Schizophrenia is a relatively rare and misunderstood brain disorder that affects how you perceive and interact with the world around you. At OC-Psychiatrist, Inc. in Mission Viejo, California, Andrew Morrow, MD, diagnoses schizophrenia and offers comprehensive, patient-focused treatment plans. Call OC-Psychiatrist, Inc. today or schedule a consultation online if you have concerns about schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that causes disruptive symptoms that affect how you perceive and interact with the world, symptoms that include psychosis, delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking and speech.
Schizophrenia typically develops in early adulthood. Men usually develop symptoms in their late teens or early 20s, while women begin to have symptoms in their late 20s or early 30s.
The condition is often misunderstood. It doesn’t cause multiple or split personalities, and in most cases, people who have schizophrenia aren’t dangerous.
Schizophrenia causes several types of symptoms.
Psychosis includes symptoms that affect your perception of reality. For example, you might have trouble distinguishing between what’s real and what isn’t.
Delusions are fixed false beliefs. You hold on to these beliefs despite reasonable evidence that they’re not true. Paranoia, or a belief that another person or group is harming or harassing you, is one of the most common delusions.
Hallucinations cause false sensory experiences. You might see, hear, smell, taste, or feel something that isn’t there. Auditory hallucinations are the most common — you may hear voices.
Schizophrenia can also impact how you think. You may have jumbled or nonsensical thoughts, or you may switch rapidly between seemingly unrelated topics, making it challenging to maintain a conversation.
You may also display abnormal movements such as repeated, purposeless movements, catatonia, or unpredictable agitation or silliness.
Negative symptoms refer to the absence of function. For example, you might have decreased speech output or emotional expression. Some people lose interest in social activities, hobbies, or self-care.
While schizophrenia often emerges in a clear psychotic break, you might not notice your own symptoms. A friend or family member may express concern and encourage you to talk to a doctor.
If you feel out of touch with reality or a family member suggests it, make an appointment with Dr. Morrow. There isn’t a cure for schizophrenia, but with treatment and support, you can relieve your symptoms and maintain a healthy, fulfilling life.
Dr. Morrow provides highly customized treatment plans for schizophrenia. He often combines medication management, lifestyle modifications, and psychoeducation. Dr. Morrow also provides education and support for your family, ensuring they’re equipped to help you.
Call OC-Psychiatrist, Inc. today or make an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment for schizophrenia.