[Skip to Content]

Schizophrenia: Facts, Symptoms & Treatment

Schizophrenia: Facts, Symptoms & Treatment

Learning About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by incoherent or illogical thoughts, bizarre behavior and speech, and delusions or hallucinations, such as hearing voices. Schizophrenia typically begins in early adulthood.

While schizophrenia can take many forms, the most common is paranoid schizophrenia (or schizophrenia with paranoia), where people have a dramatically altered sense of reality. Many people confuse this for “split personality” disorder, but the two are very different. Paranoid schizophrenia means the individual suffering is episodically detached from reality. This is marked by seeing, hearing and feeling things that don’t actually exist or speaking in strange, manic, illogical patterns. 

People suffering from paranoid schizophrenia may also believe that others are trying to monitor or physically harm them in ways that seem outlandish to others. These behaviors can cause problems and disruptions at home and work. Often, people may fall into addictions to treat these episodic symptoms. 

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders include schizophrenia, other psychotic disorders and schizotypal (personality) disorder. They are defined by abnormalities in one or more of the following five domains:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized thinking (speech)
  • Grossly disorganized or abnormal motor behavior (including catatonia)
  • Negative symptoms

While no one knows the exact cause of schizophrenia, many researchers believe a combination of genetic, neurobiological, psychological and environmental factors contribute to the development of schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia may be chronic, but most patients tend to get better over time. While the first few months of treatment and diagnosis may be marked by severe bouts of depression, anxiety and even suicidal thoughts, these symptoms tend to lessen over time, not increase. With advances in science and medicine, treatment is possible through a mix of medication management (typically with atypical antipsychotics) and intensive individual therapy as advised by a schizophrenia treatment facility, such as Austin Lakes Hospital. 

Our treatment programs may be able to offer significant help and hope to people with schizophrenia. Our inpatient treatment center in Austin, Texas, has been treating schizophrenia patients for over a decade. 

Because of the episodic nature of the disease, it’s important that patients learn the strategies and coping mechanisms that can help them through times of increased symptoms from stress and outside trauma. Our dedicated treatment team, made up of psychiatrists, therapists and licensed behavioral health professionals, are eager to get patients on a track to improve their mental health outcomes in ways that are sustainable long term.

If you think you or someone you know may be exhibiting the symptoms of schizophrenia, contact us for a confidential, no-cost psychiatric assessment.

For more information on schizophrenia, please visit the American Psychological Association.

We’re Here to Help

Talking with one of the mental health professionals at our treatment center could help answer your questions. Our team wants to identify how we may be able to help you or your loved one improve daily life with our mental health services. We offer no-cost, confidential assessments 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call 512-544-5253.

Our inpatient and outpatient programs can help individuals deal with mental illness or behavioral health issues whether they’re suffering from depression, anxiety or other disorders. If you are currently experiencing an emergency, please dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.