Schizophrenia Q&A

A highly trained psychiatrist, Dr. Soon K. Kim is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Soon K. Kim currently serves as president and CEO of Aurora Behavioral Health Care.

What is schizophrenia and who gets it?

A complex mental disorder involving differences in brain chemicals and the central nervous system, schizophrenia is characterized by disordered thinking and an inability to accurately interpret reality, which leads to inappropriate emotional and social responses. The cause of the condition is unknown, but family history is thought to play a role in some cases.

What are the symptoms of schizophrenia and how is it diagnosed?

Signs and symptoms of schizophrenia can appear at any age, although the condition usually manifests itself between a person’s teenage years and 30s. Those with schizophrenia can have hallucinations, delusional thinking, and disorganized thoughts, speech, and behavior. They may also withdraw and lose motivation to do the simplest tasks, such as bathing or getting dressed. Cognitively, patients may have problems with attention and memory and be unable to make sense of what they see or hear. However, because the symptoms of schizophrenia can mimic those of other mental or neurological conditions, a full psychiatric evaluation is necessary to obtain a proper diagnosis.

What treatments are available for schizophrenia?

Once diagnosed, patients are usually treated with antipsychotic medications to stabilize brain neurotransmitters. After the symptoms of psychosis are under control, patients should begin psychotherapy to learn how to cope with the condition, stay healthy, and maintain a job and normal relationships.


Ways to Manage Stress

With more than four decades of experience in the mental health care field, Dr. Soon K. Kim currently operates as president and chief executive officer of Aurora Behavioral Health Care, a group of six acute psychiatric hospitals located in Arizona, California, and Illinois that offers chemical dependency and behavior health treatment options for adults, children, adolescents, and seniors. Dr. Soon K. Kim utilizes a number of advanced techniques to treat mental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, depression, and everyday stress. Here are a few techniques on how to manage stress.

Find the root cause: Perhaps the first step in managing stress is to find out what is the primary cause for stress. Everyday pressures such as demands at work or family issues are almost always a given, but other factors that may contribute to the stress levels include a daily commute or being overworked.

Employ a relaxation technique: Busy individuals may think that they do not have time to slow down and relax, but relaxation techniques are actually an effective method for managing stress. Exercises such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation help individuals to focus and block out the constant “noise” and flurry of everyday life. For more active individuals, taking a brisk walk or engaging in a sporting activity helps to relieve stress.

Talk it out: Sometimes just talking things out, or verbally expressing your feelings of anxiety or anger to a trusted friend or family member, is a great way to relieve stress.