Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to the Coronavirus
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 Lakeland 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, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at Lakeland Behavioral Health System.

  • 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

Schizophrenia Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Understanding Schizophrenia

Learn About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a group of severe brain disorders in which people interpret reality in an abnormal way. This disorder can result in a combination of hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can make it extremely difficult to think clearly, logically, and rationally. Individuals suffering with this disorder may not always be able to tell the difference between what is real and what is not real. They may hear voices that don’t exist and believe people can read their minds or control their thoughts. Additionally, these individuals may think that others are out to get them, leading to constant fear, social withdrawal, and irritation.

Schizophrenia not only affects the individual, but has negative effects on their family, friends, and community as well. Many individuals suffering from schizophrenia have trouble keeping a job or taking care of themselves, so they tend to rely on others for help. Additionally, it can be difficult to get an individual to stick to a medication regime, even more so if they don’t believe they are sick.

Since this illness may cause unusual, inappropriate, and often unpredictable and disorganized behavior, people who are not effectively treated are often stigmatized and made the targets of prejudice. Schizophrenia is often mischaracterized as an untreatable disease that is associated with violent behavior, which has led to the development of many untrue stereotypes. Most individuals diagnosed with this disorder are not violent. Although schizophrenia is a chronic condition that requires lifelong treatment, when engaging in treatment, schizophrenia can be managed. However, as every individual is different, the course of the illness and treatment can differ.


Schizophrenia Statistics

In the U.S. it has been estimated that about 1% of the adult population suffers from schizophrenia. While prevalence estimates indicate equal rates in men and women, men tend to show a younger age of onset than women and women display a less severe course. The typical age of onset ranges from 16-30. It is relatively rare for someone to first develop the condition over the age of 45. While it has long been believed the childhood onset schizophrenia is extremely rare, there is growing awareness that children present with different symptom patterns than adults.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Schizophrenia and Co-Occurring Disorders

There are a number of disorders that have been shown to co-occur with schizophrenia. These include:

  • Substance abuse –Over 50% of those with schizophrenia have tobacco use disorders and many use illicit or prescription drugs in an effort to self-medicate.
  • Anxiety disorders (panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, phobias)
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Depression

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and Risk Factors for Schizophrenia

It is not known what causes this disorder, but researchers believe that it is a combination of genetics and environment that leads to the development of this disease. Some potential causes that have supporting evidence include:

Genetic: It has long been recognized that schizophrenia runs in families. While the prevalence rate for the condition is 1% in the general population, the rate increases to 10% for individuals with a first-degree relative who has the disorder. Research has also found that individuals with schizophrenia have higher rates of genetic mutations that disrupt normal brain development. Finally, research has discovered a specific gene that may be linked to the development of schizophrenia, causing important chemicals in the brain to malfunction and lead to disruptions in the development of higher mental functions.

Brain Chemicals: Problems with naturally occurring brain chemicals, such as the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate, may also contribute to schizophrenia.

Brain Structure: Neuroimaging studies have shown differences in the brain structure and central nervous system of individuals with schizophrenia.

Environmental Factors: Certain environmental factors such as exposure to viruses, toxins, or malnutrition in the womb have been connected to the development of this disorder.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The symptoms of schizophrenia generally develop slowly over a number of months or years. The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually divided into three categories: positive, negative, and cognitive. Some symptoms experienced may include:

Positive symptoms: These symptoms reflect an excess or distortion of normal functions.

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized behavior

Negative symptoms: These symptoms refer to an absence of characteristics of normal function. They may appear with or without positive symptoms.

  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Loss of motivation
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Appearing to lack emotion
  • Reduced ability to plan or carry out activities

Cognitive symptoms: These symptoms involve problems within the thought process. These symptoms are usually the most disabling because they can interfere with an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis.

  • Problems with making sense of information
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Thought disorder


Effects of Schizophrenia

Left untreated, schizophrenia can result in severe emotional, behavioral, and health problems. Additionally, it can lead to legal and financial problems that affect every aspect of life. Some effects can include:

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Self-injury
  • Poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Family conflict
  • Inability to work or go to school
  • Heart disease
  • Health problems as a result of anti-psychotic medications
  • Suicide

Marks of Quality Care
  • Arkansas Juvenile Officers Association
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • Missouri Hospital Association
  • Missouri Juvenile Justice Association
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • Tricare
  • The Jason Foundation

My brother's schizophrenia got to the point where he had a hard time discerning what was truly real. My patience was at its limit. In the end, I got my brother treatment at Lakeland Behavioral Health. He is in a much better state now, and I feel like such a weight has been lifted on our family.

– Ashley V.