Though schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders affect less than 0.65% of the women, men, and children in the United States, the impact of the disease on affected individuals and their families is profound. At VIP Integrative Healthcare in West Palm Beach, Florida, caring board-certified psychiatrist Martine Senatus, PMHNP-BC, FNP-BC, and her team of experts treat schizophrenia with antipsychotic medications, behavioral therapy, and frequent monitoring and support for families. To get help for yourself or a loved one, contact the office for a schizophrenia evaluation by phone or use the online contact form.
Schizophrenia is a relatively rare but severe and chronic mental disorder that an abnormal perception of reality characterizes. If you have schizophrenia, you may have hallucinations or delusions and think and behave in unusual or harmful ways to yourself or others.
Because schizophrenia prevents you from participating fully in life, it’s among the top 15 causes of disability worldwide. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that an individual with schizophrenia loses an average of 28.5 years of potential life.
If you have schizophrenia, you must be on medication for the rest of your life. People with schizophrenia are more likely to commit suicide than the general population. If you or someone you love is suicidal, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Though children sometimes have schizophrenia, symptoms don’t usually appear until ages 16-30 years. You may have difficulty recognizing schizophrenia in adolescents because their early symptoms are similar to the anti-social behaviors of normal teenagers.
Common symptoms of schizophrenia (in all ages) include the following:
People with schizophrenia may also lose pleasure in daily activities.
Genetics may contribute to schizophrenia, but not everyone with schizophrenia has a family member with the disease. Some researchers think that certain genes trigger schizophrenia when they encounter environmental stressors, such as:
Individuals with schizophrenia may have structural differences in their brains or chemical imbalances that affect their neurotransmitters.
Children and adults with schizophrenia need to take daily antipsychotic medication. The VIP Integrative Healthcare team frequently follows up with schizophrenia patients to ensure compliance and monitor them for their disease status.
The team also educates families on managing schizophrenic behaviors and ensures that their loved one gets the medication and behavioral therapies they need.
If you or someone you love suffers from schizophrenia, call the VIP Integrative Healthcare office or request an appointment online today.