Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

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 Valley 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, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Valley Behavioral Health System.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services 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 receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are 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.

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

Signs & Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Understanding Schizophrenia

Learn About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe disabling brain disorder characterized by difficulties in the ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions, and relate to others. Additionally, this disorder causes people to experience an abnormal interpretation of reality. Those with schizophrenia may hear voices that others don’t and may believe that others are trying to control their thoughts or are plotting to harm them. These symptoms can leave an individual feeling terrified causing them to withdrawal or act with extreme aggression.

Schizophrenia is the most chronic and debilitating of the major mental illnesses, leading individuals to face challenges functioning at work, in society, at school, and within interpersonal relationships. Schizophrenia differs in severity from person to person – some only have one psychotic break during their lifetime while others may experience a slow decline in functioning with little recovery between full-blown psychotic episodes. While most individuals will have to cope with symptoms of schizophrenia throughout their lives, proper medication and support can provide some relief allowing them to lead rewarding and meaningful lives.


Schizophrenia Statistics

Schizophrenia affects approximately 1% of the population, or over 2 million people in the United States. It’s been estimated that 40% of people with schizophrenia are untreated each year.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and Risk Factors for Schizophrenia

Researchers have not determined one exact cause for the development of schizophrenia, instead it is believed to be the result of a number of genetic, physical, and environmental risk factors working together. The most commonly cited causes and risk factors for schizophrenia include:

Genetic: It commonly believed that there is a heredity component for schizophrenia. People who have a family member with schizophrenia are at higher risk for developing the disorder. While schizophrenia occurs in 1% of the population, it occurs in 10% of those with a relative with the disorder. However, many people who develop schizophrenia do not have a family history of the disorder.

Physical: Researchers have found that an imbalance in the interrelated, complex, interconnected brain reactions, involving dopamine and glutamate (both neurotransmitters), play a role in schizophrenia. Additionally, structures in the brain, such as the ventricles, look different in those who have schizophrenia.

Environmental: Scientists believe that prenatal exposure to toxins, maternal malnutrition, or various viruses may lead to the development of schizophrenia. Additionally, birth trauma may increase the risk for developing the disorder.

Risk Factors:

  • Child abuse – sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect
  • Being the victim of bullying
  • Being male
  • Increased immune system activation
  • Psychoactive or psychotropic drug use in the teen years and young adulthood
  • Death of a parent during childhood
  • Parental poverty as a child
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The signs and symptoms of schizophrenia tend to begin between the ages of 16 and 30 with diagnosis rarely occurring in people over the age of 45. Common signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are broken down into three broad categories and may include:

Positive symptoms: These are psychotic behaviors that are not seen in healthy individuals. These symptoms often come and go and can lead an individual to lose touch with reality.

  • Hallucinations – things a person hears, sees, smells, or feels that no one else experiences.
  • Delusions – false, fixed beliefs that an individual continuous to believe even after being provided proof that the delusions are wrong.
  • Thought disorders- unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking.
    • Disorganized thinking which occurs when a person has trouble organizing thoughts or connecting them in logical manner.
    • Thought blocking- occurs when a person stops talking in the middle of a thought because he or she feels the though the thought had been taken from his or her head.
    • Movement disorders- agitated body movements.
      • Repetition of certain gestures
      • Catatonia- a state in which a person doesn’t move or respond to others.

Negative symptoms are disruptions in normal emotions and behaviors that may include:

  • Flat affect
  • Lack of ability to begin or sustain activities
  • Lack of pleasure in everyday life
  • Speaking very little, even when forced to interact
  • Neglecting personal hygiene

Cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia are subtle and often remain undetected as a feature of schizophrenia. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Poor executive function
  • Challenges focusing
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Problems with working memory
  • Challenges leading a normal life
  • Emotional distress

Effects of Schizophrenia Disorder

If left untreated, schizophrenia can cause extreme physical, emotional, and behavioral problems. Through prompt diagnosis and adhering to a detailed treatment plan an individual may be able to lead a more fulfilling, successful life. Long-term effects of untreated schizophrenia may include:

  • Depression
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty
  • Conflicts in familial relationships
  • Inability to work or go to school
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Social isolation
  • Being the victim of aggressive behaviors by others
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Self-injury
  • Suicide
  • Death
Co-Occurring Disorders

Schizophrenia and Co-Occurring Disorders

Schizophrenia often occurs with another mental health disorder. The most common co-occurring, comorbid disorders include:

  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Schizotypal personality disorder
  • Paranoid personality disorder
Call for Free Insurance Verification
  • Aetna
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • United Healthcare
Marks of Quality Care
  • The Joint Commission (JCAHO) Gold Seal of Approval
  • The Jason Foundation