Do I need therapy for schizophrenia? It’s an important question many people need to ask, even if they are unsure they have the condition. Many have no idea just how prevalent it is, with estimates of between 0.25 percent and 0.64 percent of the U.S. population suffering from it, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. If you think you have the symptoms of it but are unsure if you should seek help, it’s worth exploring the benefits of doing so.
Are You Experiencing Some Symptoms?
The symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations, delusions, cognitive impairment and communication problems, can be hard to detect in day-to-day life. Many people don’t attribute these types of experiences to mental health disorders, but they are a clear indication that you should seek help and therapy for schizophrenia.
Your therapist will want to know about any type of psychiatric experience you’re having. Ask yourself what you could tell them about:
- Hallucinations you’ve had
- Moods and how often they change
- Substance use, often to help stop your thought processes
- Delusions or people telling you that you’re not experiencing authentic thoughts
- Violence or feeling the need to be violent
- Thoughts of or attempts of suicide
If you’re experiencing these types of symptoms, at any level, it’s time to seek out help. Be honest with yourself about these thoughts and experiences. They shed light on the level of care you need.
What Happens If You Ignore the Symptoms of Schizophrenia?
Some people believe self-help for schizophrenia is an option. The problem is it’s nearly impossible to treat yourself when symptoms become evident and you start to feel poorly. Hallucinations, for example, are nearly impossible to recognize as what they are until after the experience. Delusional thoughts and episodes are also very realistic — it’s hard to know what’s really happening. Hearing voices, having strange ideas, and finding yourself in situations without knowing how you got there are not things you can easily control.
Other negative symptoms, such as blank looks and inexpressive faces, are also things you cannot control. You may feel like it doesn’t matter after all; these are things impacting just you. Yet, a lack of expression doesn’t mean a lack of feeling. Many people with schizophrenia will lash out eventually.
There is also the ongoing risk of violence due to rapidly changing moods and aggressive or violent behavior. You could become a danger to your family randomly, without any real recognition of pre-symptoms. Additionally, people with schizophrenia are at a higher risk of suicide, which can put your life on the line if you don’t seek treatment.
Could Your Symptoms Be Caused by Something Else?
If you’re struggling with any of these symptoms, it’s best to seek help from a licensed therapist. However, in some cases, you may not have schizophrenia, or you may have it brought on by other factors. For example, if you are predisposed to mental health complications and start using some types of drugs and alcohol, that can trigger those symptoms. That is, if you did not use the alcohol and drugs, you might never have experienced the schizophrenic episodes. However, to be clear, once it is present, just stopping the use of substances like this doesn’t cure it.
Some types of drugs can cause hallucinations, negative thoughts, and delusions. This includes some prescription medications such as olanzapine (Zyprexa) and clonazepam (Klonopin). Even lorazepam (Ativan) can do so. Those who use illicit drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy, or LSD may also experience schizophrenic episodes. Street drugs, which can mix a variety of illicit drugs together, may also cause this.
For those using illicit drugs and experiencing these symptoms, a therapist can help you to determine the underlying cause and treatment options. Co-occurring mental health disorders and substance abuse are very common.
How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?
You’re wondering how to seek help for schizophrenia to find out if you have this condition or if you have co-occurring illnesses. Diagnosis often includes a physical exam to rule out any other problems. Substance abuse problems may be detected here. Then, there are some tests and screenings that may be important. For example, some brain tumors and disorders may cause symptoms like this as well, though that is less common. An MRI or CT scan will show this.
The heart of the diagnosis process comes from a psychiatric evaluation. During this, doctors and a mental health professional will ask you questions and talk to you. Observations about your health and changes to your demeanor can provide significant insight. They will also ask you about thoughts of suicide, concerns about hallucinations, changing moods, and delusions. Many times, it helps if close family members or friends can share insight into your behaviors as well. This process may take several steps to complete.
Learning how to get diagnosed with schizophrenia can ease your mind. It’s not complex or invasive. It doesn’t take much time. There’s no judgment, and your privacy is always protected. Yet reaching out for this help can be life-changing for you. Doctors and therapists, like our team at FHE Health, can provide you with a diagnosis during a formal evaluation process.
Are You Afraid of Being Diagnosed?
Many men and women with mental health disorders of any type are afraid to reach out to a doctor or therapist for help. Take a moment to consider what is actually making you afraid.
- Are you afraid to hear that you have a mental health disorder?
- Are you afraid people will judge you?
- Do you worry that you may need to take medications?
- Are you afraid your life will change?
- Are you concerned with your family’s reaction?
Here’s the bottom line. Even though you are afraid, even terrified, of getting help, it will not be any worse than what you are living with today. More so, you may not have a true form of schizophrenia. If you do, you’ll find that change feels good in nearly all situations.
A Better Life Is Possible
Those with undiagnosed or untreated schizophrenia live difficult lives. It may be hard to maintain friendships and intimate relationships. You may feel overwhelmed by what people say you are doing, thinking, or acting like, even though you don’t remember doing any of it. You may find that anger and frustration are normal parts of your day. You just want to be normal.
Many times, treatment will mean getting therapy. This includes one-on-one talk sessions and other forms of care. It also may mean medications to help calm your mind and help you to focus on what’s really happening around you. However, it generally is better than what you can expect now if you are untreated.
Getting Help for Schizophrenia from FHE Health
Schizophrenia is a condition that requires help, and our team at FHE Health can provide it in a safe, private location. Contact our team now to learn more about what you can expect and how to get help for schizophrenia at 833-596-3502.