The Treatment Of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is treated in two general ways: by medications and various therapies. Medications directly affect the brain chemistry to treat hallucinations, anxiety, mood swings, and other symptoms.
However, medications can have a number of side effects that can discourage an individual from continuing this type of treatment. Psychotherapy (also known as talk therapy) is very important in the treatment process.
Although psychosocial treatments are very useful, medications have proven to be the most effective tool to treat schizophrenia.
What Is The Outcome For People With Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious illness and may cause great problems in your life.
The first line of treatment is usually medications followed by individual and group therapies. Today there are no cures; however, treatment is readily available and effective. Outcomes can be very good for most of us, especially if we seek treatment early on in our illness.
Scizophrenia is not necessarily a chronic condition , as your docor will comfirm. About 30 % of all patients recover completely.
Talking about Schizophrenia
The symptoms of schizophrenia produce suffering that keeps us from seeking help and moving forward with recovery.
Trusting a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or a therapist, is essential to our success in recovery with our schizophrenia, and a trusting relationship has to be earned.
Talking With Your Psychiatrist
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who special-izes in the care of the mentally ill. The psychiatrist interprets medical and psychological tests and makes major decisions about diagnosis and treatment.
A psychiatrist makes diagnoses, prescribes medications, and has the authority to admit someone to the psychiatric hospital. In addition, some psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy.
At first, we might be sheepish about discussing our symptoms. Most likely,the psychiatrist has heard about every odd sort of symptom in existence,and nothing will be shocking to him or her. So, the psychiatrist is on our side–an ally.
What many of us do is test the waters. We begin in small ways to be open with the psychiatrist and gradually find out that he or she is someone who can be trusted. Over time, complete openness is often the outcome, and one that leads to a better understanding of our symptoms, and the psychiatrist's improved ability to offer the best treatments.In the early stages it is always helpful to talk to the psychiatrist about your treatment goals, to see where the whole process is going. You can find a symptoms checklist later in this brochure so that you can make the best use of your visit.
Learn more about schizophrenia. Read about it. Talk about it with other patients to get a better understanding of what the psychiatrist says. Ask questions during the session about things that don't make sense or aren't clear. Rely on your psychiatrist to provide feedback and guidance thatworks.
Talking With Your Therapist
In addition to medication received from a psychiatrist, most of us participate in various forms of psychotherapy. The therapist is usually a social worker, or counselor with at least a master's degree. Often a psychologist (a doctorate level mental health professional) will also provide psychotherapy and other forms of counseling.
While the psychiatrist has strong training in the medical aspects of schizophrenia, the therapist usually has expertise in how to help with the hang-ups we keep to ourselves. A therapist helps us to keep things in perspective. If we have life problems, the therapist wants to hear about them and wants to join us in coming up with solutions.
Talking With Your Friends
How much we tell our friends about schizophrenia is often a matter of how trustworthy we think they are. It is a good idea to seek guidance from your therapist on how much to share.
This is a touchy issue, because stigma and rejection are so often the
experience of those with schizophrenia. For those of us fortunate enough to have genuine and steadfast friends, sharing the nature of our illness can make the friendship closer.
Talking With Your Family
For most of us with schizophrenia, our family is the core of our support system. It is our parents who initially provide the largest share of help;however, siblings or other relatives become involved as well.If the family members are to provide needed support, it is important that they have adequate information on schizophrenia and our experi-ence with the illness. You should tell your family what your mental health professional thinks the outlook is for recovery and your adjust-ment to the illness.