Schizophrenia is a complex mental health disorder that is characterized by distortions in the way a person thinks, behaves, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others.
People who struggle with schizophrenia often have trouble functioning in school, at work, within interpersonal relationships, and in various other aspects of everyday life. If someone that you love has developed schizophrenia, he or she may experience hallucinations and delusions, which can make it impossible for him or her to differentiate between what is real and what is not. Other symptoms of schizophrenia can impede your loved one’s ability to effectively communicate and/or interact with others.
Clearly, the nature and severity of the symptoms that are associated with schizophrenia can have a dramatic negative impact on an individual’s life. However, when a person who is struggling with schizophrenia receives comprehensive professional treatment at a center, clinic, or another effective treatment provider such as Longleaf Hospital in Alexandria, LA, he or she can experience a significant improvement in quality of life.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If someone in your life has schizophrenia, you may feel confused, frustrated, and powerless to provide meaningful support. Given the severe nature of schizophrenia symptoms, such reactions are completely understandable. However, while you cannot solve your loved one’s problems on your own, you can play an important role in getting him or her the professional help that can lead to improved quality of life. Please consider the following:
First, educate yourself about schizophrenia. As you become more familiar with the signs and symptoms of this disorder, you will develop a greater understanding of what your loved one has been dealing with and will be better prepared to provide valuable assistance.
Your efforts to educate yourself should also include research into the types of treatment that have helped others whose situations were similar to what your loved one is currently experiencing. Combining your personal knowledge of your loved one with the information you have gathered from reputable websites, mental health organizations, and other reliable resources will empower you to play a key role in matching your loved one with the treatment programs that can best meet his or her specific needs.
Ideally, you should not attempt to do all of this alone. If at all possible, enlist a small group of trusted friends or family members to help you with your research as well as your efforts to support your loved one. The impact of schizophrenia is not limited to the individual who has the disorder. Your life and the lives of others who care about your loved one will also be affected. Don’t neglect your own needs, and remember that you cannot be of maximum service to your loved one if you are not also taking care of yourself.
When you have identified programs that appear to be a good fit for your loved one, help to remove any obstacles that may prevent him or her from entering treatment. Provide transportation, make appointments, accompany him or her to meetings, arrange for childcare, and do whatever else you can to free your loved one up to focus on his or her health.
If the program that your loved one enters offers family therapy or similar support services, plan to participate to the greatest degree that you are able. In addition to helping you learn how to better support your loved one, family-related services can also be excellent opportunities to process your own experiences and develop healthier self-care capabilities.
Finally, be sure to set realistic expectations and prepare for a long-term effort. With effective professional care, your loved one can experience significant increases in quality of life, but the path of recovery is different for each person, and will likely include both successes and setbacks. Plan to remain a source of love, hope, and support for your loved one both during and long after he or she is in treatment.
Why Consider Treatment at Longleaf Hospital
When a person has schizophrenia, the world can feel like a confusing and scary place. As noted earlier on this page and elsewhere on this website, the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia can have a significant negative impact on a person’s ability to attend school, get and keep a job, participate in healthy interpersonal relationships, and otherwise fully engage in a productive and satisfying life. Symptoms of schizophrenia can lead to delayed educational progress and diminished occupational opportunities, which can, in turn, prevent a person from achieving financial independence. Also, schizophrenia’s disruptive influence on a person’s ability to form and maintain meaningful interpersonal relationships can significantly limit his or her social interactions and deny him or her the benefits that come from vibrant and dynamic friendships and other relationships. Sadly, untreated schizophrenia also significantly increases a person’s risk for suicide.
When a person receives effective professional treatment for schizophrenia at Longleaf Hospital, he or she can avoid future damage and can begin to heal from past harm. At our treatment center in Alexandria, LA, individuals whose lives have been disrupted by schizophrenia can experience relief from certain symptoms, learn how to effectively manage other symptoms, and develop the skills and abilities that will enable them to live more productive and satisfying lives.
Types of Treatment Offered at Longleaf Hospital
Located in Alexandria, LA, Longleaf Hospital is the area’s leading provider of individualized psychiatric care for children, adolescents, teens, and adults who are suffering from schizophrenia and a host of other conditions. Having recently completed a full upgrade of clinic facilities in 2015, Longleaf offers a tranquil setting in which to heal. Our hospital is set amongst a peaceful wooded area but is easily accessible off of Highway 28 near the Alexandria Coliseum.
