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Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that causes you to disconnect from reality. If not treated, it can cause hallucinations and delusions. Usually, the symptoms appear in late teens or young adults. It has both physical and mental side effects. It disrupts how your brain works and interferes with your ability to think, memory, how your senses work, and more. So, it affects your social and professional life.

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About Schizophrenia Therapy
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About Schizophrenia Therapy
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Therapists / Counselors for Schizophrenia Therapy
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Mental Health Care for Schizophrenia
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Major Causes of Schizophrenic Thoughts
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Common Signs
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The Different Types
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How to Deal With Your Symptoms
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Get Treatment From a Licensed Therapist Who’s Right For You
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Schedule a Virtual Psychotherapy Appointment with a Counsellor Today

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that causes you to disconnect from reality. If not treated, it can cause hallucinations and delusions. Usually, the symptoms appear in late teens or young adults. It has both physical and mental side effects. It disrupts how your brain works and interferes with your ability to think, memory, how your senses work, and more. So, it affects your social and professional life.


While there is no cure, the symptoms are controllable with medication and behavioural therapy. Prognosis is best when detected early and treated.

Previously, mental health practitioners used to divide schizophrenia into five subtypes:

  • Catatonic
  • Disorganized
  • Paranoid
  • Residual
  • Undifferentiated

But this classification system does not work well. Because the symptoms of subtypes often overlap with each other, it can lead to confusion while diagnosing.

Instead of sorting them as subtypes, this mental health disorder is seen as a spectrum. The symptoms of these subtypes, such as paranoia, disordered speech and behaviour, and catatonia, are still associated with a schizophrenia diagnosis, but experts no longer consider them different subtypes.

Without enough care, this mental health disorder can deteriorate further. Not only might symptoms worsen, but people may acquire other mental health illnesses. These include Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and anxiety disorders.

Untreated people with this disorder are more likely to self-harm and be violent against others than those who have received treatment.

However, if you receive treatment, there is a fair chance you could achieve partial or complete remission. If someone is showing symptoms of this illness, it is essential to get prompt treatment.

It is a chronic condition with varying severity levels that do not usually deteriorate with age. Some patients' symptoms improve over time, while others' symptoms remain the same or worsen.

There are five significant symptoms of this condition:

  • Delusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech
  • Disorganized behaviour
  • Negative symptoms, such as experiencing a lack of speech, enthusiasm, or motivation.
The potential problems and side effects of treating this mental health disorder depend on many circumstances. These include your treatment plan, medical history, the severity of the disorder, and others. Thus, it varies from person to person. Your health care practitioner is the best person to advise you on what you can do about them.

Mental Health Care for Schizophrenia

With this illness, you can have hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and a tendency for false and paranoid thoughts. These and other symptoms may make you paranoid, withdrawn, or stubborn.

This ailment does not discriminate between genders and ethnicity and can affect everyone equally. Although rarely, symptoms can begin in childhood. It can be challenging to diagnose this illness in teenagers since the early symptoms can include social isolation, poor grades, sleep issues, and irritability. These early signs are called the prodromal period. However, all these are classic adolescent characteristics as well.

Thus, if the prodromal stage is present, and the symptoms worsen over time, it is crucial to seek professional advice. This is because early intervention can reduce symptoms and improve life functioning.

Major Causes of Schizophrenic Thoughts

There is no single cause for this mental illness. Experts believe that the main reasons for this illness are an imbalance in neurological pathways of the brain, brain development disorders, or loss of connection between different areas of your brain. Some risk factors for this illness are:

  • Genetics: People with this disorder usually share this illness with a family member. If your parents or siblings had this condition, you have a greater chance of developing it too.
  • Environment: Many environmental factors can increase your risk of acquiring this brain disorder. Certain brain conditions, such as infections, autoimmune diseases, or prolonged extreme stress, can contribute to its development. Some pregnancy and delivery issues, such as malnutrition or exposure to chemicals or viruses, may affect brain development. Being born in the winter raises your chances.
  • Development and birth circumstances: Your development inside your mother's womb can cause this condition. If your mother had gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, malnutrition, or a vitamin D deficiency, your chances of having this condition increase. If you were underweight at birth or if there were difficulties during your birth, your risk increases.
  • Recreational drug use: As an adolescent or young adult, using mind-altering drugs such as psychoactive or psychotropic medications can contribute to the development of this disorder.

