Why do you need Mental Health ...

Every day we learn of suicide and individuals engaging in mass murder. Most of these individuals actually suffer from mental illness. From the youngest to the oldest all are at risk when it comes to mental illness. So what do we do in times like this? We provide Mental Health First Aid. Mental Health First […]

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When does Psychological First ...

  The world is going through a crisis. From disasters, wars, terrorist attacks, traumatic events, ongoing discrimination towards sections of society, criminal activities etc. causes a large number of victims and affected family members of such victims undergo a major psychological breakdown. At times like this Psychological First Aid helps to prevent their health from […]

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Mental Health First Aid

In a first aid an injured person is given essential help until a professional medical treatment is given. The main aim of a first aid is to save life, prevent any kind of further harm, promote recovery and provide comfort. Mental health first aid (MHFA) does the same for individual developing mental health problems. Mental […]

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What are the other medical pro...

Dementia refers to a loss of mental function which compromises a person’s cognitive thinking. It results in declining memory and linguistic skill as well as behavioural changes. It is a progressive disease caused by brain damage. This means that the symptoms and effects will progressively worsen over time. The effects can range from physical or […]

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Say No to Cocaine in all forms...

We live in a world where taking cocaine is trendier than fashion. Its availability and use is not limited to a certain class of the society or an age group. The ‘Happening’ drug is easily available at the hidden corner of the street nearby. Whether it is to boost self-esteem or just succumbing to peer-pressure, […]

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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.


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.


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.