Schizophrenia is a severe and complicated mental health disorder causing a number of different symptoms, including visual and auditory hallucinations, agitation and anxiety, and mood instability. Coping with these symptoms can be difficult, especially without mental health care. Individuals with schizophrenia often find themselves turning to ‘solutions’ like drug and alcohol use in an effort to reduce or relieve their schizophrenia symptoms. While this may seem to work for a time, in the end, substance abuse will actually worsen symptoms of mental health disorders like schizophrenia. By the time these negative effects begin, an addiction has typically already formed. After addiction has taken form, outside assistance is typically required in order to alleviate symptoms in a safe manner. Individuals who have co-occurring disorders like schizophrenia benefit most from programs at dual-diagnosis treatment centers, like First Steps Recovery.
Schizophrenia is associated with changes to the structure of a number of important parts of the brain. The prefrontal and medial temporal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for working memory and declarative memory, are dysfunctional in those who have schizophrenia. This condition disrupts neural connections, which influence brain development. Changes to the cortex and the connections between cortical regions are also common among those with schizophrenia. This condition can affect decision-making, emotion processing, and memory.
Symptoms of schizophrenia include auditory and physical hallucinations, paranoia, loss of ability to express emotion or find pleasure, confusion and trouble thinking, and abnormal behavior. Schizophrenia symptoms vary in severity and typically begin to show after a person has reached young adulthood. Severe psychotic symptoms tend to lessen as an individual ages.
Making the decision to get help for substance abuse can be intimidating enough without another co-occurring condition to consider. Luckily, dual-diagnosis treatment centers are designed to help clients in this specific scenario. Trained medical professionals and therapists are prepared to help clients deal with not only their addiction but other factors that may contribute to their substance abuse, like schizophrenia. With the help of therapy and appropriate medications when necessary, clients can overcome their addiction and learn how to handle their mental health disorders.
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ADHD, or ADD, is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with attention and impulse control difficulties that can lead to substance abuse. Treatment with therapy and medication is crucial.
Anxiety disorder is a mental health condition characterized by excessive and persistent feelings of fear, worry, and apprehension that can significantly impact a person's daily life.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by extreme mood swings, including episodes of mania (elevated mood and energy) and depression (low mood and loss of interest).
An eating disorder is a mental health condition characterized by abnormal eating habits. Getting help is important to address physical and psychological health risks, improve quality of life, and promote recovery.
Personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by unhealthy patterns of thinking, behaving, and relating to others. Getting help is crucial to improve relationships, coping skills, and overall well-being.
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)/Trauma disorder is a mental healtah condition resulting from experiencing or witnessing traumatic events. Getting help is important to process trauma, reduce symptoms, and improve overall quality of life.
Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disorganized thinking. Getting help is vital to manage symptoms, improve functioning, and enhance overall quality of life.
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