When someone suffers a mental health concern like schizophrenia and substance use at the same time, it is called dual diagnosis. Recovery requires specialized care that addresses both problems and the many ways they interact.
Schizophrenia Symptoms to Watch For
Major symptoms of schizophrenia include:
Hallucinations: Perceiving things with any of the five senses that are not actually there;
Delusions: Strongly held false beliefs, for example that the sufferer is a historical figure;
Thought Disorders: Such as making up words or having difficulty organizing words;
Movement Disorders: This may manifest as repetitive movements or even catatonia.
People with schizophrenia can also suffer negative symptoms – where something is impaired or “missing.” Because of these symptoms, schizophrenia is often misunderstood as depression.
Negative symptoms include:
Flat Affect: Difficulty expressing emotion through facial expressions and the voice;
Low Mood: Reduced feelings of pleasure in life and difficulty “sticking to” tasks;
Other Dysfunctions: Problems planning and doing everyday tasks, like hygiene.
Before someone is diagnosed with schizophrenia, others may think they are “odd” or even lazy. The truth is, all the behaviors above are symptoms of a serious illness. Although schizophrenia cannot be cured, it can be treated effectively.
How Does Substance Use Affect Schizophrenia?
Nicotine and alcohol are both commonly abused by people with schizophrenia and may interfere with mental functioning. The use of substances like marijuana can dramatically worsen some symptoms.
Schizophrenia sufferers are generally non-violent and are more likely to harm themselves than others. Substance use can make them more likely to engage in risky or self-destructive behaviors. Substances become more dangerous when used as a way to “self-medicate,” especially in San Diego
Schizophrenia Treatment at Affinity Treatment Centers
Compassionate psychiatric care is essential for people who want to achieve substance-free wellness. At Affinity Treatment Centers, we develop personalized treatment plans, including 24-hour care, for each of our residents.
Our treatment methods include:
Many schizophrenia sufferers are on the wrong kind of medication or the wrong dose for them. Therapeutic effects can be dramatically improved through professional medication management.
A one-on-one care relationship is the best environment for many people to feel truly safe and supported when expressing their feelings. Our team members are experts who understand you.
Large and Small Group Sessions
Group sessions introduce our residents to the caring and supportive community around them. We believe in customized, interesting, meaningful group sessions – not in exhausting all-day affairs.
Recreational and Art Therapy
A creative environment can help those with schizophrenia express themselves better. Art therapy is an enjoyable way to “reconnect” and learn how to manage symptoms more effectively.
Take the first step to recovery by contacting Affinity Treatment Centers today.