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What Causes Schizophrenia?

a person stares out of a window possibly wondering about the causes of schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder in which someone perceives reality in an abnormal way. It is a lifelong condition characterized by various symptoms that impede a patient from having a normal lifestyle. The causes of schizophrenia are still not completely understood, but the symptoms can severely impair daily life. However, managing the disease is possible through a schizophrenia treatment program, resulting in an improved quality of life for the patient.

At Ashwood Recovery, we offer an extensive list of mental health care programs, including schizophrenia treatment. Our outpatient, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization programs give flexible options that cater to each patient’s unique needs to create a treatment plan that works best for every condition. Call us at 888.341.3607 today to learn more about what we can offer.

What Are the Causes of Schizophrenia?

There is no one cause for schizophrenia. It has been observed that many different factors may contribute to an increased likelihood of the disease. These factors are:

  • Genetics – Schizophrenia tends to run in families. While the biological causes of schizophrenia have not been linked to any particular gene, having a close relative with the disorder greatly increases the chances of developing it in the future.
  • Environmental factors – Both physical and emotional trauma are environmental causes of schizophrenia. Malnutrition or viral infections before birth have been shown to increase the risk of schizophrenia as well as psychosocial factors, such as stress or trauma.
  • Abnormal brain chemistry – Problems with neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, may also lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia. The neurotransmitters of schizophrenia patients have been observed to be either too active or not active enough.
  • Drug and alcohol abuse – The use of mind-altering substances, especially in early youth, is believed to increase the risk of schizophrenia.

What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?

Most symptoms of schizophrenia have to do with behavior, emotions, or cognition. While symptoms may vary from patient to patient, the more common ones are:

  • Delusions – One of the most common symptoms of schizophrenia, this refers to a patient’s firmly held belief of something that is not true and is easy to prove wrong. These are often bizarre or illogical fantasies that make no sense to the people around them.
  • Hallucinations – Perceiving things that are only in their mind. A patient may see, hear, smell, feel, or even taste things that are not there.
  • Confused thoughts or speech – Patients with schizophrenia have a hard time concentrating. They may not be able to follow along when listening to something, or they may have difficulty communicating their thoughts to others.
  • Disorganized behavior – This includes both mental and physical disorganization—a loss of muscle coordination, uncontrolled body movements, or slurred speech. The patient may also exhibit unpredictable or inappropriate emotional responses.
  • Withdrawal and flattening – This refers to lacking interest in the world around them and a lack of emotional expression. Patients lose interest in everyday activities, people, and things and may actively avoid social interaction. They may also develop poor hygiene.
  • Suicidal ideation – Having suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide is not uncommon for patients with schizophrenia.

While the symptoms of schizophrenia may seem overwhelming, leading a normal, fulfilling life is possible with the proper treatment. Medication and therapy, combined with changes in lifestyle and the proper support system, are successful methods for managing this disease.

Get Schizophrenia Treatment at Ashwood Recovery

At Ashwood Recovery, we believe that patients with mental health disorders can have a better quality of life. We provide professional treatment that can improve daily function, leading to improved interpersonal relationships, steady employment, and general well-being.

Schizophrenia is treatable with the proper support. Call us now at 888.341.3607 to learn more about how Ashwood Recovery can help you and your loved ones.