Treatment: Find Schizophrenia Recovery Today

Schizophrenia is a mental condition involving hallucinations, delusions, and a variety of other cognitive symptoms.

Schizophrenia is a mental condition involving hallucinations, delusions, and a variety of other cognitive symptoms.

Schizoaffective disorder involves symptoms of schizophrenia and symptoms of a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder or major depression.

These conditions significantly affect how you think, feel, and behave and, left untreated, can be very debilitating. As a sufferer, you may feel like you’ve lost touch with reality and/or appear as if you have to other people.

Both schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder have a strong biological component—you don’t develop them because of bad parenting, challenging environments, or traumatic experiences.

While psychosocial stressors can certainly affect these conditions, neither the sufferer him or herself nor their family or loved ones is the cause of this illness.

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental condition that is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and other cognitive/cognition problems. Schizophrenia significantly affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Individuals experienci schizophrenia may feel as if they’ve lost control of reality. Less than one percent of the U.S. population is affected by schizophrenia.

The symptoms patients experience can be very disabling, if not treated, so embracing the care of a qualified mental health provider, and in this case, involving a psychiatrist, is crucial. In the next section, we will review common symptoms people may be experience with schizophrenia disorder.

Common Symptoms of Schizophrenia Disorder

A person experiencing these symptoms may be unable to distinguish between real and unreal life experiences. Like other disorders, severity can vary from person to person. However, drinking, taking drugs, stressful situations, and not taking the proper medication can cause your patients’ symptoms to increase in severity. 

The symptoms can be placed into four buckets:

Positive Psychotic Symptoms

Patients with positive psychotic symptoms can lose touch with their reality. Positive psychotic symptoms can include 

  • Hallucinations
  • Hearing voices
  • Paranoia
  • Skewed perceptions, behaviors, and beliefs. 
  • Movement disorders. 

Negative Psychotic Symptoms

Patients with negative psychotic symptoms can experience disruptions with their normal behaviors and emotions. Some examples of negative psychotic symptoms can include:

  • Reduction in feelings of pleasure in daily life
  • Trouble starting and continuing activities
  • Showing little emotion via voice tone or facial expressions
  • Less speaking

Disorganization Psychotic Symptoms

Patients with disorganization psychotic symptoms can become confused or disordered. Some symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Trouble thinking logically
  • Abnormal movements
  • Bizarre behavior

Impaired Cognition Symptoms

Patients with impaired cognition symptoms can experience problems with their attention. Some common symptoms include:

  • Problems concentrating
  • Problems remembering
  • Declining school grades or job performance

According to psychiatry.org, “Symptoms usually first appear in early adulthood. Men often experience symptoms in their late teens or early 20s and women often first show signs in their 20s and early 30s. More subtle signs may be present earlier, including troubled relationships, poor school performance and reduced motivation.”

In the next section, we will review how you can properly diagnose schizophrenia according to the newest DSM 5 guidelines of diagnosis.

Diagnosing Schizophrenia Disorder

The DSM 5 has outlined the following criteria to make a diagnosis of schizophrenia:

1. Two or more of the following for at least a one-month (or longer) period of time, and at least one of them must be 1, 2, or 3:

  • 1. Delusions
  • 2. Hallucinations
  • 3. Disorganized speech
  • 4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
  • 5. Negative symptoms, such as diminished emotional expression

2. Impairment in one of the major areas of functioning for a significant period of time since the onset of the disturbance: Work, interpersonal relations, or self-care.

3. Some signs of the disorder must last for a continuous period of at least 6 months. This six-month period must include at least one month of symptoms (or less if treated) that meet criterion A (active phase symptoms) and may include periods of residual symptoms. During residual periods, only negative symptoms may be present.

4. Schizoaffective disorder and bipolar or depressive disorder with psychotic features have been ruled out:

  • No major depressive or manic episodes occurred concurrently with active phase symptoms
  • If mood episodes (depressive or manic) have occurred during active phase symptoms, they have been present for a minority of the total duration of the active and residual phases of the illness.

5. The disturbance is not caused by the effects of a substance or another medical condition

6. If there is a history of autism spectrum disorder or a communication disorder (childhood onset), the diagnosis of schizophrenia is only made if prominent delusions or hallucinations, along with other symptoms, are present for at least one month

Some contributing symptoms that can identify that may help your provider diagnose you with schizophrenia can include:

  • You feel disconnected from themselves
  • You are hostile or aggressive
  • You have anxiety and phobias
  • You are having sleep pattern issues
  • You laugh without proper reason
  • You have feelings that their surroundings aren’t real
  • You are having trouble speaking, processing, or remembering

Schizophrenia Disorder Levels of Care

Outside of the primary care setting, there are a few levels of care available to individuals with eating disorders. Let’s review binge eating disorder treatment options:

Outpatient

  • Often where the treatment process begins
  • Patient lives at home and attends hourly sessions at their providers’ offices
  • Appropriate for patients who are medically stable, motivated, self-sufficient, and have adequate support and structure at home

Intensive Outpatient

  • Typically occurs in a specialized setting (e.g., a clinic or hospital)
  • Patients live at home and attend sessions three to five times a week that last approximately three hours each
  • Program may include numerous types of therapy, including, but not limited to, individual, group, and counseling
  • Appropriate for patients who are medically stable, self-sufficient, and have adequate support and structure at home, but may need some degree of external structure beyond self-control

Partial Hospitalization (Full-Day Outpatient Care)

  • Occurs in a specialized setting and can be connected to a hospital program or a free-standing facility
  • Patient requires a high level of supervision and monitoring
  • Patient must be able to demonstrate some ability to retain the gains made in treatment without 24-hour monitoring
  • Patient must not be a suicide risk or medically compromised to the point of requiring hospitalization
  • Patient must have sufficient resources and motivation to attend program
  • Patient’s home or living environment must be one that can be supportive of the recovery process
  • Wide variety in quality of programming and hours of available treatment across programs, making it critical that patient’s needs and circumstances are appropriate for this level of care
  •     Care is typically 5– 12 hours per day, 4– 7 days per week.

