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Schizophrenia

December 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Schizophrenia is a serious, persistent, and debilitating mental illness that occurs in approximately 1% of people in the United States over the course of their lifetimes.  Hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia are those found in psychosis:  delusions (false beliefs) and hallucinations (sensing things that aren’t there, such as hearing voices or seeing things).  However, psychosis can occur for a variety of reasons and, as such, assessment by a psychologist or psychiatrist is of the utmost importance.  

Other diagnostic criteria of schizophrenia include:

  • Disorganized speech, grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior, and flat affect, including loss of interest or drive.  
  • Major impairment in daily functioning at work or school, social relationships, or self-care.  
  • Symptoms must be present continuously for at least 6 months.  Prodromal (sub-clinical) symptoms can often precede and follow a bout of active symptoms.  

See all diagnostic criteria here.

Treatment of schizophrenia requires a comprehensive care approach that includes psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care.  Psychological assessment is an important first step in discerning appropriate treatment and interventions.  If you or someone you know is suffering from some or all of these symptoms, contacting a psychologist for an assessment will aid in determining what course of treatment would be most beneficial.  

Our psychologists at VOBH can help to clarify your diagnosis, plan treatment, and facilitate your accessing the best possible care.  We can be reached at 323-345-1402 or via our website, www.VOBH.org.



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