Schizophrenia: Symptoms & Treatments

What is Schizophrenia?

The term schizophrenia literally means “split mind” because of the presence of fragmented thinking and disorganized speech noted in the disorder. But this should not be confused with having a “split personality” or any other type of mental phenomenon. Schizophrenia is a complicated psychiatric disorder, but understanding its symptoms and the experiences common to people with the disorder can increase understanding, compassion and accurate treatment and care for those individuals and their loved-ones.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder marked by abnormalities in various areas of functioning. It is known as a psychotic disorder, which typically involves delusions, hallucinations and disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia can also impair motor behavior, motivation and emotional expression, while interfering with interpersonal and occupational functioning and self-care. Schizophrenia is a chronic and debilitating disorder that requires intensive and collaborative treatment, and is frequently accompanied by high rates of suicide, substance abuse and other serious health conditions.

Positive Symptoms of Schizophrenia
Negative Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Types of Anxiety Disorder

A common mental health condition where people experience regular, excessive anxiety. Unlike other anxiety disorders where fears are easily identified, people living with GAD have multiple fears or may be unable to identify specific causes of their anxiety.

A common condition that’s characterized by excessive fear of certain social situations and specific concerns of being negatively judged by others. Often, social anxiety leads to avoidance of these situations which negatively impacts a person’s ability to function and their quality of life.


Develops following a traumatic experience with symptoms including upsetting memories, avoidance of trauma reminders, and impairment of normal routines and functioning. Acute stress disorder is diagnosed when symptoms occur directly after the trauma but resolve within one month. Acute stress disorder is a diagnosis used to help clinicians flag people at risk of developing PTSD following a traumatic experience like an accident, injury, or assault. Early treatment may slow or stop this progression to PTSD.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
A mental health condition defined by intrusive thoughts and repetitive behaviors ( (aka obsessions and compulsions). Those living with OCD experience intense anxiety about the nature of their obsessions and engage in compulsive behaviors to alleviate their distress. Reduction in the frequency and severity of symptoms is possible with therapy and/or medication.

A condition characterized by the intense fear of having another panic attack. Panic attacks feature extreme symptoms of anxiety that come on suddenly and generally last several minutes. Panic disorder leads to avoidant behavior which disrupts a person’s normal routine and daily life.

People feel an excessive and overwhelming amount of anxiety when separated, or when anticipating being separated, from a parent, spouse, child, etc. The level of anxiety experienced is not developmentally appropriate, is persistent, and can cause significant distress sometimes impairing social, school or work functioning. It is quite common and onset often occurs in children and adolescents. Treated with talk therapy and/or medication.

People experience intense anxiety in response to specific cues (people, places, things, or situations) that is excessive relative to the actual risk they face. Specific phobias are diagnosed when this fear or the resulting avoidance causes a significant distress or impairment in a person’s life. Phobias are treatable with exposure therapy, talk therapy, and/or medication.

The key differences between anxiety attacks and panic attacks involve intensity, duration, and onset. Panic attacks bring on a sudden rush of emotional and physical changes so intense that many people believe something serious is happening physically. A panic attack usually has a distinct beginning and end and symptoms rarely last more than 30 minutes. Anxiety attacks may be more subtle and present with a slow build. Periods of high anxiety could last for hours or days with the beginning and end of the anxiety attack very difficult to define.

Treatments for Schizophrenia

The treatment for schizophrenia ultimately involves a collaborative approach among various mental health providers and services that address the different areas of dysfunction. Typically, people with schizophrenia require treatment from: Psychiatrist – provides medical evaluation and treatment services Clinical Psychologist – provides additional assessment tools, Psychotherapist – provides psychotherapy in the individual, family and/or group modalities In addition, they will need psychosocial rehabilitation services from any number of qualified professionals to improve functioning and insure ongoing health and safety This certainly appears to be a tall order, and in fact, comprehensive treatment services for people with schizophrenia can be difficult to establish and maintain for several reasons. But understanding those needs can help make the process more seamless and effective in both the immediate sense and for long-term success.
Need More

Other mental health disorders

Anxiety & Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety describes the reactions within our minds and bodies to situations that are stressful, dangerous, or create a sense of uncertainty. Nearly everyone experiences occasional feelings of anxiety – nervousness, worry, or fear. These feelings are typically triggered
Read more

Depression: Types, Symptoms, & Treatments

Depression is a mood disorder that generally brings about sadness, but it can also influence a person’s energy, motivation, irritability, and overall well-being. It is one of the most powerful mental health conditions a person can endure.
Read more

Bipolar Disorder: Types, Causes, & Treatments

Bipolar disorder, sometimes referred to as manic-depression, is a genetically-based psychiatric disorder, which involves poorly regulated changes in brain chemistry resulting in extreme mood swings. With a proper diagnosis and treatment plan...
Read More

ADHD: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatments

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder requires the presence of symptoms related to inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity, or both.2 It is important to note that, in isolation, any of the characteristics of the disorder can be observed ...
Read More

Schizophrenia: Symptoms & Treatments

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder marked by abnormalities in various areas of functioning. It is known as a psychotic disorder, which typically involves delusions, hallucinations and disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia can also impair motor...
Read More

Psychological Traumatic-Stress Disorders

Psychological or emotional trauma can occur when one experiences an event (or several events) in which death, serious injury, or sexual assault, are threatened— or actually occur. A person can also be traumatized by hearing of these events happening to a loved one...
Read More

We seek to ensure that all people with mental illness including people with past experiences of mental illness are supported by the association.