Footprints to Recovery, Mental Health Treatment Program in NJ

Life is about to get better.
Footprints to Recovery Mental Health New Jersey

Important Facts About Schizophrenia   

Written by Evan Gove

Footprints Mental Health

About Footprints

Questions about treatment?

Get confidential help 24/7. Reach out for more details about:
  • How we can help
  • Our location & programs
  • Insurance & payment options
Call 888-903-4385
Start Healing Your Mind, Body, & Spirit
Find Out How

Mental Health Conditions

Common Questions About Mental Health
Check Out Our FAQ
Verify Your Insurance

Looking for effective treatment that’s also affordable? We accept most major insurance providers. Get a free insurance benefits check now.

Check Your Coverage​

Schizophrenia, a complex mental disorder, has long captured the attention of researchers, clinicians, and the public alike. Characterized by a distorted perception of reality, individuals with schizophrenia may experience a variety of symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and impaired emotional expression. While the exact cause remains unclear, both genetic predisposition and environmental factors are thought to contribute. The impact of schizophrenia can vary widely, with some individuals exhibiting high functioning schizophrenia and others struggling with severe disability. Delving into its nuances is crucial to understanding the multifaceted nature of this disorder and to provide comprehensive support and treatment to those affected. In this article, we explore the diverse dimensions of schizophrenia, from its borderline and late-onset forms to its implications as a potential disability, all while shedding light on the challenges faced by individuals living with this condition. 

What Is Schizophrenia? 

Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that profoundly affects an individual’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. It is characterized by a distorted perception of reality, often leading to hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and impaired emotional expression. This condition can be debilitating, impacting various aspects of a person’s life and functioning. Schizophrenia encompasses a spectrum of experiences, including borderline schizophrenia, living with schizophrenia, late-onset schizophrenia, and high functioning schizophrenia. 

Symptoms: Symptoms of schizophrenia can vary widely but generally fall into several categories: positive symptoms (hallucinations, delusions), negative symptoms (lack of emotion, motivation), and cognitive symptoms (disorganized thinking, difficulty focusing). 

Diagnosis: According to the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition), the diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia includes a list of symptoms that must be present for a significant portion of time during a one-month period, with continuous signs of disturbance for at least six months. The DSM-V diagnostic criteria for schizophrenia includes: 

  • Presence of at least two of the following symptoms for a significant portion of time during a one-month period, with continuous signs of disturbance for at least six months: 
  • Delusions 
  • Hallucinations 
  • Disorganized speech 
  • Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior 
  • Negative symptoms (e.g., diminished emotional expression, avolition) 
  • Social/occupational dysfunction: The symptoms must cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 
  • Duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance must persist for at least six months, including at least one month of active-phase symptoms. If the delusions are bizarre or hallucinations consist of a voice keeping up a running commentary on the person’s behavior or thoughts, only one symptom is required for diagnosis. 
  • Schizoaffective and mood disorder exclusion: Symptoms should not be due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition, and they cannot be better explained by another mental disorder (e.g., schizoaffective disorder, depressive or bipolar disorder). 
  • Substance/medication-induced: Symptoms should not be a result of substance use or medication effects. 
  • Relationship to a pervasive developmental disorder: Schizophrenia is not diagnosed if the symptoms are better accounted for by a pervasive developmental disorder, such as autism spectrum disorder. 
  • Differential diagnosis: The diagnosis should only be made if the symptoms are not attributable to another medical condition or mental disorder. 

Diagnosis involves ruling out other possible causes of the symptoms, ensuring they’re not due to substance use, medical conditions, or other psychiatric disorders. The complete criteria and specific details can be found in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition). 

Onset: Schizophrenia typically emerges in early adulthood, with most cases appearing between the late teens and early thirties. However, there is a phenomenon known as late-onset schizophrenia, which occurs in individuals over the age of 45. This form of the disorder is often associated with unique challenges and diagnostic complexities. 

Living with Schizophrenia: Living with schizophrenia can be immensely challenging. While some individuals with high functioning schizophrenia can manage their symptoms and engage in daily life, others might experience severe disability. The question of whether schizophrenia is a disability is complex, as it depends on the severity of symptoms and their impact on functioning. 

Navigating the intricacies of schizophrenia, including its different variations and effects, is crucial for both those directly affected and the broader community. Understanding these aspects can help foster empathy, promote early detection and intervention, and ensure appropriate support for individuals living with this condition. 

Looking For Mental Health Treatment?

