Advanced Search
Current and Breaking News for Professionals, Consumers and Media

Click here to learn how to advertise on this site and for ad rates.

Patient Issues Author: Staff Editor Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Recognizing The Signs And Symptoms Of Schizophrenia And Seeking Support

By Staff Editor
Dec 6, 2012 - 11:16:55 AM

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Ezine
For Email Marketing you can trust

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

( - Imagine that during the hopeful and exciting period of your life as you enter young adulthood, you begin seeing things that are not really there, behaving strangely without control and having problems speaking clearly. These are some symptoms of schizophrenia, a chronic and disabling brain disorder that affects about 2.5 million American adults and usually occurs between the late teens and mid-30s.

Meet Rebecca Roma, M.D., medical director, Community Treatment Team at Mercy Behavioral Health in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Rebecca P., an individual who was diagnosed with schizophrenia during college. Together they discuss the signs and symptoms of the condition, where to seek help and how to start on the path toward recovery.

How does one recognize the signs of schizophrenia?

Dr. Roma: Schizophrenia may occur abruptly and manifest as social withdrawal, deterioration in daily personal care, unusual behavior, outbursts of anger, paranoia, hallucinations or delusions.

Rebecca: When I was 17, I started becoming more introspective, felt sad and became paranoid. By college, I thought people were coming after me. I was unable to turn off unwanted thoughts, making me unmotivated, suspicious and scared.

What can you do if you suspect you or a loved one may have schizophrenia?

Dr. Roma: First, it is important to talk to your doctor and get educated. There are also local organizations, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America, that offer support for both individuals with mental illness and their family members/caregivers.

Rebecca: When I first experienced symptoms, I withdrew from family and did not talk about what was going on with me. But over time, I realized my mom was my strongest source of support. She communicates with my treatment team and attends classes with me at our community mental health center.

In your experience, is recovery possible for someone with schizophrenia?

Dr. Roma: Mental health recovery is an ongoing process, not one single outcome. The experience can vary widely from one person to the next. That's why recovery plans are individualized and tailored toward each person's unique needs.

That said, I know individuals with schizophrenia who are living independently and keep steady jobs and others who are living with family, helping with chores and contributing to the household income.

Once diagnosed and on treatment, I recommend that individuals sit down with their treatment team and loved ones to create an action plan for achieving goals.

Medication, including oral and injectable treatments, is the mainstay of treating schizophrenia symptoms. Long-acting injectable antipsychotic therapies (LATs), which are administered every few weeks to a month depending on the medication, offer patients a choice of how often to take their medication and may help eliminate one less pill a day for their schizophrenia.

There are resources available for those affected by schizophrenia, including support groups, peer-to-peer programs and informational websites, such as

Rebecca: With support and treatment, I have redirected my focus from managing my disease to living life. I now take a long-acting medication and am no longer worried about remembering to take my medication every day, although I do still have to remember to go to my medication appointments.

To others struggling with schizophrenia I would say, know you are not alone and there is hope.

Learn more about treatment options for schizophrenia at provides resources for individuals living with schizophrenia to help them understand treatment options and choose a medication that is right for them with the help of a healthcare professional. Visit the site to watch patient videos, access a doctor's visit guide and learn more about different types of long-acting treatment.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., provided the content for this article.


For advertising and promotion on please contact Mike McCurdy: [email protected] or 877-634-9180 is syndicated worldwide, to thousands of journalists in all media, and health-related websites.


Top of Page

Patient Issues
Latest Headlines

+ Racial Minorities Less Likely to See a Doctor for Psoriasis
+ Video Game Improves Doctors’ Recognition and Triage of Severe Trauma Patients
+ Research Could Pave the Way for Pre-Hospital Treatment for Seriously Injured Patients
+ Medication Errors for Admitted Patients Drop When Pharmacy Staff Take Drug Histories in ER
+ Patients with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Respond Differently to Certain Sounds
+ Doctors and Patients Make More Decisions Together
+ Patients, Surgery Means Opioid Dependence
+ Researcher Examines Patient Awareness of Prescription Drug Risks
+ AMA Releases New Research on Physicians’ Patient Mix
+ Accelerate Your Patient Visit Workflow with Online Workflow Forms

Contact Us | Job Listings | Help | Site Map | About Us
Advertising Information | HND Press Release | Submit Information | Disclaimer

Site hosted by Sanchez Productions