Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that can consume one’s life. Healing from schizophrenia is done through proper evaluation and receiving the treatment plan best suited for each individual’s needs. Everyone copes with schizophrenia, along with all other mental health disorders, differently. We believe that understanding the disorder and how it uniquely affects a client is crucial. Treatment, healing, and creating a productive and healthy lifestyle outside of the disorder are possible with the right care.
At First Steps Recovery, all clients are cared for as individuals. Each client is treated as a unique person coping with their own set of symptoms and concerns surrounding schizophrenia. Because mental health disorders can be draining and exhausting, it is recommended to seek treatment to address all concerns. This is especially so when a co-occurring disorder exists. Sometimes substance use disorder (SUD) becomes a co-occurring disorder as clients turn to drugs or alcohol abuse to dull their schizophrenia symptoms.
What Is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that leads to abnormal interpretations of reality. People with schizophrenia do not understand if certain sights, sounds, and experiences are real or not. The mental health disorder usually involves delusions, hallucinations, unusual behaviors, and disorganized thinking or speech. People may be paranoid or hear voices.
Schizophrenia is very disruptive in people’s lives as they often feel frightened, confused, and isolated. The following are experiences that people with schizophrenia may experience:
- False beliefs that cannot be changed despite factual information
- Seeing or hearing things that are not there
- Believing that others are reading or controlling their minds
- Disorganized thoughts and speech, including attention, memory, and organization problems
- Abnormal physical behaviors, including a reduced ability to function normally (e.g. sacrificing hygiene)
Effects on the Brain
Schizophrenia also has certain effects on the brain. This includes affecting the prefrontal and medial temporal lobes of the brain that control working memory and declarative memory. Neural connections in the brain are changed, as are connections between cortical regions of the brain. Therefore, decision-making, emotional processing, and memory are all affected by schizophrenia.
Healing from schizophrenia can be a very challenging process. As mentioned before, this mental health disorder greatly interferes with daily life. However, there are ways to begin a healing process. Staying focused on treatment and recovery is crucial. It is also important to understand one’s triggers or warning signs in order to cope with these scenarios in a healthy, productive way.
Co-Occurring Disorders With Schizophrenia
Because schizophrenia is a difficult mental health disorder to cope with, clients often turn to drugs or alcohol. This strategy can be seemingly effective upon first use. However, consistent and persistent use leads to dependency on the substances and eventually addiction. When addiction occurs, clients are then coping with co-occurring disorders. Healing from schizophrenia, especially when addiction is also present, requires certain guidance and support to alleviate symptoms of all disorders.
Alcohol abuse, including alcohol use disorder (AUD), is typically more common for clients coping with schizophrenia. Men are more likely to develop AUD than women with or without schizophrenia. However, co-occurring disorders are unique and complex for each individual. This makes personalized treatment and recovery crucial in creating a healthy life.
Healing From Schizophrenia at First Steps Recovery
At First Steps Recovery, numerous therapies and treatments can address the concerns of every client. Especially for clients coping with co-occurring disorders, this supervision and guidance in treatment is often vital.
Healing from schizophrenia at First Steps Recovery is done in a secure and safe environment where clients are supervised throughout their treatment. Different treatment programs and therapies may apply, depending on a person’s needs. Often clients need a combination of treatments and therapies for optimal healing and recovery.
Healing From Schizophrenia: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Medication Management
There are many ways clients can begin healing from schizophrenia. These include medication as well as talk therapies, and a combination of these two approaches is often used. Medication management is a treatment path usually for clients who would benefit from medication to ease their symptoms and cravings. However, this can also be used for clients healing from schizophrenia who will eventually decrease their dosage as time goes on. Clients on medications are supervised during their treatment.
Clients also participate in talk therapies to help alleviate their addiction and schizophrenia symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common modality used in talk therapy. During CBT, clients address their thoughts and behavior patterns, recognizing how the two are linked.
Negative thoughts yield destructive behaviors. CBT works to reverse this by focusing on shifting one’s negative or judgmental thoughts to improve behaviors. The goal of this talk therapy is to understand one’s thoughts and behaviors as they relate to one’s mental health disorder or addiction. As someone becomes more aware of their distorted thought processes, they can begin to make better choices that support their well-being.
Here at First Steps Recovery, we offer various treatments for both mental health disorders and addiction. These issues can exist simultaneously, which is known as co-occurring disorders. Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that can lead to clients developing an addiction by misusing drugs or alcohol to alleviate symptoms. This mental health disorder can also greatly interfere with daily life and become all-consuming. We provide clients with treatments and therapies to provide optimal healing and recovery. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication management are two of approaches that may be combined for those coping with schizophrenia. For more information about schizophrenia, co-occurring disorders, and treatment options, please call us at (844) 489-0836.