Schizophrenia is one of the most severe mental health illnesses a person can develop. It can be misdiagnosed because it is so complex, leading to individuals not getting the precise support they need to heal and manage the condition. Misdiagnosed or undiagnosed schizophrenia will prompt individuals to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to manage their symptoms and distress. This puts people at a far greater risk of developing a substance use disorder or addiction. Fortunately, Northpoint Seattle offers the treatment programs and therapies necessary to help individuals identify and manage the condition.
What Effects Can Schizophrenia Have on the Body and Mind?
There aren’t any reported physical effects of schizophrenia on the body. The effects all seem to be mental. Someone with schizophrenia will have a very hard time organizing their thoughts, and they’re often unable to make logical connections. They usually feel their minds are racing from one unrelated thought to another. They can also experience what experts refer to as “thought withdrawal.” This occurs when it seems like their thoughts have been removed from their minds. It is also called thought blocking, and it happens when their thoughts become interrupted for one reason or another.
As far as behaviors go, schizophrenia has a profound effect on them. Sometimes people with schizophrenia have difficulty making sense when they talk. They may even make up words that sound perfectly fine to them but aren’t actual words at all. People with schizophrenia may have bouts of agitation, and they can also have times when their effects are just flat, with no expression whatsoever. It’s not surprising that these individuals often struggle to keep their homes clean or care for themselves. They may engage in repeating behaviors, such as pacing back and forth. They are generally not violent at all.
As you can see, life is quite challenging for someone who has schizophrenia. According to their reality, it can be very difficult to convince someone who has this psychiatric condition to get help because they feel as though everything is fine.
What Are the Signs that You May Have Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia can be a difficult condition to diagnose because of the number of diagnostic criteria that need to be met. There are different classifications for symptoms of schizophrenia, and they fall into three different categories – positive, negative, and cognitive. Symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Losing touch with some aspects of reality
- Experiencing chronic hallucinations
- Experiencing chronic delusions
- Having a dysfunctional way of thinking
- Displaying agitated body movements
- Having difficulty with emotions
- Having difficulty controlling behaviors
- Expressing no emotions
- Being unable to find joy in daily life
- Having trouble starting activities
- Having trouble with continuing activities
- A reduction in speaking
Getting Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Schizophrenia and Addiction
Dual diagnosis treatment is the best treatment for co-occurring disorders such as schizophrenia and addiction. Treating them separately is problematic because treatment methods can clash with each other.
For patients who have schizophrenia, managing medications is a crucial part of their treatment. However, many addiction treatment programs stress that patients should not be on medications because of the potential for addiction. It’s important to combine treatment methods for those with schizophrenia because taking away their medications makes it so much easier for them to relapse back into addiction as a way to self-medicate. Many patients who have only gotten separate treatments do exactly that.
Dual diagnosis treatment provides a multitude of benefits for those with schizophrenia and addiction, including:
- Ensuring that they have received a proper diagnosis
- Making sure that the right treatment plan is in place
- Providing therapy that will help to address the source of the addiction
- Providing family therapy to educate the family and facilitate the rebuilding of relationships
- Providing group therapy, which has shown to be instrumental in the recovery
- Ensuring that adequate follow-up care is in place
If you’re suffering from these co-occurring disorders, there is a better way for you to get the help you need, and dual diagnosis treatment is the answer.
Choosing Northpoint Seattle for Your Dual Diagnosis Treatment
It can be a confusing time when you have a mental illness like schizophrenia and addiction. You might not know where you can turn for help, or you might be told that you have to settle for being treated for one condition before you can be treated for another. At one point in time, this was the way treatment was conducted. Most of the time, people were treated for their addictions before they were treated for any mental health issues they were experiencing, which only led to confusing treatments. It also meant that the sources of addictions were not being adequately addressed, and it was clear that something needed to change.
Dual diagnosis treatment offers you the type of help you need for schizophrenia and addiction, and here at Northpoint Seattle, treatment for co-occurring disorders is something we specialize in. We know how difficult it can be to admit that you have a problem with addiction, but it’s even harder when you also have schizophrenia. Getting treatment for both simultaneously has been shown to produce much better success rates, and that is what we want to do for you.
If you’d like to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment at Northpoint Seattle, or if you’re ready to get started with this type of treatment for yourself, please contact us today by calling 425.414.3530.