Treatment Options for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenic Treatment Options are Available

A number of stereotypes associated with schizophrenia contribute to its stigma, which can make seeking treatment difficult for some people. Fortunately, with a proper diagnosis and medical care, most people can live with a good quality of life by utilizing a combination of medication, rehabilitation, and family support. In many cases, a schizophrenic can even live on their own and work a traditional job.

Treatment Options for Schizophrenia

What is Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric illness of a serious nature. At this time, no cure exists for schizophrenia. However, medication treatment for schizophrenia and psycho-social interventions can help manage symptoms. In other more severe cases, treatment for schizophrenia does not work. These individuals struggle to live independently and take their medication. Therefore, they require more assistance.

Symptoms

It is important to note that the symptoms of schizophrenics will be different in each person, and will occur at different times in their lives. Men will typically develop symptoms in their mid-20s. Women typically develop symptoms in their late-20s, and are at risk again in their 40s. In rare cases, people will develop schizophrenia as a child or adolescent, or much older in life. It can also be quite difficult to notice the symptoms in teenagers due to changes in hormones.

Psychotic symptoms are usually the most profound in diagnoses, such as hallucinations and delusions. Disorganized thinking can also result in speech issues. It is also possible to begin developing cognitive symptoms such as uncommon challenges with memory, decision making, and paying attention. The negative symptoms, which include the inability to function normally any longer, will include:

  • Less motivation
  • Behavior that is withdrawn
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to provide joy
  • Monotone speech
  • Lack of emotion
  • Speech content and output is low

Medication for Schizophrenia

Medicines for schizophrenia are essential to symptom management. The most common prescription drugs are anti-psychotics, which disrupt certain brain neurotransmitters. The goal is to prescribe the lowest dose possible. However, drug management may take a bit of trial and error before the right combination can be administered as each case is different. It is also possible that anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants may be prescribed.

One of the issues with getting schizophrenics to take their medications regularly and willingly is due to the fact these medications are powerful and can have strong, unpleasant side effects. When patients are resistant, doctors will try to use different medications if the side effects are too much. It is possible for schizophrenics to receive injections if they refuse to take oral medications.

Psycho-social Therapy and Family Support

Medications are only part of the treatment process. Additional treatment for schizophrenia include psycho-social rehabilitation and family support. Psychotherapy helps individuals handle stress and manage their illness. Training for the development of social skills is also essential. This focuses on communication and social engagement.

Family support is perhaps one of the most important aspects of successfully managing schizophrenia. Loved ones should participate in family therapy, and help those receive a proper diagnosis and adjust to their new life rather than focus on the past. Family therapy for schizophrenics will also teach the support system the best ways to deal with the illness for themselves and the one with schizophrenia. You will also find community outreach programs that help with vocational rehabilitation so that schizophrenics can find work and keep their job.

The best schizophrenia treatment options are the combination of medications, psycho-social therapy, and family support. Most schizophrenics can live a good life as long as they are diagnosed and receive the help and assistance they require.