Inpatient Schizophrenia Treatment at Alvarado Parkway Institute
Schizophrenia is a serious psychiatric condition that negatively impacts a person’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Approximately 1% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is characterized by severe symptoms such as psychosis and emotional detachment. While there is no cure, with proper treatment, people with schizophrenia can live healthy, rewarding lives.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia
The first symptoms of schizophrenia usually appear in late adolescence or early adulthood. There are three categories of symptoms associated with this condition:
Positive Symptoms. These are abnormal behaviors and thought patterns such as delusional beliefs, auditory or visual hallucinations, and unpredictable or agitated body movements.
Negative Symptoms. Often mistaken for clinical depression, these symptoms indicate a diminished ability to think or act as expected. Examples of negative symptoms include lethargy, speechlessness, or a lack of emotional expression.
Cognitive Symptoms. People with schizophrenia often have lapses in memory, wild mood swings, and poor judgment. They also may suffer from anosognosia, which is an inability to recognize their own symptoms.
How Schizophrenia Is Diagnosed
Due to the wide variety of symptoms and subtypes, and the general lack of self-awareness many patients exhibit, it can be challenging to diagnose schizophrenia correctly. Most patients will need to be monitored very closely over an extended period of time to ensure a proper diagnosis and course of treatment. The earlier schizophrenia is diagnosed, the better the chances are of making a successful, long-term recovery.
Treatment Options for Schizophrenia
Because the symptoms of schizophrenia can significantly impede day-to-day functioning, inpatient treatment is often recommended. A residential program allows patients to receive intensive care under close medical and psychiatric supervision, ensuring their safety and prioritizing their health.
Treatment is multipronged and individualized, and often includes:
Medication. Antipsychotic medications are usually used to reduce hallucinations and delusions, as well as to help patients regulate their emotions. When beginning treatment, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the exact medication that will alleviate symptoms effectively without causing major side effects. Working with a health care provider under close observation can help to identify the best combination of medication and the right dosage for each individual patient.
Psychotherapy. Once the most severe symptoms have been controlled with medication, one-on-one counseling sessions with a psychotherapist can help patients to identify unhealthy thoughts and behaviors and develop strategies to overcome them. Therapy can also teach patients how to recognize warning signs of psychotic episodes and how to cope with the daily challenges of living with schizophrenia.
Education. The ultimate goal of treatment is to reintroduce patients to the outside world and enable them to live fully functional, independent lives. To that end, inpatient treatment includes support structures to strengthen social skills, build relationships, and encourage involvement in the community.
Overcome the challenges of schizophrenia at Alvarado Parkway Institute
The key to overcoming schizophrenia is early diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan with a reputable, experienced team of professionals. For over 35 years, Alvarado Parkway Institute has been treating patients in San Diego for a wide range of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia. We offer compassionate, respectful care in a safe and supportive environment.
If you or a loved one is in need of treatment for schizophrenia or another mental illness, call us today at (619) 485-1432.