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Schizophrenia

What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia falls under the category of mental illnesses known as thought disorders. It is an illness that can interfere with a person's ability to care for themselves, socialize appropriately, and work. People who have schizophrenia often have a hard time concentrating and communicating with others. People who suffer from this disease experience what are known as psychotic symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech.

Common symptoms of Schizophrenia

Delusions are false beliefs. For example, a delusional person may think that someone has put thoughts in their head, believe that they have special powers, or that people are after them, indicating paranoia. Another common feature of this disease are hallucinations. When someone sees something which doesn't really exist, it is called a visual hallucination. More common, are auditory hallucinations; the hearing of voices or other sounds that are not really there. Sometimes voices may command the person suffering from schizophrenia to do things which under normal circumstances they would know would be wrong or unwise to do. It is also possible that a person with schizophrenia might feel something on their body that is not really there, which is called a tactile hallucination. The sense of smell can also be affected, producing what is known as an olfactory hallucination. These symptoms can be very frightening to the person experiencing them and cause for great alarm in friends, coworkers, or family members. A person who has schizophrenia may speak in ways which others can't understand. Some people who have schizophrenia suffer less from these immediately troubling symptoms but also have other serious problems, including apathy, poverty of speech and an inability to feel a normal range of emotions.

Who Schizophrenia affects
It is estimated that about one out of one hundred people get schizophrenia. Usually, the symptoms first appear in the teenage years or early adulthood. Everyone in the life of a person who has schizophrenia's is also affected by this potentially devastating mental illness.

What causes  schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia's causes are not completely known but genetic influences are thought to play a primary factor. It also appears that stress may trigger the onset of this illness in some people who have the genetic disposition to develop schizophrenia.

Treatment
For several decades there have been medications that can treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. Medications such as Thorazine and Haldol have effectively been used to help people who experience psychotic features. Newer medications such a Clozaril and Zyprexa are controlling symptoms with even better results in many people and with less of the troublesome side effects. Another treatment that sometimes coincides with a medication routine is for a person to receive information and support on an outpatient basis, such as at a Day Treatment program. Lakeside Alternatives has a fully developed Day Treatment program which offers psychoeducational and rehabilitation groups in a supportive setting. Individualized treatment goals also are addressed in such programs.

Services offered to people with schizophrenia at Lakeside Alternatives
Lakeside Alternatives offers Medication Clinics, Pharmaceutical, Day Treatment, Vocational, Case Management, and Emergency Services, as appropriate, to people with the potentially devastating mental illness of schizophrenia.

For emergency services or for referral to any of our services, please call or visit the Access Center

Accredited by Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO)