Schizophrenia is a complex psychological issue for which there is no cure. That said, many individuals have learned to successfully manage their symptoms and go on to live a balanced, productive life.
Does Schizophrenia Ever Go Away?
Like many of the mental issues we treat, schizophrenia never truly goes away in the sense that we have a cure for it. The good news is that individuals diagnosed as schizophrenic have gone on to live successful, productive lives after seeking treatment.
While schizophrenia treatment outcomes can be difficult to predict, recovery is possible. Treatment is generally most successful when someone receives treatment immediately following their first schizophrenic episode.
Many have learned how to successfully manage and overcome schizophrenia symptoms, but because the underlying causes of schizophrenia aren’t fully understood, schizophrenia remains a lifetime diagnosis that requires continuous management to live a balanced, stable life.
Does Schizophrenia Get Worse if Untreated?
If left untreated, schizophrenia rarely gets better on its own. Symptoms of schizophrenia more frequently increase in intensity without treatment and may even lead to the onset of additional mental issues, including:
Additionally, untreated schizophrenia can quickly become dangerous. Research has shown that untreated schizophrenia can lead to neurological damage. Individuals dealing with schizophrenia may also have thoughts of harming themselves or others. Persistent paranoid delusions, especially when left untreated, may eventually lead someone to act on those thoughts.
Does Schizophrenia Get Worse as You Age?
For some people, schizophrenia symptoms and episodes may grow worse with time or age, particularly if they avoid treatment or professional help. However, when schizophrenia manifests at a younger age, symptoms and behavior are generally more extreme than with later-onset schizophrenia. That means if schizophrenia symptoms develop later in life, they’re generally less severe than when they develop at a younger age.
The most important thing to remember is that schizophrenia doesn’t necessarily get worse with age. Preliminary research has found that individuals living with schizophrenia don’t experience cognitive decline any faster than the general population. Psychosocial function may even improve with age, and most individuals experience improved quality of life as they grow older.
For people committed to recovery and following a medication regimen, a long-term balanced lifestyle is possible with preventative treatment, even as they grow older.
Are you or someone you care about struggling with symptoms of schizophrenia? Find out if PCH is the right place to find the help and hope you’re looking for. Is PCH Right for You?
What Causes Schizophrenia?
As mentioned above, the specific causes of schizophrenia have yet to be identified. The working hypothesis is that schizophrenia is the result of a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors. Chemical imbalances in the brain may also contribute to the onset of schizophrenic symptoms, which is why medication often plays a vital role in treatment.
At PCH, we’ve found that a schizophrenia diagnosis often has its roots in past traumatic experiences. Schizophrenia may develop as a neurological response to past trauma. While medication management is often an integral part of our approach to treating schizophrenia, our holistic approach also accounts for how traumatic experiences may shape an individual’s challenges with schizophrenia today and guide their path to healing for a better tomorrow.
What Is Schizophrenia Regression?
When following a properly regimented medication plan, avoiding mind- or mood-altering substances, and productively dealing with underlying trauma, schizophrenia regression is rare. Many individuals experience improved quality of life as long as they follow their treatment program.
However, if someone is following their treatment plan and symptoms suddenly become worse, it could be a sign of schizophrenia regression, and the approach to treatment may need to be adjusted. It can be challenging to find the best type or dosage of schizophrenia medication for each individual, and if symptoms don’t improve, it’s important to talk to the prescribing doctor about other options before choosing to end treatment altogether.
Some individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia may choose to discontinue treatment, believing that they’re better or no longer need medication or help. When that happens, the symptoms often return and may even grow worse. The best option is to stay the course and adjust treatment approaches as needed. Once the individual has achieved a stable baseline, they simply have to take maintenance medication to live a balanced life.
Do You Need Help With Schizophrenia?
The earlier schizophrenia is identified and treated, the better the outcomes. If you or someone you care about is confronting the possibility of a schizophrenia diagnosis, PCH may be able to help you take the next steps. Find out if PCH is right for you today.