Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
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 San Juan Capestrano Hospital 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, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at San Juan Capestrano Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and 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 has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being 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.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

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

Signs & Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and effects of schizophrenia. Understanding what you or your loved one is going through can be the first step to getting help.

Understanding Schizophrenia

Learn about schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition that ultimately alters the way in which an individual will think, act, express emotions, and relate to those around him or her. Furthermore, those who are suffering from this debilitating mental illness lose touch with reality and are often unable to tell what is real from what is imagined. For these individuals, the world may look like a complete mess of confusing thoughts, images, and sounds, which can cause an individual to act in strange ways. This life-long disorder can cause a person to have difficulty functioning normally at work, school, or in society. Additionally, it is common for a schizophrenics to have a hard time with interpersonal relationships.

The severity of this disorder will vary from person to person, with some only experiencing one psychotic episode while others have many episodes throughout their lives. While schizophrenia cannot be cured, there are different treatment options available that can help relieve many of the disabling symptoms. Other treatment methods provide individuals with invaluable skills that help them cope with any remaining symptoms. While living with schizophrenia can be extremely challenging, with proper treatment, individuals with this disorder are able to leading meaningful lives.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for schizophrenia

Because an exact cause for the development of schizophrenia has not been determined, most experts believe that this mental health disorder is caused by several factors. Such factors are described in more detail below:

Genetic: Schizophrenia has long been known to run in families. While schizophrenia occurs in 1% of the population, it has been known to occur in 10% of people who have a first degree relative with this disorder. Furthermore, scientists believe that several genes are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but there is not one gene by itself that causes this disease.

Physical: Through continued research, scientists also believe that imbalances in the chemical reactions of the brain involving certain neurotransmitters play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Additionally, neuroimaging studies have shown that the brains of those with schizophrenia look different than those of healthy individuals.

Environmental: Finally, in combination with the previously mentioned factors, researchers believe that interactions within the environment also play a role in the development of this disorder. Environmental factors, such as exposure to certain viruses or malnutrition before birth and problems during the birthing process, may be involved in the development of this disorder.

Risk Factors:  

  • Personal history of mental health condition or conditions
  • Presence of undiagnosed mental health condition or conditions
  • Being born to a father who is of advanced age
  • History of abusing mind-altering substances
  • Preexisting autoimmune disease
  • Prenatal exposure to poor nutrition
  • Prenatal exposure to viruses
  • Family history of schizophrenia or other mental health condition or conditions
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia

The signs and symptoms associated with schizophrenia can be broken down into three main categories including: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms. However, the existence of specific symptoms in each category will vary amongst individuals.

Positive symptoms: Positive symptoms typically refer to psychotic behaviors which are not seen in healthy individuals. The most common positive symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Troubling organizing thoughts or connecting them logically
  • Talking in a jumbled way
  • Repetition of certain behaviors

Negative symptoms: This category refers to the symptoms that disrupt normal emotions and behaviors and are often more difficult to recognize because they can often be indicative of the presence of other mental health conditions. Negative symptoms include:

  • Flat affect
  • General lack of pleasure in daily life
  • Lack of the ability to begin or sustain planned activities
  • Neglected personal hygiene
  • Speaking little
  • Decline in the ability to concentrate
  • Catatonia
  • Social isolation

Cognitive symptoms: Just like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms are usually very subtle and hard to identify as being definitive of the presence of schizophrenia. These symptoms make it hard for an individual to function properly throughout the day and often lead to emotional distress. The following are cognitive symptoms that schizophrenics tend to struggle with:

  • Poor executive functioning
  • Problems with focusing or paying attention
  • Trouble with working memory
  • Impaired executive functioning
Effects

Effects of schizophrenia

Unfortunately, there are a large number of individuals struggling with schizophrenia who never receive the treatment that they need, which can lead to a number of harmful, long-term effects. Listed below are some of the common effects of untreated schizophrenia:

  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration
  • Increased risk for episodes of violence
  • Inability to maintain employment
  • Major family conflict
  • Development of additional mental health disorders
  • Abuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Inability to attend school
  • Social isolation
  • Health problems
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Suicide attempts
Co-Occurring Disorders

Schizophrenia and co-occurring disorders

Schizophrenia has been known to occur alongside other mental health disorders. Additionally, if left untreated, this disorder has been known to result in severe emotional, behavioral, and health problems. Some of the most common disorders that co-occur with schizophrenia include:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Anxiety disorders, including phobias
  • Paranoid personality disorder

My severe depression had taken over my life. I’m so thankful for San Juan Capestrano Hospital for giving me the strength to start living my life again to the fullest.

– Luis S.