A person diagnosed with schizophrenia holding a fire torch while running down a hill.

Artwork by Tanya Pramanik

A person diagnosed with schizophrenia holding a fire torch while running down a hill.

Schizophrenia Rehabilitation: The Road to Recovery

Medically reviewed by

Written by Bharat Hegde

Schizophrenia is one of the more serious mental illnesses that result in severe distress and dysfunction for the individual. Its symptoms are diverse and occur in different intensities. The symptoms of the disorder can be classified into positive and negative symptoms based on how they affect functioning. Positive symptoms are manifested as abnormal behavior. Meanwhile, negative symptoms are the absences in normal behavioral patterns. 

Schizophrenia affects around 3 out of 1000 people in India. Left untreated, it can completely destroy daily functioning. Schizophrenia is a chronic condition and has no comprehensive cure. However, with early diagnosis and effective treatment, the disorder can be managed. Individuals with Schizophrenia can lead fulfilling lives.

Treatment for Schizophrenia Symptoms

The symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech and thinking, social withdrawal, emotional flattening, and much more. The treatment approach for this begins with Medication. Schizophrenia medication plays a major role in the reduction of the positive symptoms of the disorder. 

The nature of positive symptoms is such that they push people with schizophrenia to lose touch with reality. This means that they need to be brought back to reality for them to even understand the occurrence of the illness” explains Dr. BR Madhukar, Medical Director, Cadabams Group. Medications play a crucial role in this process. However, it takes a week or two for the medication to start working. 

The process is that psychiatrists evaluate the individual suffering from schizophrenia and then gauge the antipsychotic medication that might help. Sometimes the individual might have to shuffle the medications a little bit to ensure that the recovery is optimal.

However, this is one of the challenges for individuals with Schizophrenia. Adherence to medication is a challenge as individuals tend to wean off the medication as their symptoms start reducing. The disorder then returns with force and causes serious dysfunction. 

It is only after these medications have begun showing their effectiveness that the individual can begin understanding their own disorder. Then therapy comes into the picture. The separate module for Psychosis in CBT helps the individual understand their symptoms better and helps modify their responses to the symptoms.

Psychotherapy focuses on the improvement of functioning and reduction of impairment. Group therapy, family therapy, and more, together form a comprehensive treatment plan that helps a person return to full functioning.

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Schizophrenia Treatment Centers: Why Rehabilitation is the best option.

Rehabilitation is a really difficult step to take. How do you reconcile with the fact that your loved one is going away to a rehabilitation center for recovery? To gain a little more clarity on this, let us understand how daily life situations stress both individuals and their families. 

Why is Schizophrenia Rehabilitation Necessary?

Positive symptoms like delusions and hallucinations wreak havoc on familial relationships. Individuals fighting schizophrenia might be facing delusions and think that their own family is conspiring against them. Hallucinations could force individuals to turn against their own families.

Disorganized thoughts or speech, and psychotic episodes would lead to stress during the rigors of professional life or academic life. Negative Symptoms include social withdrawal as well.

Social withdrawal could severely impact a person’s relationships with their family and friends. All of these would repeat on a daily basis. This could cause severe dysfunction in the person's life and the lives of their loved ones as well. 

What does Schizophrenia Rehabilitation Mean?

This is where rehabilitation becomes a boon for the families and the individuals. Rehabilitation offers comprehensive residential treatment. This lifts the individual from the stressors of daily life around him and shifts them to a location where their only responsibility becomes recovery. This also helps the families get a breather. It helps them sleep better knowing that their loved ones are receiving comprehensive care from competent individuals. 

Rehabilitation Centers are designed to aid a person’s recovery. It allows the professional to build a structured treatment plan which the individual can follow. This treatment pathway is reinforced as part of their daily routine at the schizophrenia rehabilitation centers. A rehabilitation center also helps people suffering from Schizophrenia overcome most of the challenges arising out of the disorder.

It helps them overcome social withdrawal by slowly involving them in the activities of the rehabilitation center. Here, they interact with multiple other people on a daily basis. It protects them from the stressors of daily life so that they can live and breathe recovery. 

A rehabilitation center offers routines that ensure individuals have regularly scheduled sessions with the treating team and adhere to the recovery pathway. This is in contrast to OPD consultations where various factors may impede recovery.

When asked what were the cons of rehab for schizophrenia , Dr. Arun, Consultant Psychiatrist, Cadabams had this to say, “There are no cons of rehabilitation for Schizophrenia, because the alternative to it is a complete loss of functioning. With proper rehabilitation, the disorder can be managed.”

Rehabilitation Protects the Individuals

Aggression and self-harm are some of the major risks associated with Schizophrenia. Individuals may become aggressive towards others during psychotic episodes and could even hurt them. A rehabilitation center offers a controlled environment where the individuals are always cared for. Constant monitoring ensures that they are prevented from causing any harm to others or themselves. 

What Does Rehabilitation Mean for the Families?

Caring for a person with schizophrenia is a difficult task. It takes a lot of patience and strength to do it. Rehabilitation centers help families also energize themselves knowing that the individual is always on the path to schizophrenia recovery.

During the rehabilitation period, the treating team also works with the families. They help identify stressors within the family dynamics and help the families become safer havens for the individuals. 

What does this all mean in the end?

Rehabilitation for Schizophrenia is a healing process for both the individual and their families as well. It helps an individual accelerate their recovery process and return to daily functioning as soon as possible.  For the families, it helps them make the changes necessary to help their loved ones return to society and daily life. It helps them also heal and understand the fight their loved one is fighting.

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Here’s Where We Step in:

Cadabams offers multiple rehabilitation centers catering to all types and severities of mental health disorders. We have the largest bed capacity in India dedicated to treating mental health disorders. 

For Schizophrenia, we offer everything from OPD consultations, hospitalization options, and comprehensive schizophrenia rehabs care. At our rehabilitation centers, we are always pushing the envelope for your recovery. The recovery model we follow focuses on identifying how the disorder is affecting your life and removing the obstacles it places. 

We also offer proven medical approaches to treating Schizophrenia with a special focus on helping individuals return to society and full functioning. 

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