Behavioral health disorders can affect a person’s behavior, thinking or emotion to varying degrees. With schizophrenia, in addition to an extreme disruption to a person’s thinking, behavior and emotions, a person may also lose contact with reality (psychosis).

While less common than other mental health conditions like anxiety disorders, depression and substance use disorders, schizophrenia can severely affect a person’s day-to-day life including their relationships and work. The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia that are present vary depending on the individual, but they often first appear during the teenage or early adult years. It does not discriminate and can affect an individual regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, cultural or economic backgrounds. Schizophrenia typically affects about 1.6 million Americans annually (about 1% of the population).

The risk factors for schizophrenia also vary; however, genetics, the environment and a person’s biological chemistry all play a role.

The symptoms of schizophrenia feel very real to the person experiencing them. For this reason, it is common for an individual with schizophrenia not to realize anything is wrong or that their behavior, thinking or emotions have changed.

If this sounds familiar, help is available. BayCare Behavioral Health provides a full range of resources and comprehensive treatment options for schizophrenia and other related mental illnesses.

Resources and treatment options include:

Signs and Symptoms

The common signs and symptoms of schizophrenia include changes in a person’s thinking, emotions and behavior. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to a behavioral health professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

A few of the more common signs and symptoms of schizophrenia include, but are not limited to:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Feeling that others or themselves have changed or are behaving differently
  • Greater (or dulled) sense of hearing, smell or color
  • Suspiciousness
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Emotions not appropriate for the situation
  • Lack of energy
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep
  • Isolation from situations or social roles

Other disorders that may have related symptoms, including psychosis include schizoaffective disorder, dissociative disorder and bipolar disorder.

BayCare Behavioral Health is here to assist people struggling with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, treatment options including medication and cognitive behavioral therapy exist and make recovery possible. We offer a variety of resources to help you and your loved ones get help when you need it:

  • If you need immediate crisis assistance, call 911.
  • If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, dial (800) 273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention LIfeline 24/7.
  • If you have questions related to insurance or verification of benefits for behavioral health care, call our registration center Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm at (877) 850-9613.
  • For local health and human services resources and information outside of our registration center hours, call 211 to reach Tampa Bay Cares for free, confidential help.
  • Still unsure of where to begin, let our guide help you navigate the process.
  • To schedule an appointment with a behavioral health professional, call our registration center Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm at (877) 850-9613.