Get confidential help from our mental health counselors in New Jersey. Call to join our outpatient program today!
Speak With Our Admissions Team

What Causes Schizophrenia 

The exact causes of schizophrenia remain a subject of ongoing research and exploration, marked by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Understanding what leads to schizophrenia involves delving into possible intricate influences such as: 

  • Genetic Factors: There is strong evidence suggesting a genetic component to schizophrenia. Individuals with a family history of the disorder, including borderline schizophrenia and late-onset schizophrenia, have a higher risk of developing it themselves. Specific genetic variations have been linked to an increased susceptibility, although no single gene is solely responsible for causing the disorder. 
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors also play a crucial role. Stressful life events, trauma during early life, exposure to certain infections during pregnancy, and complications during birth have all been associated with an elevated risk of developing schizophrenia. Additionally, factors such as urban upbringing, childhood adversity, and substance abuse can contribute to the onset of the disorder. 
  • Neurodevelopmental Factors: Research indicates that disruptions in early brain development could be linked to the manifestation of schizophrenia later in life. Abnormalities in brain structure, neurotransmitter function, and neural circuitry are observed in individuals living with schizophrenia, highlighting the neurobiological complexity of the disorder. 

While the exact cause of schizophrenia is not pinpointed to a single factor, it’s widely accepted that a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental triggers interact to increase the risk. This understanding is crucial for addressing the unique challenges faced by individuals with high functioning schizophrenia, late-onset schizophrenia, or other forms of the disorder. Shedding light on the intricate origins of schizophrenia informs efforts to provide effective treatments, support those living with schizophrenia, and address the question of whether it qualifies as a disability. 

Footprints to Recovery Mental Health provides outpatient treatment programs in New Jersey.

Learn more about where to find our mental health services in New Jersey!
View Our Mental Health Facility

Schizophrenia Facts 

Although the research surrounding schizophrenia is constantly evolving, with new understandings of the causes and correlations, there are some steadfast facts that provide insight into this mental health condition.  

Here are 10 facts about schizophrenia: 

  1. Symptom Diversity: Schizophrenia encompasses a range of symptoms including hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and negative symptoms like diminished emotional expression and avolition. 
  2. Onset Age: While most cases emerge in early adulthood, late-onset schizophrenia can occur in individuals over 45 years old, presenting unique diagnostic challenges. 
  3. Genetic Link: Family history of schizophrenia increases the risk. If both parents have the disorder, the risk for their children rises to about 40%. 
  4. Neurobiological Basis: Neuroimaging studies reveal structural and functional brain abnormalities in people with schizophrenia, implicating neural circuits involving dopamine and glutamate. 
  5. Global Prevalence: Schizophrenia affects about 1% of the global population, regardless of cultural or ethnic background. 
  6. Cognitive Impairments: Individuals often experience difficulties in memory, attention, and decision-making, which can impact their daily functioning. 
  7. Treatment Options: Treatment typically includes antipsychotic medications, psychotherapy, and psychosocial interventions. Medication adherence can be challenging due to side effects. 
  8. Suicide Risk: Individuals with schizophrenia have a higher risk of suicide, with estimates suggesting that about 5-10% of individuals with the disorder die by suicide. 
  9. Social Impact: Stigma surrounding schizophrenia persists, leading to social isolation and limited opportunities for those living with the condition. 
  10. Functionality Range: Schizophrenia has a wide spectrum of severity. Some individuals experience high functioning schizophrenia, maintaining jobs and relationships, while others require intensive care and support. 


These facts shed light on the multifaceted nature of schizophrenia, emphasizing the need for awareness, early intervention, and comprehensive support for individuals living with the disorder and their families. 

How Is Schizophrenia Treated? 

 Schizophrenia is typically treated through a combination of approaches, including medication, psychotherapy, and psychosocial interventions. Before entering a treatment center, individuals should consider the center’s expertise in treating schizophrenia, available therapies, and the level of individualized care. An outpatient center can be a better option than recovering alone due to professional guidance, consistent monitoring, and access to a support network. Outpatient programs provide structured treatment while allowing individuals to maintain their daily routines, enhancing the chances of recovery and easing the burden on family members. 

Schizophrenia Treatment at Footprints to Recovery 

At Footprints to Recovery, schizophrenia treatment takes a comprehensive approach with a focus on outpatient care. Their mental health programs, including Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), outpatient services, and aftercare, offer a tailored continuum of care for individuals with schizophrenia. These programs provide structured therapies, counseling, medication management, and psychosocial support while allowing clients to remain engaged in their daily lives. Footprints to Recovery’s commitment to outpatient care recognizes the importance of consistent guidance and support, empowering individuals to manage their condition effectively and improve their overall quality of life while fostering connections with their community and loved ones. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with the complexities of Schizophrenia, Consider Footprints to Recovery as a viable treatment option. Contact us today for more support and expert guidance.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More About Mental Health

More Resources

If you'd like to keep reading, we've prepared some pages that we think you'll find helpful.

Get Started

Our team of mental health professionals is here to give you all of the information you need to help you make an informed decision for your health and happiness.

Contact us today if you are ready to begin your journey to mental wellness. Our team is available around the clock, so feel free to call us at any time.