What Are The 3 Stages of Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness which affects roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population, although the condition’s exact prevalence is hard to ascertain.
People suffering with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, disordered thoughts, disorganized speech, and departures or breaks from reality.
It may seem as though schizophrenia develops suddenly and out of nowhere, but this isn’t the case.
No one suddenly experiences bouts of full-blown psychosis.
Rather, as psychotic symptoms start to appear, the individual begins to experience distorted thinking patterns and having difficulty relating to others.
Research has identified schizophrenia to have three stages, each marked by specific symptoms and signs. These three stages are:
- Acute / active
The Prodromal Stage
This first stage of schizophrenia encompasses a year before the illness begins to manifest.
The word prodrom is of Greek origin and means before an event.
In other words, it signals an event’s occurrence. Medically speaking, prodromal refers to the condition’s initial symptoms.
What does the prodromal stage look like?
People in this stage of the illness tend to isolate themselves, stay in their room, sleep much of the day away, and exhibit a diminished desire to see family and friends. Loved ones may begin to notice a decline in their work and/or school performance, as well as a lack of motivation for and interest in things that once brought them joy.
The signs of this stage are not specific to schizophrenia.
These symptoms may be indicative of depression and other mental and mood disorders.
For this reason, mental health professionals are unable to identify this first stage of schizophrenia until the patient reaches the Active stage, and this identification can be done in retrospect.
Typically, psychotic symptoms need to be experienced before a doctor can diagnose schizophrenia.
The Acute Stage
The acute or active stage describes the period when a person starts to exhibit symptoms that are psychotic in nature.
These include delusions, hallucinations and/or extremely disorganized behavior.
This stage represents the full development of schizophrenia, or in other words, that the disorder has activated.
This is where diagnosis is possible.
The best thing to do if you notice these symptoms in someone you love, is to get them to a doctor.
This first assessment will involve trying to determine when and how their symptoms began and to rule out other possible conditions or causes.
If the symptoms become serious enough, hospitalization may be required.
The Residual Stage
The residual stage is the final stage of schizophrenia.
Doctors sometimes refer to this as the recovery stage, as the more intense symptoms like hallucinations begin to fade.
The signs and symptoms of this stage resemble those of the prodromal stage, generally characterized by a lack of enthusiasm, energy or interest and social withdrawal.
What Can You Do?
If someone you love has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, the very first thing to know is that schizophrenia requires treatment.
While schizophrenia is very serious and can interfere substantially with daily life, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be managed through treatment.
Patients can live healthy and full lives.
Honey Lake Clinic is a fully licensed, residential Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Center.
The Honey Lake Difference
Through gentleness, kindness and mirroring the image of Jesus, patients at Honey Lake Clinic experience love, validation, and acceptance in a community/socialized setting.
Patients discover a sense of their own individuality within a community concept, learn to deal with their symptoms, gain knowledge and understanding of their illness, and develop the skills necessary to better navigate daily life.
As part of the admission process, a multi-disciplinary team works to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient.
- This multi-disciplined team will be comprised of licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists, assisting individuals in regaining control of their life. Therapist caseload is managed to ensure each patient receives highly personal and individualized attention.
- Patient care is overseen by a licensed psychiatrist on staff who can rule out any medical issues, accurately diagnose psychological issues, and prescribe and oversee the application of appropriate medications to address individual needs. Patients benefit from 24/7 psychiatric, medical and nursing care, our on-premises pharmacy, and a wide range of evidence-based, treatment modalities and therapeutic programs.
- Treatment includes ample time to allow patients to thoroughly understand and apply the psychological tools and decision-making skills they learn at Honey Lake Clinic.