Common Signs

Schizophrenia usually happens in 3 stages, with different symptoms and behaviours depending on the stage.

  • Onset: This is an early phase before you develop more severe symptoms. It might manifest as social withdrawal, anxiety, a lack of motivation, and a disregard for personal hygiene. As these are common, patients are not usually diagnosed at this stage. This stage lasts a few weeks before the active stages begin. Symptoms of the onset stage are:
    • Social withdrawal
    • Paranoia or suspiciousness
    • Stop spending time with family and friends.
    • Poor grades or performance at work
    • Struggle with thinking and focusing
    • Trouble concentrating
    • Temper flares
    • Difficulty sleeping
  • Active Stage: The psychotic symptoms are in full effect. Thus, this stage is also referred to as a psychotic break. You show a disconnection from reality. At this stage, the significant symptoms of this illness start to settle in. Here are some of them:
    • Delusion: You may start to believe certain things that aren't true. And you won't change your mind even if you receive evidence that those beliefs are wrong. For example, you might think people are trying to harass or harm you, your thoughts are being controlled by someone else, or another person is in love with you. Delusions are pretty common in those with this mental health disorder.
    • Hallucination: These are generally associated with seeing or hearing things that do not exist. But people with schizophrenia can see, hear, smell, touch or taste them. Hallucinations can occur in any sense, but hearing voices is the most prevalent.
    • Disorganized speaking: Someone with this disorder may struggle to organize their thoughts when speaking. Effective communication can be hampered. Responses to questions may be partially or entirely unrelated too. They may struggle to keep up with the topic, or it may be bad enough that you cannot comprehend them. This could be because their sentences are jumbled or unintelligible.
    • Disorganized movements: These can manifest in various ways, ranging from childlike silliness to unpredictable agitation. It is challenging to finish work when behaviour is not focused on a goal. It can also include a catatonic attitude, in which a person does not react to their surroundings as expected. They may strike an uncomfortable position, fail to reply to those speaking to them, or start moving about excessively for no reason.
    • Negative symptoms: Negative symptoms mean a decreased ability to perform routine functions. Negative symptoms typically include a loss of emotion in a person's facial expressions, speech (such as a flat and emotionless voice), and fewer or no motions with their hands or other areas of their body. They also lack motivation, especially when it comes to socializing or doing things they love.
    • Anosognosia: Most people with schizophrenia show signs of anosognosia. It is a condition where people cannot recognize their medical problems. Many people with this illness do not realize that they are unwell. Hallucinations and delusions can seem very real to a person experiencing them. This can make it hard to convince the individual to seek treatment or take medication. They may fear the side effects or believe that medicine will harm them.
  • Residual stage: A person with residual schizophrenia has fewer or less severe symptoms than those in the active stage. Positive signs, such as hallucinations or delusions, are not common in this stage. The residual phase is similar to the prodromal stage. Adverse symptoms may include a loss of motivation, low energy, or a gloomy mood. However, this is usually just temporary. Symptoms will reappear once a person enters the active stage of the disorder.

The Different Types

Depending on the cause and symptoms, amnesia can be of many types. The most common types are:


In this, our brain loses the ability to recall recent experiences before the injury or trauma. One may also struggle with recalling remote experiences, but that happens more slowly over time. People with this may even have complete memory loss, depending on the damage's extent. Dementia and other such medical conditions may result in this type.


This affects the brain's ability to store new information. It could be both temporary or permanent. A blackout caused by the consumption of alcohol in excess may cause transient anterograde amnesia. But if some head injury or trauma causes damage to the hippocampus in your brain, then it may be permanent. Also, this usually affects our recent events as the brain struggles to transfer them into long-term memory. Events and experiences in the distant past are not usually affected. This type may affect your quality of life as day-to-day storing of information is poor.

Transient Global Amnesia (TGA)

People with this type may find it hard to recall specific events that happened a few minutes ago. There may be a lot of confusion and agitation during the forgetful period. This may last several hours, with the person having no lasting memory of the experience. It is most common in adults over 50 years. It could be due to age-induced changes in the brain or a brief blockage of blood vessels. Some studies also suggest that it may be a result of seizure-like activity. But the reason behind this type is still not well understood.


This particular phenomenon is the inability to remember events from your early childhood. This is relatively common, as most people can't recall the first 3-5 years of their life. This is usually attributed to certain areas of the brain not maturing enough during childhood.


