Schizophrenia is a life-long and chronic mental illness that causes individuals suffering from this disorder to interpret reality in an abnormal fashion, leading to a combination of bizarre delusions, auditory hallucinations, paranoia, disorganized speech, disordered thinking, and behaviors. Schizophrenia can cause problems in family relationships, interpersonal dynamics, ability to perform activities of daily living, and impairs the capacity to work or attend school.
Often described in terms of positive and negative symptoms, schizophrenia is a baffling illness. Positive symptoms are symptoms that most people in the world do not experience, but are present in individuals who have schizophrenia. Positive symptoms of schizophrenia include delusions, hallucinations, disordered thought patterns and speech, and psychosis. Positive symptoms often respond well to medication management.
Negative symptoms are disruptions in thought processes and normal emotional responses. Negative symptoms may include flat affect and emotions, inability to experience pleasure, alogia (lack of speech), lack of desire for personal relationships, and decrease in motivation. The negative symptoms of schizophrenia do not respond as well to medications and often lead to a far poorer quality of life.
While schizophrenia can be a terrifying illness to live with, with proper long-term treatment and management, many experience a normal life.
Treatment for Schizophrenia Near Atlanta, GA
One of the most effective strategies used to stabilize and manage schizophrenia is through treatment at a hospital such as Lakeview. From the moment you meet us, you will know that our treatment approach is the best available. We will take the time to get to know you, your fears and your struggles, what has worked for you in the past, and how we can best help you on your road to recovery.
We have a dedicated team of medical professionals that are ready to assess you, help manage your care, and allow you to participate in as much of your care as possible. Our staff includes a multi-disciplinary team composed of medical doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, nurses, and support staff that are ready to help you get better.
We know schizophrenia can prevent you from living a normal life. We know that the symptoms you experience may cause you great distress. We know that even the act of seeking help may terrify you. But it’s time for you to get stable and be a productive member of your community. Our treatment center near Atlanta, Georgia is here to help.
Our Center’s Philosophy and Benefits
We focus our holistic treatment plans around your individual needs. You’ll work closely with your treatment team to develop a plan of care for your stay with us and help us plan appropriately for your long-term care after you leave our center. We want to do everything we can to do right by you.
Our focus after we stabilize you will be to teach you the coping skills necessary to maintain your stability and return to your community as a happier, more fulfilled individual. We’ll work with your loved ones to ensure you have the proper support to continue healing after you’ve left our doors.
Treatment for Schizophrenia at Our Hospital
As schizophrenia is a long-term illness it requires lifetime treatment even in the absence of symptoms. We’ve learned at our treatment center that the best way to treat schizophrenia is through a combination of medication and therapies. You will work with your treatment team to determine the road your treatment will take.
Medications are the cornerstone for effectively managing schizophrenia. Occasionally, people who have schizophrenia may be reluctant to take their medications as they can cause rare yet serious side effects. Many of the newer medications to treat schizophrenia carry less risks for side effects than the older medications.
Antipsychotics are the most frequently prescribed drug class to manage the symptoms of schizophrenia as they work by affecting the dopamine and serotonin levels of the brain. Atypical antipsychotics are the newest version of anti-psychotics and carry a far lower risk for negative side effects than typical antipsychotics. Typical antipsychotics may be used in the event that atypical antipsychotics do not appropriately manage symptoms, but do carry greater risks for side effects.
While medication stabilization is the first step in treatment of schizophrenia, a combination of antipsychotics and anti-anxiety medications as well as various therapeutic modalities are the best approach to treatment. Our treatment center near Atlanta, Georgia offers a number of therapeutic interventions for those struggling with schizophrenia.
Individual therapy will work toward helping you understand the ways in which schizophrenia has affected your life. You may work to develop social skills to greatly improve your communication and interpersonal relationships. You will likely discuss relapse prevention and cope with the stresses of life.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used to help change the way you think and, in turn, change the way you behave. If you can learn to see the world in more constructive manners, you will have greater successes.
Strengths-based counseling focuses on the strengths you already possess and will help you to identify these strengths, expanding on them so that you can see how powerful you really are. You will take a front seat in your recovery process.
Group therapy is a very important part of our therapeutic process at our schizophrenia treatment center. It is in these groups of people struggling with similar problems that you can gain support and insight into ways to help your recovery. In process-based groups, we’ll focus on one topic such as coping with symptoms and allow you to discuss your feelings with others. Psycho-educational groups are designed to help you learn more about your recovery and medications.
Family therapy is a vital component to your recovery as schizophrenia may have strained many of the relationships you hold most dear. In family sessions, you will have a chance to teach your family members about your illness, symptoms of a relapse, and how you’re managing your recovery. Your family will have an opportunity to openly discuss the ways in which schizophrenia has impacted their lives. We will also connect your loved ones to community resources so that they continue to receive the support they need during your recovery.
In addition to the more traditional therapeutic approaches, we also offer a number of experiential treatments. These include:
- Art therapy
- Music therapy
- Expressive therapy
- Recreational therapies
- A.A. and N.A.
- Nutrition and wellness counseling
Continuing Care – What Happens Next?
As your time at our hospital near Atlanta, Georgia draws to a close, you will work closely with your treatment team to determine the next steps in your recovery. As schizophrenia is a life-long condition, your continued recovery is very important. Some people decide to step down into a long-term center as it allows for similar structure to treatment at a hospital. Others opt to join our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). Still others decide to return to their communities with their aftercare plans, such as appointments with local providers and access to outpatient services that may help them on their continued journey.
If you or someone you love is struggling with schizophrenia, call the specialists at our treatment center near Atlanta, Georgia for a free confidential assessment. We’ll help you figure out next steps.