Schizophrenia is a severe chronic mental illness affecting around 0.25% to 0.64% of Americans. The condition is characterized by psychotic symptoms, disordered thinking, and mood changes.
The symptoms of Schizophrenia have the potential to create major consequences. This disorder impacts how a person relates with others and how they function at home, school, or work. Fortunately, with the right treatment and ongoing care, people with the condition can live a healthy, productive life.
This blog focuses on the tailored treatment for Schizophrenia. We will also provide you with information about treatment options for treating the disorder.
Symptoms of Schizophrenia usually emerge when a person is in their late teens and early 30s. Generally, the symptoms are more prevalent in males than females. Common symptoms include:
Accurate diagnosis is a vital element of the treatment process. Diagnosis of Schizophrenia usually involves various tests to rule out other mental health disorders. The doctors also try to determine if the symptoms are not caused by substance abuse, medication, or other medical condition. Diagnosis for the disease includes:
Physical examinations are done to rule out other issues. Specifically, issues that could trigger the symptoms and to determine the presence of related complications.
Tests that help rule out other conditions with similar symptoms may be carried out. This includes screening for alcohol and drug use and imaging studies like MRI or CT scans.
The health professional checks the patient’s mental status by observing their demeanor and appearance. The doctor will ask several individual questions about current thoughts, moods, and delusions. Substance use, the potential for violence, suicide, and hallucinations.
The mental health professional consults the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) established by the American Psychiatric Association. These criteria are used to determine a patient’s mental health status.
Schizophrenia treatment is a lifelong process, even with subdued symptoms. The treatment is usually administered and guided by a psychiatrist with training and experience in Schizophrenia. The treatment is generally offered in clinics with expertise in schizophrenia treatment.
It is important to seek the help of a professional if you are experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia. Professional treatment and therapy is essential for managing symptoms. Applying a holistic approach to treatment, people understand their disorder and learn to live happier healthy lives.
The following are some of the common treatments for the condition:
are newer drugs posing a lower risk of side effects than first-generation antipsychotics. They include Aripiprazole (Abilify), Asenapine (Saphris), Brexpiprazole (Rexulti), Cariprazine (Vraylar), Clozapine (Clozaril and Versacloz), Iloperidone (Fanapt) and more.
there are other categories of antipsychotics administered as intramuscular or subcutaneous injections. They are typically given every two to four weeks, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Some of the common medications include Fluphenazine decanoate, Aripiprazole (Aristada, Abilify Maintena), Paliperidone (Invega Sustenna, Invega Trinza), and Haloperidol decanoate, and Risperidone (Risperdal Consta, Persis).
Medications form the first line of schizophrenia treatment. Ideally, antipsychotic medications are the most commonly prescribed drugs to control symptoms by altering the brain neurotransmitter dopamine.
The doctor may try different drugs, doses, or combinations of drugs over time to effectively manage signs and symptoms. In most cases, it takes several weeks before one notices an improvement in the symptoms. The following are the types of antipsychotics drugs used to treat the condition:
the first-generation antipsychotics have adverse side effects, including the risk of developing permanent movement disorder. First-generation antipsychotics include Chlorpromazine, Fluphenazine, Haloperidol, and Perphenazine.
Psychosocial interventions can also be recommended alongside medication. These may include:
ECT may be preferred for adults with Schizophrenia who don’t respond to drug therapy. Electroconvulsive therapy is a procedure done with the help of general anesthesia, where electric currents are conducted through the brain. The currents cause brief seizures to trigger changes in brain chemistry and reverse symptoms of the disease.
Hospitalization is preferred during times of severe symptoms. The goal here is to ensure proper nutrition, adequate sleep, safety, and basic hygiene. A hospital stay is often the course of action if the person suffering from schizophrenia is a period of crisis.
Developing ideal tools to cope with schizophrenia help make the condition less challenging for the patients and their loved ones. The following are some of the coping skills to consider:
Establishing a strong support system is a powerful way to deal with the symptoms of schizophrenia. Once positive symptoms are managed via medication, the support system is ideal for resolving negative symptoms such as sociality. The support system may include friends, family, co-workers, and pets.
You may also consider attending support groups for Schizophrenia, such as schizophrenia Anonymous. During these sessions, those living with the condition gather to share their experiences and support each other. Having a support network of peers, aids with overall mental health management and wellness.
Managing your own emotions is critical for learning to cope with the illness. It is natural to experience feelings of fear, anger, or sadness. However, you can take steps to make the emotions less threatening.
It may be as simple as setting aside time to do things that make you feel cared for. Some examples may include reading, spending time with a pet, walking, cooking, or spending time with a trusted friend. By practicing self-care, people with the disorder can better manage their symptoms.
A healthy diet is critical for people living with Schizophrenia. Eating an adequate nutritious meal each day helps meet your body’s needs. While also giving you the strength to do the things you love and combat the condition.
Getting adequate sleep and going to bed at the same time each day can be beneficial. Ideally, sleep deprivation induces or worsens hallucinations. A healthy sleep schedule works with other treatments to improve your mental health.
Daily physical activity such as yoga or walking helps improve symptoms of Schizophrenia. Physical activity and exercise is essential for mental health and overall wellbeing.
Schizophrenia may not get better on its own. This means proper treatment is crucial to reduce the impact of the symptoms and avoid co-occurring disorders like depression. If you or a loved one has Schizophrenia, take urgent measures to seek medication. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us
At Moment of Clarity, we have trained professionals that can support your treatment. We take a comprehensive approach to therapy and develop treatment plans that address your specific needs. Our team of mental health professionals is ready to help you reach better health and wellness.