Residential Treatment Center

  • Highly specialized programs that can be operated independent of hospital setting, but sometimes connected to a hospital setting
  • Indicated when patient is not able to retain gains without 24-hour monitoring
  • May be indicated when severity of symptoms necessitates constant monitoring in order to initiate and sustain symptom-free behavior and normalized eating
  • May be indicated for patients whose activities of daily living are compromised by the disorder May be indicated for the development of a normalized, healthy lifestyle conducive to long-term health and well being
  • May include specialized approaches that help the patient develop routines and activities of daily living that create patterns of behavior that are conducive to recovery
  • Useful in situations with a high degree of psychiatric comorbidity that require intensified focus during treatment
  • Sometimes indicated on the basis of a lack of supportive and safe environment where the patient can be expected be able to make meaningful, retainable progress
  • May be appropriate when patient is overwhelmed with symptoms and unable to refrain from reverting to symptoms or other behaviors that compromise their well being when alone
  • Appropriate for patients with either lower or higher levels of motivation, but generally patients must enter treatment voluntarily

Inpatient Hospitalization

  • Generally used for a period of short-term stabilization proceeding initiation of treatment at lower levels of care
  • Indicated in situation where patient is a suicide risk or gravely disabled by symptoms and unable to participate in residential or lower levels of care due to presenting symptoms, which may include depression, poor motivation, poor insight, and/ or other factors that limit ability to meaningfully participate in lower levels of care
  • Appropriate in situations where hospital-based medical care is indicated (i.e., IV lines or other more invasive medical treatments are needed)

Schizophrenia Disorder Treatment Options

Let’s review some of your schizophrenia treatment options:

Medications

Medications are the most important element of treatment for schizophrenia. That is not to say other modalities of treatment are not important, but recovery from Schizophrenia does require use of medication.  Let’s review some common types of medication:

First Generation Antipsychotics

First generation antipsychotics are generally less prescribed because of the potentially severe side effects experienced by them. While first generation antipsychotics are generally cheaper than second generation antipsychotics, the use of them can come at a heavy cost, including the possibility of developing a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. 

Second Generation Antipsychotics

Second generation antipsychotics are preferred to first generation because they have a lesser risk of severe side effects. These second generation drugs include:

  • Aripiprazole
  • Asenapine 
  • Brexpiprazole 
  • Cariprazine
  • Clozapine 
  • Iloperidone 
  • Lurasidone 
  • Olanzapine 
  • Paliperidone 
  • Quetiapine 
  • Risperidone 
  • Ziprasidone 

Injectable Antipsychotics

Injectable antipsychotics can be an excellent option that needs only to be administered every two to four weeks (generally). These can be effective for patients who may have trouble adhering to a strict daily pill intake. Some of these injectable antipsychotics include:

  • Aripiprazole 
  • Fluphenazine decanoate
  • Haloperidol decanoate
  • Paliperidone 
  • Risperidone 

Psychological and Social Therapies

After symptoms of psychosis disappear or lessen, while still taking medications, psychological and social therapies are incredibly valuable to your well-being. On-going case management can have a dramatic, and positive impact on the healing processes.  Some of these therapies that can coincide with medication and case management include: 

  • Social skills training
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Employment support

Finding Schizophrenia Recovery

If you think you or a loved one needs schizophrenia treatment, you’ve come to the right place. The first step to schizophrenia recovery is acknowledging you need help and then seeking help. 

We understand how scary psychotic symptoms such as auditory hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thought processes can be.

Fortunately, both schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are now highly treatable. Today’s medications are completely different, and far more effective, than what was available just a few years ago. The support of a compassionate, expert team to help the sufferer experience their symptoms in a far less disruptive way combined with the right medication is transformative.

These illnesses do not need to hold anyone back from achieving great success and having meaningful interpersonal relationships and a fulfilling life.

If you or your loved grapple with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, we are here to help.

Get Online Anorexia Nervosa Treatment

My name is Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, I am a consultant psychiatrist in Miami, Florida. I believe that compassion, when directed towards self and others, can lead to profound health and healing. If you need online schizophrenia treatment, I can help! I have created a unique treatment model in which you will have the  opportunity to work with providers who I specifically refer to based on your current experience, diagnosis and needs.  I build this team around you and will coordinate your care with the goal to find meaning in your experience, and free you of your symptoms so that you can feel more at peace, and have greater capacity to adapt to life circumstances, to challenge yourself, to be creative, to develop intimacy and to have a fulfilling lifestyle With more than 20 years of clinical experience and a vast network of clinical partners, I’ve developed a unique treatment approach that delves into the underlying issues that place a person at risk for mental health conditions.  Together we will create a protocol and treatment plan that is well coordinated, and that can guide you on your healing process, toward health and inner peace. Contact me today!