It is usually caused by a traumatic experience or stressful event, like a crime victim. Affected individuals struggle to cope with that event. They may have a sudden memory loss that lasts for a few minutes or hours. In some cases, it might even last for months or years. People with this type may struggle to remember some important and specific information. This can also include details about themselves, like their names and addresses. More often than not, other information returns, but the experience of that shocking event is not likely to return.

Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA)

If you are unconscious for an extended period due to traumatic brain injury, you may suffer from PTA. After becoming conscious, you might take time to remember events that happened minutes or hours ago. The duration that it takes for you to recall may indicate the severity of the condition. In some cases, it may be an hour, while in other cases, it could be 24 hours. A strike on the head or fall from a height may also cause this.

Drug and Alcohol Induced

Some drugs, such as sedatives and anaesthesia medication, may cause temporary memory loss. Ketamine and flunitrazepam are also possible influents. This type is more evident in adults who take a lot of medication. These medications interfere with the memory formation process in the brain. This particular type usually lasts till the effect of the drug wears off. Until then, the person may not be able to recollect the experience they are going through completely.

Short-term alcohol consumption may cause a blackout, which is temporary. But long-term alcoholism may cause Korsakoff's syndrome, which is more serious. It combines retrograde and anterograde amnesia, as the person cannot store immediate information and recall past information.

  • Genetics: You might risk developing this condition if you have a family member with a history of depression or PDD.
  • Trauma: If you have ever experienced a traumatic event, such as losing a loved one, you might be at risk of developing the condition.
  • Stress: External or internal stressful events can trigger an episode of major depression.
  • Negative Traits: If you harbour low self-esteem, self-criticism, or pessimistic behaviour, you might fall into severe depression.
  • Substance Abuse: This may alter your thinking and put you at a greater risk of developing PDD.
  • Other Mental Health Conditions: PDD may be triggered by other disorders such as anxiety, personality, or bipolar disorder.


Prevention may be possible depending on the cause. Some sort of brain damage is mostly the cause of this disorder, so reducing any chances of brain injury is the first step. The following actions can help:

  • Wear a helmet while riding a bike and a seat belt while driving.
  • Use good quality protective headgear while playing sports with a chance of concussion.
  • Clean infections immediately to prevent them from spreading to the brain.
  • Stay physically and mentally active to keep your body and brain in good shape. This also promotes a regular flow of oxygen to the brain.
  • Seek professional help immediately if you have any symptoms.

Along with these steps, you can change your diet to prevent memory loss. Some dietary changes include:

  • Cutting on excessive use of alcohol.
  • Staying hydrated. Researchers believe that dehydration can adversely affect the functioning of the brain.
  • Eating food rich in Vitamin B1, like oranges, eggs, nuts, etc.

How to Deal With Your Symptoms

The first thing to do when you see symptoms of this disorder is to seek medical attention. The condition is directly related to your brain malfunctioning. A healthcare provider needs to do a thorough examination of your brain and nervous system. They will be able to rule out other possible brain diseases or issues.

If the condition is severe, don't hesitate to ask for assistance from friends and family. Along with that, maintain a notepad to note down important information that you might need daily.

Get Treatment From a Licensed Therapist Who’s Right For You

Living with this ailment can be extremely frustrating and concerning for you and your close ones. Moreover, if left untreated, it may become worse. That can affect your quality of social life and relationships.

Also, it is important to figure out the cause of your condition. Any damage to your brain could have amnesia as a symptom of an even further complicated disease. A licensed therapist can better assess and evaluate your condition after a proper physical exam. They will be able to determine the severity and set a treatment plan accordingly. This will also rule out any serious brain injury or mental health disorder.

If caused by stress or trauma, psychotherapy becomes an important part of the treatment. It will help in coping with the traumatic events while trying to help you recover your lost memories. A therapist may also recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to teach you how to process and store information differently.

Schedule a Virtual Psychotherapy Appointment with a Counsellor Today

If you or anyone you know is experiencing the above-mentioned signs, you should schedule an appointment with our counsellor. They will be able to understand your condition better while diagnosing its cause. It is easy to be self-conscious and lose confidence as you suffer from this. Ultimately, it can become a concern for your mental health.

At DocVita, our healthcare providers will do their best to help you retrieve your memories. They will help you deal with the struggles that come with amnesia. They can also guide your family members and friends on how to be supportive of you. Don't downplay the symptoms. Book an appointment right now and prevent it from becoming a thorn in your personal and social life.