Schizophrenia is a chronic and disabling brain disorder that affects the way people think and act. It can cause confusion and an altered sense of reality. People with schizophrenia may hear voices or believe others want to harm them. They may have trouble maintaining a job, taking care of themselves and interacting socially.
With proper treatment, people with schizophrenia can find relief from their symptoms. We offer innovative, easily accessed outpatient programs that help people improve their lives, as well as renowned inpatient programs for older adults.
Help for Schizophrenia at MultiCare Behavioral Health
We help patients who are able to take care of themselves maintain an active role in managing their illness. Through regular follow-up visits, we help you make decisions about your care and teach you coping skills for dealing with persistent symptoms.
If your loved one is not able to take care of themselves, our professional case managers and inpatient specialists deliver expert care to help them live the best life possible.
Our range of services include:
- Recovery and wellness: Recovery helps people with schizophrenia take an active role in managing their own illness, setting life goals and acquiring the social and vocational training they may need to contribute to their communities and live more fulfilling lives.
- Case management: we offer assistance from certified mental health counselors so individuals with schizophrenia can gain access to the services and supports in the community that they may need, tailored to the client’s needs and functional abilities.
- Family education: When a loved on has schizophrenia, it is important that family members know as much as possible about the disease. With the help of a therapist, family members can learn coping strategies and problem-solving skills to assist their loved ones.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on thinking and behavior.
- Peer support: Peer counselors are professionally trained people who have recovered sufficiently from chronic mental illnesses to help others. They know what it’s like to live with a serious mental illness, and they can share their stories of recovery, giving hope to others that they too can recover. Learn more about our peer support and other specialty programs.
- Renowned services for older adults: Our Older Adult Services program is staffed by geriatric specialists who can help people over age 55 work through emotional problems and behavioral disturbances related to schizophrenia. We are also the only program in the area that offers an inpatient Geriatric Inpatient Psychiatry Unit.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a brain disorder that affects the way you or your loved one sees the world. People with this condition experience a disconnect between what is real and what is going on in their imagination.
As a result, it’s common for people with schizophrenia to:
- See or hear things that don’t exist
- Speak in strange or confusing ways
- Believe that others are trying to harm them
- Act out in ways that are irrational or even unlawful to protect themselves from possible danger
- Seem to lack emotions
What Are the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories:
- Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms are out of touch with reality. These symptoms include hallucinations and paranoia.
- Negative symptoms disrupt normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. Negative symptoms include not moving your face when you talk and lack of pleasure in everyday life.
- Cognitive symptoms can be hard to recognize but often make it hard to lead a normal life. Cognitive symptoms include not being able to understand and use information to make decisions, as well as trouble focusing or paying attention.
How Do We Diagnose Schizophrenia?
There is no single test for diagnosing schizophrenia. A thorough evaluation must be conducted by a mental health specialist. A physical exam by a doctor may also be a part of the process to diagnose this disease.
How Do We Treat Schizophrenia?
Although schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, many people are able to function independently and live satisfying lives with the proper support, medication and therapy. For the best outlook, it’s important to receive care right away.
Treatments available at MultiCare may include:
- Counseling: Our therapists teach our patients how to test the reality of their thoughts and perceptions, how to ignore the voices in their head and how to manage symptoms with and without medication.
- Skill-building: We offer therapies that help our patients maintain their independence. This includes job training, money management counseling and lessons on how to use public transportation.
- Medications: Different types of medications can help control symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions. Our medical and mental health experts work side-by-side to carefully monitor your response to medications. This helps us pinpoint what’s working or if we need to try something else.
- Chemical dependency treatment: As part of our integrated approach to care, patients who have both schizophrenia and chemical dependency receive additional treatment and care coordination from state-certified chemical dependency experts. Learn more about our chemical dependency treatment services.
Note: The condition description on this page is intended to be informational only, and should not be considered a diagnosis or medical advice. Please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional if you believe you have any of the symptoms described here.