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Understanding Schizophrenia

Receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be a challenging and bewildering experience, both for the individual diagnosed and their loved ones. Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that affects thoughts, feelings, and behavior, often causing significant disruptions in daily life. In this article, we aim to provide guidance and insights into what the experience of schizophrenia might be like, offering understanding and support during this difficult time.


Lonestar Behavioral Health Inpatient Hospital 16303 Grant Rd. Tomball, Tx 77429

What is Schizophrenia? 

Schizophrenia is a chronic condition characterized by a range of symptoms that may include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, reduced emotional expression, and difficulties with social interactions. It is important to recognize that schizophrenia is a medical condition and not a personal weakness or character flaw. The symptoms are not the individual’s fault, and with appropriate treatment and support, many people with schizophrenia lead fulfilling lives.

Schizophrenia symptoms can vary in severity and type from person to person. Hallucinations, such as hearing voices or seeing things that others don’t, are common experiences. Delusions, which are fixed false beliefs not based in reality, can also occur. Disorganized thinking and speech may make it challenging for individuals to communicate coherently. Emotional expression may be reduced, making it difficult for loved ones to understand their emotions. Social withdrawal and difficulties with motivation are also common.

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that “people with schizophrenia are usually diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30, after the first episode of psychosis.” With psychosis being a key symptom when diagnosing schizophrenia as well as one of the biggest challenges, it’s important to understand what to expect.

The NIMH continues: 


Psychotic symptoms include changes in the way a person thinks, acts, and experiences the world. People with psychotic symptoms may lose a shared sense of reality with others and experience the world in a distorted way. For some people, these symptoms come and go. For others, the symptoms become stable over time. Psychotic symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations: When a person sees, hears, smells, tastes, or feels things that are not actually there. Hearing voices is common for people with schizophrenia. People who hear voices may hear them for a long time before family or friends notice a problem.
  • Delusions: When a person has strong beliefs that are not true and may seem irrational to others. For example, individuals experiencing delusions may believe that people on the radio and television are sending special messages that require a certain response, or they may believe that they are in danger or that others are trying to hurt them.
  • Thought disorder: When a person has ways of thinking that are unusual or illogical. People with thought disorder may have trouble organizing their thoughts and speech. Sometimes a person will stop talking in the middle of a thought, jump from topic to topic, or make up words that have no meaning.

Movement disorder: When a person exhibits abnormal body movements. People with movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over.”

In the case of severe psychotic symptoms it’s important to recognize the resources available. In many cases the help of an inpatient psychiatric facility may be necessary to help stabilize and find refuge for the one struggling through the episode. For questions regarding support during these times, you may call our inpatient facility anytime at (281) 516-6200 or visit us HERE 

Schizophrenia can significantly impact daily functioning. Individuals may struggle with maintaining relationships, pursuing education or employment, and managing self-care tasks. It is important to be patient and understanding, as these challenges may be frustrating for both the individual with schizophrenia and their loved ones. Encouraging a supportive and non-judgmental environment can make a significant difference in their well-being.

If you have further questions about intpatient treatment, you may visit our webpage below where we outline what your experience at our Cypress, Texas inpatient facility would be like or call us at (281) 516-6200.

What treatment is available for schizophrenia? 

Schizophrenia treatment usually involves a combination of medication, psychotherapy, and support services. Antipsychotic medications are commonly prescribed to manage symptoms coupled with psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which may also help individuals learn coping strategies and manage their symptoms effectively. Support services like vocational rehabilitation, support groups, and community programs can provide valuable assistance in various areas of life. Many of these post diagnosis services can often be found in outpatient facilities such as our Tomball, Tx location. To learn more visit us HERE. 

Once a diagnosis is made and treatment is prescribed, these strategies have been recommended  by the US Department of Health and Human Services to help ease the challenges of schizophrenia in ones daily life: 


      • “Stay focused on your treatment goals. Tell family members or friends your goals so they can provide support.

      • Stick to your treatment plan. Even if symptoms lessen, it is important to go to therapy and take your medication as directed. Use a medication calendar or weekly pillbox to remember to take medications.

      • Know your warning signs. Have a plan in place to deal with symptoms as they arise so you can get the right help as soon as possible.

      • Take care of yourself. Your physical health is an important part of feeling good, too. Eat nutritious foods, exercise, and follow a regular sleep routine. Do not smoke, or use alcohol, or other drugs.

      • Incorporate relaxation and stress management techniques into your life. Regularly doing activities such as meditation, or tai-chi, can help reduce stress and avoid triggering an episode.

      • Join a support group. Share stories and advice with people who understand what you are going through. It is helpful to connect with – and learn from – others with schizophrenia.

      • Educate yourself and others about schizophrenia. Learning about the illness can encourage you to follow your treatment plan and can also help your loved ones be more supportive and compassionate.

      • Ask about social services assistance. These services help with affordable housing, jobs, transportation, and other daily activities.”

      How should I communicate with my loved one who struggles with schizophrenia?

      Though not a replacement for professional help, open and compassionate communication is essential when interacting with someone diagnosed with schizophrenia. Be willing to listen and validate their experiences without judgment. Encourage them to express their emotions and concerns openly and if needed to get professional help. Educating yourself about the condition can help you better understand their experiences and offer appropriate support.


      Taking care of oneself is equally important when supporting someone with schizophrenia. Ensure that you have a support system in place, which may include seeking support from mental health professionals, joining caregiver support groups, or seeking therapy yourself. Set boundaries, prioritize self-care, and seek respite when needed. If you are not able to take care of yourself, it’s important to realize that you may not be able to sustain supporting someone else during their challenges. 

      Is recovery from schizophrenia possible? 

      Although schizophrenia is a chronic condition, recovery is possible, and many individuals with schizophrenia go on to live meaningful lives. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Roughly half of schizophrenia patients recovered or significantly improved over the long term, suggesting that functional remission is possible.” With proper treatment, support, and a supportive environment, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms effectively, pursue personal goals, and rebuild their lives.

      Receiving a diagnosis of schizophrenia can be overwhelming, both for the individual diagnosed and their loved ones. By understanding the nature of the condition, its symptoms, and the available treatment and support options, you can navigate this journey together. Remember, your support, understanding, and empathy can make a significant difference in their recovery and overall well-being. Seek help, stay informed, and maintain hope as you embark on this journey towards a better future.