When Schizophrenia Affects Circadian Rhythms: How Do I Handle the Challenges and Stay Sober?

When Schizophrenia Affects Circadian Rhythms: How Do I Handle the Challenges and Stay Sober?

Schizophrenia affects people’s brains and the way they see and hear things. It is a mental health issue that impacts some people with addiction. Drugs and alcohol are used as a means to cope with the symptoms of the condition. Schizophrenia also impacts sleep patterns. People with the disorder may not sleep well at night. It is important to understand how to handle the challenges and still stay sober. 

How Schizophrenia Works

When a person is diagnosed with schizophrenia, they likely have had symptoms for some time. They may have what is called ‘precocious madness,’ or an umbrella term for describing severe mental illness in young people. People with schizophrenia experienced a disconnect in their personalities. There is a lack of unity. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is much the same. There is fragmented thinking that is common among those with the illness. A more systematic definition of schizophrenia has emerged to include a chronic brain disorder that emerges between the time a person enters their late teens and mid-30s. The first onset may be over 40 years for some people. Other symptoms may include negative symptoms like diminished emotional expression, interest in social activities, motivation, or speech. Add to this substance abuse and it becomes tricky to diagnosed and properly treat without the right measures in place. 

Impact on Circadian Rhythms

The body has a biological clock. Many people ignore it by using phones before bed. The blue light often triggers the brain to be awake, making it harder to sleep. Others may stay up late, work overnight shifts, or have other things going on. While other factors impact the sleep/wake cycle, the circadian rhythm is primarily responsible for regulating hormones that cause people to feel alert or sleepy, depending on what time of day it is. People who have schizophrenia often find the cycle gets disrupted, leading to sleep difficulties, less than optimal sleep patterns, and abnormal sleep patterns. The brain seems to have a hard time shutting off, making sleep difficult. 

Some medication, therapies, and other things can help alleviate the symptoms of schizophrenia and addiction. It depends on the person’s situation and how they respond to therapy and medication. In other words, there is no cure for these two conditions, but there are sobriety and recovery which will help a person’s brain and body. Schizophrenia requires focusing on one thing at a time, one day at a time. Nothing has to be done all at once. The key is to stay healthy and in sobriety with the help of loved ones who support you no matter what.

Oceanfront will help find support for mental health issues and addiction. If you are struggling, we are here to help. We are located in beautiful Laguna Beach. Call us to find out how we can help you navigate addiction recovery: 888-981-4295