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Understanding Schizophrenia

Last updated 4 years ago

Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that often results in severe symptoms which can interfere with daily life. An individual with schizophrenia interprets reality in an abnormal fashion. Some individuals experience symptoms that are so severe they require a trip to the emergency room. Fortunately, there is help available and fortunately Largo Medical Center has one of the only behavioral health emergency rooms in the area. If you or a loved one has schizophrenia, explore the resources available at your local hospital.

Causes and Risk Factors

Researchers still are not sure what causes schizophrenia. However, there may be certain factors that can increase the risk of developing it. These risk factors include having a family history of the disorder, having an older paternal age, and being exposed to toxins or viruses while in the womb. Individuals who take psychoactive or psychotropic drugs during the teen years could also be at a higher risk.

Sign and Symptoms

The symptoms of schizophrenia may be a little frightening to the family members and friends of a loved one with the disorder. The individual may hear voices that don’t exist, see visual hallucinations, and fail to make sense while talking. Some people with schizophrenia may sit still for hours without talking or making a movement, while others may become extremely agitated due to paranoia. Schizophrenia is typically characterized by delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and abnormal physical behavior.

Treatment Options

If a loved one goes to the emergency room with severe symptoms of schizophrenia, he or she will have a comprehensive mental health assessment. The doctor may recommend antipsychotic medications or atypical antipsychotic drugs. While medication is critical for managing symptoms, psychosocial interventions can also be helpful. These may include individual therapy, family therapy, social skills training, and vocational rehabilitation.

Residents of Largo, Fl and throughout Pinellas County can take advantage of the dedicated adult behavioral health program available at Largo Medical Center. Our hospital features a Behavioral Health Emergency Room for those who are suffering from a mental health crisis. You can explore the range of services available at our state-of-the-art hospital by calling (727) 470-6826 or visiting us online.


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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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