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Other Health Problems That May Occur with Schizophrenia

If you have schizophrenia, you may also have other medical or mental health problems. It is important to you pay attention to other physical or mental health problems so that they do not get in the way of you living your life and working towards your goals. These conditions are treatable for many people with both medicines and lifestyle changes. Members of your treatment team will keep an eye on these conditions and will be able to help you address them if needed.

Medical problems

Other medical problems that are commonly experienced by people living with schizophrenia include:

  • Obesity (being very overweight). This can be caused by side effects of medicines used to treat schizophrenia. Or it can happen because the symptoms of schizophrenia make healthy eating and physical activity hard.

  • Type 2 diabetes. This may be caused by obesity. Or it may be cause by some medicines used to treat schizophrenia.

  • Metabolic syndrome. Obesity can also make you more likely to have metabolic syndrome. This is a health problem where you have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. When all of these things happen together, it puts you at increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

  • Heart problems, such as coronary artery disease. These may be caused by schizophrenia. They may also be caused by side effects of your medicines. Or they may be caused by obesity, smoking, drinking, or diabetes.

  • HIV. Schizophrenia may lead you to behave in a way that makes HIV more likely. This behavior includes having unprotected sex, having many sex partners, and using drugs.

  • Liver disease. For some, this is the result of heavy drinking. 

  • Lung problems, such as COPD. This may be caused by heavy smoking.

  • Contagious diseases. If you live in hospitals and nursing homes, you may catch diseases from other people. This is because living with many other people makes it more likely to get diseases that are easily spread. These may include illnesses such as tuberculosis.

  • Injuries. You may be more likely to have accidents. This is due to several reasons. You may be confused or reckless. You may have body stiffness and lack of coordination due to the side effects of medicines. And you may hear voices that tell you to do unsafe things.

Mental health problems

Some mental health problems may happen along with schizophrenia. These include anxiety, depression, and problems with drugs and alcohol use. You can benefit from a wide range of treatments and supports to help address these challenges. These supports can help you:

  • Take care of yourself

  • Prevent and/or minimize the negative effects of medical problems

  • Live a fuller more satisfying life  

The best thing you can do if you are feeling badly is to talk with your treatment team. Be honest. They are there to help you feel better and maintain your recovery. They will have good ideas for addressing these and other mental health problems.

 

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 3/1/2019
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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