What is a Panic Attack?

A woman named Bella in her mid 30’s was once rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. She was profusely sweating and she felt like her heart was racing at one instance, such that she was unable to take a breath. She and her husband were certain that, she had a heartache. But, […]

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Internet Addiction

Do you play video games on the Internet in overabundance? Are you enthusiastically shopping online? Can’t physically quit checking Facebook? If your answer is yes for any of these questions, you may have the internet addiction.   The world which we live in today is full of advanced technological inventions. Nowadays education, entertainment, communication, and […]

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Is Schizophrenia Genetic?

All of us are aware of how genetics plays an important role in various illnesses. But, have you ever imagined as to what has heredity to do with Schizophrenia? This is one of the common questions many people ask whether schizophrenia is a hereditary disease. The answer is yes and no! Yes, Schizophrenia does have […]

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Guide for caregivers for Schiz...

Schizophrenia can affect an individual to an extent that they turn incapable to taking care of themselves. At this time, the role of a caregiver, family or friend, becomes important. Taking care of an individual with schizophrenia can be very difficult as they can get aggressive or rigid suddenly due to their symptoms. Medications and […]

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Food Addiction

Is your loved one eating in excess, or even more than what is essential for their proper nutrition or a healthy living? Then, it may be a sign or indication of food addiction. Here a person perpetually engages in ravaging behaviors of overeating. This is the reason for which some people cannot sway themselves around […]

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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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