How to help an Alcoholic?

It is painful and overwhelming to see someone you love destroy their life due to an addictive behaviour. Alcoholics usually tend to deny their addiction and only realize it when its negative effects have spread into almost all areas of life. Here the role of friends and family members can be effective in encouraging them […]

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First aid for Panic Attacks

Panic attack is a condition which is episodic in nature marked by high anxiety and fear, also discomfort that develops suddenly and reaches heights within 10 minutes.   Observable symptoms: Trembling and shaking Sweating Short breaths and sensations of choking If the person reports – palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, abdominal distress or nausea, dizziness […]

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Panic Attack in Child

Did you know that a panic attack in children often manifests in the early stages of adolescence? And, it is the most common psychological problem in the western countries, usually affecting about 2-3% of the people especially the younger ones in a year. There is no specific event triggering the first panic attack in children, […]

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Alcohol Detoxification

Do you know that Delirium tremens kills one in  20 people during alcohol withdrawal? Yes, It is estimated these tremors occur in 5 percent of the people who go through the process of alcohol withdrawal. This is the time where the alcohol detoxification comes into the picture.   It is good if you have decided […]

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How To Stop Panic Attack

Dying on EMI basis?   In the spur of a moment suddenly thinking of losing control, having a heart attack or even dying. No clue of what’s happening in and around? That could be a panic attack. Yes! A panic attack is a sudden impact of intense fear that creates severe physical reactions in the […]

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Schizophrenia: Tools for Treatment

Schizophrenia Tools for Treatment

What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia appears in people during their late teens or around their twenties. It tends to affect men more than women and is a life-long condition that treated rather than cured. It affects people on many levels – biologically, psychologically and socially. These effects, when combined, can interfere with life skills, social relationships and the ability to remain employed. Going further into the definition, Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that involves positive and negative symptoms. These include hallucinations, delusions and disorganized thinking or speech.

Treatment of schizophrenia

Successful treatment of Schizophrenia depends on a life-long use of drugs and psychosocial support therapies. Medication can help control the psychosis associated with schizophrenia but it cannot help the person find a job, learn to be effective in social relationships, enhance coping skills or help them communicate and work well with others.

Individuals coping with the onset of schizophrenia for the first time in their lives require all the support their loved ones can give them. With such support, determination and understanding victims of Schizophrenia can learn to cope and live with it for the remainder of their lives. A sudden stopping of treatment, however, will lead to a relapse of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.

Proven therapies for schizophrenia

Individual psychotherapy – involves regular sessions between patient and therapist focused on past or current problems, thoughts, feelings or relationships. These sessions help the victims understand more about their illness, learn about themselves and better handle the problems of their daily lives.

Rehabilitation – may include job counselling, problem solving support and education in money management.

Cognitive remediation – is a form of behavioural treatment using paper and pencil exercises or computer based testing aiming to help victims strengthen and develop existing cognitive skills while developing new, more effective strategies for dealing with issues around attention, memory, planning and organization.

Family education – Victims that involve families fare better than those who battle the condition alone. All family members should ideally be involved in the care of the victim.

Self-help groups – Outreach programs and community care are helpful in avoiding relapse and repeat hospitalizations. There exist many outreach programs that offer information on treatments and support for victims and their families.

Medications

Medical management of Schizophrenia often is a combination of antipsychotic, antidepressant, antianxiety medication. The biggest challenge is that victims do not stay on the medication quitting after the first year of treatment, especially when the side effects are difficult to handle.

Antipsychotic medications recommended by doctors include Seroquel, Risperdal, Zyprexa and Clorazil. Newer antipsychotics affect the dopamine receptors and tend to be more effective in treating a wider range of symptoms of schizophrenia.

How families can show support

Families can help the victim out by:

  1. Establishing a daily routine for the patient to follow
  2. Helping the patient stay on medication
  3. Keeps the lines of communication open regarding problems or fears the patient may have.
  4. Being patient and calm with the victim
  5. Asking for help by joining a support group.
  6. Understanding that caring for the patient can be emotionally and physically exhausting.
  7. Keeping the communication simple with the patient.

How Psychotherapy can assist with Schizophrenia

While psychotherapy doesn’t treat someone with schizophrenia, it can help maintain the victim on their medication, path towards social skills, and support towards the victim’s goals and activities in their community. Psychotherapy encompasses advice, reassurance, education, modeling, time setting and reality testing with the therapist.

Conclusion

With plenty of early detection and medication with family support, victims can stay positive about leading full, productive lives even though they will never be fully cured. Whether it is being wary of warning signs, talking to your doctor, staying in regular contact with clinicians and on the medication the victim is self empowered to make themselves feel better.

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