At Longleaf Hospital, we seek to provide the highest level of psychiatric care while treating each child, adolescent, and adult. Our program’s mission is to support long-term success for patients both during treatment at this clinic and after they return home. This is accomplished through the work of our expert team of highly qualified mental health and medical staff who are committed to providing dignity in treatment and to empowering patients to lead healthy, productive lives.
Patients who come to Longleaf may be struggling with a wide variety of psychiatric concerns, and treatment for schizophrenia will consist of various supports that are tailored to address each patient’s unique strengths and challenges. For adult patients who are struggling with a co-occurring substance use disorder in addition to schizophrenia, Longleaf is pleased to provide comprehensive care to address chemical dependencies of many types, including addictions to alcohol, benzodiazepines, heroin, opioids, marijuana, PCP, methamphetamines, cocaine, hallucinogenic, synthetics, and more.
Options for treatment at our clinic span the continuum of care, and include several options in order to provide the ideal treatment environment for every patient. We are also proud to offer specialized supports for active and retired military personnel and their dependents.
Upon admission, each patient is thoroughly assessed prior to beginning services at Longleaf, and a personalized plan of care is devised to encourage the most beneficial outcomes possible, no matter what level of care the patient is engaged in.
Short-term acute inpatient care is offered for children and adolescents ages 11-17 and adults ages 18 and above. In this setting, patients can receive a variety of supportive services designed to help them overcome symptoms of schizophrenia, including:
- Medically assisted, supervised detoxification programming
- 12-Step based services
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivational enhancement therapy (MET)
- Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
- Medical services from nurse practitioners and doctors
In addition to the treatment modalities listed above, all children, adolescents, and adults who seek care at Longleaf will have access to the following therapies:
- Medication management: If an individual’s symptoms can be effectively treated with prescription medications, our team can include medication management services into his or her personalized treatment plan. All medication decisions will involve the input and consent of the individual in treatment and/or his or her parents or guardians.
- Individual therapy: Master’s level social workers provide this one-on-one service to allow all patients to process issues from the past and present that have contributed to the onset of symptoms of schizophrenia. In this private, confidential setting, individuals can discuss the challenges and successes that arise in treatment, and make a plan for continued success after leaving Longleaf.
- Family therapy: Family therapy is offered twice weekly and is designed to engage a patient’s loved ones in his or her recovery journey, to heal damaged relationships, and to increase the functionality of the family unit.
- Group therapy: All patients at Longleaf will have many opportunities to participate in group therapy. Offered daily, this intervention is used to help patients learn from each other, and to combat the sense of isolation that is common amongst those suffering from the symptoms of mental illness, including schizophrenia. Group discussions are varied but could include topics such as anger management, impulse control, coping skills, and discharge planning.
At Longleaf Hospital, we are proud to have a long history of providing superior service to active duty military members, veterans, and their families. Our military support efforts are led by our medical director, a retired Army colonel who works closely with all military members who heal at Longleaf. We do not have a specialized treatment track for military members, but we ensure that the unique issues and challenges that are experienced by members of the military community are addressed in each patient’s personalized treatment plan, and we place a premium on ensuring that all military-affiliated patients receive the customized care that will best prepare them for long-term success.
In addition to Longleaf Hospital’s acute inpatient care program, the partial hospitalization program (PHP) is another option for support that is available to adult patients age 18 and above. PHP at Longleaf, which typically spans a time period of 2 to 6 weeks, has been proven successful in addressing schizophrenia. This option is suitable for patients who require a high level of support, but who are able to return to their home environments in the evening.
Programming within this level of care is based on 12-Step ideology, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and motivational interviewing. Medication management is also available within PHP at Longleaf, and patients can meet with a psychiatrist twice per week while in this program. Individual, family and group therapies are also provided, as well as thorough discharge planning.
The least acute option for care for schizophrenia at Longleaf Hospital is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). This form of support can be used as a step-down level of care from other programs, or for adults age 18 and above who do not require a higher level of care. Typically lasting 8 to 12 weeks, IOP at Longleaf consists of medication management services and various time-tested therapeutic techniques designed to address symptoms of schizophrenia.
Learn More Today
The admissions staff at Longleaf is available to speak with referral sources and prospective patients and their families 24/7. Upon contacting Longleaf, a licensed intake counselor can provide an initial assessment, and answer any questions that you may have about healing at our hospital. The decision to seek care for schizophrenia may be a difficult one, but the compassionate professional team at Longleaf Hospital in Alexandria, Louisiana, is here to ensure that you find the very best support for yourself or a loved one.