Schizophrenia Disorders and How They Change Your Life
Both schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia are more common in young adults than in children or older adults, and both mental illnesses tend to reach peak severity at somewhere between 16 and 25 years of age. This is almost the period during which people are the most vulnerable to substance abuse – meaning that the majority of young adults who suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness also struggle with substance abuse or dependence. If you or your loved one is between the ages of 16 and 25 and has been experiencing seemingly unexplainable and erratic behaviors, a dual diagnosis disorder might be at play.
It’s Not Easy To Diagnose Schizoaffective Disorders
The signs and symptoms associated with both of these mental illnesses are somewhat similar, though schizoaffective disorder is a combination of several different mental illnesses including depression and mania (bipolar disorder).
The most common symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Obsessive and compulsive behaviors
- Mood swings, marked by hostility and irritability
- Extreme agitation
- Confusion and disorientation
- Auditory and visual hallucinations
- Anxiety and paranoia
The symptoms most commonly associated with schizoaffective disorder include:
- Ongoing delusions
- Believing that an ordinary event or experience holds special meaning
- Visual hallucinations/seeing things that are not there
- Auditory hallucinations/hearing things that are not there
- Extreme anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia
- Mood swings, usually characterized by feelings of euphoria and intense lows
- Feelings of grandiosity and superiority
- An increase in impulsive behavior and high-risk activities
- Suicidal ideation and self-harm
- Appetite changes, which can lead to weight loss or weight gain
- Racing thoughts and speaking more quickly than is normal
Treatment Options for Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder
When it comes to effectively treating schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder, a combination of treatment options is generally the most beneficial. It is also important that anyone who is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism and mental illness look into inpatient treatment options. This is important for several reasons, including:
- It is often difficult for people who are suffering from one of these two mental health disorders to find the right combination of medication. It is extremely beneficial if a licensed psychiatrist can oversee a client as he or she tries out different combinations, monitoring side effects and making notes of what works.
- If a client returns to using chemical substances, his or her medications will be rendered ineffective. Undergoing treatment in an inpatient, dual diagnosis facility allows the client to be closely monitored so that he or she avoids relapse.
- In inpatient rehab, a client is surrounded by peers who are going through a similar experience. Forming bonds with other people is an essential part of long-term recovery – from both addiction and mental illness.
Mental Health Counseling For Schizophrenic Disorders
At Agape Treatment Center, we offer comprehensive age-specific, dual diagnosis services for women and women who are suffering from undiagnosed or untreated mental illness and substance abuse or dependence. These two conditions frequently go hand-in-hand, they must be treated simultaneously in a designated facility.
At Agape Treatment Center, we combine intensive therapeutic intervention with psychiatric care and medication-assisted treatment options. In many cases, a combination of antipsychotic medications is necessary to treat schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder – and finding this combination can be difficult without long-term supervision. Clients have access to individual and group therapy, and family therapy sessions whenever possible (when the loved ones of the client live near our treatment center and can visit on occasion). An in-depth psychiatric evaluation will take place upon admission, and clients who are found to have a mental illness will continue to undergo evaluations throughout their stay. To learn more about our dual diagnosis program or to learn more about the impact of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder in young adults, simply contact us directly through our website or over the phone.