Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Belmont Behavioral Health System to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Belmont Behavioral Health System.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Causes, Signs, & Effects of Schizophrenia

Are you concerned that you or a loved one may be struggling with schizophrenia? Learn about the causes, signs, and effects to identify whether professional treatment may be necessary.

Understanding Schizophrenia

Learn about schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder that is marked by symptoms including disruptions in thinking, delusions, and hallucinations. This mental health concern is a potentially devastating condition that can significantly impact an individual’s life and can also affect the lives of those who care about and/or depend upon him or her. Completing common everyday tasks can become difficult or impossible for those with schizophrenia.

Often starting in early adulthood, schizophrenia interrupts an individual’s thoughts and overall concentration. He or she might feel that current events are not real, or he or she might feel a strong disconnect from his or her body. This can gravely impact an individual’s daily routine, career goals, and social life.

Schizophrenia is not a condition that will go away on its own. It is a complex mental health condition that requires intense treatment and therapy. Inpatient treatment is often an excellent means of treatment for an individual who has developed schizophrenia. With effective schizophrenia treatment, an individual can learn to manage his or her symptoms and experience an improved quality of life.

Statistics

Schizophrenia statistics

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) states that, in general, men are more likely than women are to receive a diagnosis for schizophrenia. Women, however, are more likely to suffer from schizophrenia later in life than men are. Within the United States, approximately 0.3% to 0.7% of the population has received a schizophrenia diagnosis. Those with schizophrenia suffer from an increased risk of suicide. About 20% of people with schizophrenia make suicide attempts, and about 6% end their lives via suicide.

Causes & Risk Factors

Learn what is known about the causes of schizophrenia

Research shows that genetics and environment can play significant roles in determining an individual’s risk for schizophrenia:

Genetic: Heredity influences a person’s susceptibility to the development of schizophrenia. However, some individuals who are diagnosed with schizophrenia have little or no history of schizophrenia spectrum disorders within their family. One hypothesis suggests that this mental health condition is linked to recessive genes that are connected to other mental disorders as well.

Environmental: Genetics and heredity are viewed as main players in the development of schizophrenia. However, environmental influences also impact one’s risk of developing this mental illness. For example, studies show that those who lived the majority of their lives in urban areas are more likely to develop schizophrenia, however researchers are unsure why. More research needs to be done to uncover a clear cause and effect between schizophrenia and life experiences.

Risk Factors:

  • Individuals who were undernourished when in the womb
  • A history of other personality disorders such as schizotypal or paranoid personality disorders
  • Distress during birth (for example, lack of oxygen at childbirth)
  • Individuals with older fathers
  • A history of mental illness in the family, especially immediate family
  • Mother experiencing stress, diabetes, or infections during pregnancy
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia

Someone who has schizophrenia might display varying symptoms. Similar to other mental illnesses, symptoms can be unique and different to each individual. Typically, schizophrenia symptoms are placed into three categories:

Positive symptoms: An individual develops a behavior that is excessive of what is considered normal, such as:

  • Having delusions or improbable beliefs
  • Irrational methods of talking or speech
  • Unusual behaviors
  • Having hallucinations, or feeling, hearing, seeing, or smelling things that are not real

Negative symptoms: An individual will cease regular behaviors or no longer display specific normal behaviors. This includes:

  • Lack of communication or inability to form speech
  • Lack of movements and/or being immobile
  • Foregoing hygiene and cleanliness
  • Ignoring regular tasks and activities
  • No expression of emotions, or no emotions at all
  • Incapable of experiencing or feeling pleasure

Cognitive symptoms: Cognitive symptoms are those that impact one’s ability to plan, think, and make decisions, such as:

  • Having difficulty concentrating, or being unable to concentrate at all
  • Problems with memory, being forgetful
  • Having difficulty making decisions and planning
  • Inability to remember common tasks and items
Effects

Effects of schizophrenia

If an individual does not obtain immediate treatment, it can lead to dangerous results that can impact the individual and those around him or her. Some of the potential effects of untreated schizophrenia include:

  • Inability to handle and control finances
  • Loss of home and basic necessities
  • Failure to maintain work or look for work
  • Loss of income
  • Depression, fear, and anxiety
  • Substance use or substance abuse
  • Disregard for family and friends
  • Disregard for medical needs
  • Dangerous behavior that can harm either the individual or others
  • Inability to socialize
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Conflict in personal relationships with others
Co-Occurring Disorders

Schizophrenia and co-occurring disorders

An individual suffering from schizophrenia can still develop other mental health conditions, according to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition. Many mental conditions might already be present during the development of schizophrenia, while others might develop while an individual is suffering from schizophrenia. Substance abuse, for example, is a common condition that occurs when an individual attempts to self-medicate. Other mental health disorders that co-occur with schizophrenia include:

  • Paranoid personality disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Schizotypal disorder
  • Anxiety disorders that may include panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias
  • Substance use disorder
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