Signs of High-Functioning Schizophrenia

Getting a diagnosis of schizophrenia can take a long time for many people. When they have high-functioning schizophrenia symptoms, it can prove even more difficult because the individual may not recognize a problem exists. New View Wellness in Atlanta understands the challenges of treating schizophrenia and how to help people who live with the high-functioning type of this mental illness. Our staff can provide an accurate diagnosis and design a plan for treatment that meets the unique needs of each person who comes to us for help. We help people live more manageable lives and feel more hopeful about their futures.

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What Is High-Functioning Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that can drastically affect how a person experiences their thoughts and emotions and how they act. It cannot be cured, but many people respond to receiving treatment for it. Many people with this challenging mental illness find it difficult or impossible to function independently or handle day-to-day life well. 

However, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people can be said to exhibit high-functioning mental health symptoms. While this is not an official diagnosis, it does help differentiate their treatment needs from those of others who do not function at that level. A person with high-functioning schizophrenia still experiences the challenges that come with this illness. Having said that, they often have milder symptoms and a greater ability to apply healthy coping skills that allow them to function fairly well in their daily lives.

Signs of High-Functioning Schizophrenia

It can be difficult for someone not skilled in diagnosing schizophrenia to identify high-functioning schizophrenia symptoms. Even when someone qualifies as being high-functioning, they will have some of the same symptoms of regular schizophrenia. These can include hallucinations, psychosis, being socially withdrawn, difficulty communicating, and difficulty focusing. 

Symptoms that set people with high-functioning schizophrenia apart can include the following:

  • An understanding that the person has schizophrenia but their life is not defined by the condition
  • An ability to recognize their symptoms when they occur
  • Able to learn and apply healthy coping skills when necessary
  • Able to hold down a job or attend school regularly
  • Does not require a full-time caretaker
  • Can live independently
  • Has meaningful relationships with family and friends

What Causes High-Functioning Schizophrenia?

When someone recognizes they exhibit high-functioning schizophrenia symptoms, they often wonder what causes it. All levels of experiencing this mental illness can come from several different contributing factors. They include:

  • Genetics: all mental disorders have the possibility of being hereditary
  • A person who was prematurely delivered or had a low birth weight 
  • A chemical imbalance or different type of structure in the frontal region of the brain
  • Using or abusing substances can trigger the development of schizophrenia
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as abuse, trauma, or neglect
A person with high-functioning schizophrenia symptoms.

Make Living with High-Functioning Schizophrenia More Manageable

While someone living with high-functioning schizophrenia cannot avoid all of their symptoms, research shows that there are some steps they can take to help them do well. For those who work, asking for accommodations to help them deal with stressful situations can prove quite beneficial. In fact, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that employers provide certain accommodations for people with mental illnesses when possible. 

It’s important that someone with high-functioning schizophrenia makes sure they take their medications regularly. The individual can also create a schedule for their days because the structure can help them feel more stable. Other recommendations for managing a person’s life with schizophrenia include avoiding situations and actions that can trigger symptoms. This includes things like drinking or using recreational drugs. Making an effort to incorporate regular exercise and good nutrition into their daily lives can also help. Finally, relying on support and input from trusted friends and families can help the person be objective about their thoughts and feelings. 

How is High-Functioning Schizophrenia Treated?

Treating high-functioning schizophrenia symptoms involves a two-pronged approach. The first is the use of prescription medications and psychiatry. Anti-psychotic drugs often provide great help in reducing a person’s symptoms. Medications can take a few weeks to take effect, and how they work and any possible side effects should be monitored by the prescribing physician. 

The other commonly used tactic for treating high-functioning schizophrenia is attending regular therapy appointments. In particular, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people understand their symptoms, avoid triggers when possible, and moderate their thoughts, behaviors, and reactions. Other types of therapy can help the individual excel in areas of their lives such as social skills and living independently.

Get Help For High-Functioning Schizophrenia in Atlanta, GA

Do you wonder if you may have schizophrenia but your symptoms don’t match up to the ones you’ve read about? You may have high-functioning schizophrenia symptoms but not be aware of your exact diagnosis. Even when you don’t experience the same depth of difficulty or time that symptoms last, your mental health still needs professional attention and guidance. New View Wellness in Atlanta treats high-functioning schizophrenia with a combination of highly-effective therapy modalities and prescription medications. We help make your life more manageable in ways that affect your personal and professional lives.

For more information about how we can help you improve your mental health, visit our admissions page now. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

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