Anxiety disorders are considered the most common type of mental illness in the U.S. (affecting 18% of the population). However, schizophrenia is nearly four times more likely to affect the U.S. population with mental retardation or developmental disability (MR/DD).
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects a person’s behavior, thoughts, and feelings. Those with schizophrenia may feel out of touch with reality, which can have negative effects on the person’s health choices and social interaction.
What are the health risks involved for those with schizophrenia?
Those who suffer from schizophrenia have been shown to have a life expectancy 15 to 20 years shorter than the national average. This higher mortality rate is mostly due to the fact that those with untreated schizophrenia have a higher risk of poor health.
This isn’t to say those who have schizophrenia are unhygienic. Rather, certain lifestyle choices such as heavy smoking, heavy drinking, poor diet, and lack of social interaction can increase risks for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Additionally, these lifestyle choices can play a role in chronic and incidental wounds. For instance, during a period of active psychosis, a person with schizophrenia may commit self-injury. However, lifestyle choices such as poor diet and high alcohol intake may also cause wounds such as diabetic leg and foot ulcers.
These types of wounds, especially chronic wounds, can put a significant burden on the individual with schizophrenia. What’s more, the collagen production and angiogenesis that are necessary for the body to heal chronic and incidental wounds can become inhibited by the individual’s alcohol intake and smoking. Therefore, not only are chronic and incidental wounds more likely to occur but they’re also more likely to have delayed healing.
When should I seek treatment for schizophrenia?
First, it’s essential that you understand your diagnosis and that you don’t buy into the stigma surrounding schizophrenia. Second, it’s important to seek psychiatric care with an experienced neuropsychiatric hospital once you’ve received your diagnosis.
This is because an experienced neuropsychiatric hospital can provide you with the treatment you want and the health care you need. Not only can neuropsychiatric programs help you live a healthier life, but they can also reduce the risk of chronic and incidental wounds.
NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals offers a wide variety of neuropsychiatric programs to help those with schizophrenia. For more information, contact NeuroPsychiatric Hospitals today.