Treatment for Schizophrenia
There is no exact treatment of schizophrenia but medications are more focused on eliminating or managing the different symptoms. Though most patients may experience that some of their symptoms may not completely subside, psychiatrists and other health professionals will come up with a series of plans and psychosocial therapies to at least control the symptoms of the said disorder.
Medications like antipsychotic drugs are already proven to be effective in treating acute psychosis. This medication is mostly prescribed by health professionals together with one or more other medications. Other psychiatric medications include:
• Risperidone (Risperdal) – is classified as an atypical antipsychotic drug for treating autism, bipolar mania and schizophrenia. The drug blocks several brain neurotransmitters and enables certain nerves to communicate with each other. It is believed that abnormal communications between nerves causes psychotic illnesses. It is known to be a great treatment for irritability and stuttering.
• Olanzapine (Zyperxa) – it works as receptor blocker of several brain neurotransmitters and is employed as treatment for agitation of a schizophrenia patient.
• Quetiapine (Seroquel) – this is an oral psychotic drug that inhibits the communication between different brain nerves and a treatment for schizophrenia.
• Ziprasidone (Geodon) – it is an injectable or oral psychotic drug that works as receptor blocker. Compared to other antipsychotic drugs, it does not increase the patient’s cholesterol level and causes little or no weight gain. The drug is used to treat severe types of mental illness like distorted thoughts, emotions and perceptions. It helps manage the positive symptoms of schizophrenia and helps treat its negative symptoms as well.
• Aripiprazole (Abilify) – an antipsychotic drug that also works as receptor blocker. It is used in the treatment of schizophrenia, mixed depressive episodes, and bipolar mania.
• Paliperidone (Invega) – is classified as an atypical antipsychotic drug that works by changing the chemical effects in the brain. It is used to control schizophrenia symptoms.
• Asenapine (Saphlis) – is an antipsychotic drug that is used to control psychotic symptoms. Like other antipsychotic drugs above, it works as receptor blocker and helps control schizophrenia symptoms.
Though medications alone can be successful in treating or controlling symptoms of schizophrenia, other aspects like social and communication skills are not addressed however. For complete treatment, patients are advised to undergo therapies such as the following:
1. Psychotherapy – involves regular sessions with the therapist alone, focusing on the patient’s past and current problems. This therapy will help patients have a better understanding about the illness and assist them differentiate between what’s real and what’s not.
2. Electroconvulsive therapy• – is the fastest way to relieve symptoms of severe depression. It is usually a last resort for patients who don’t show successful results from other treatments. The therapy uses electric current to briefly seizure the patient’s brain and treatment is usually followed by psychotherapy and medications.
3. Psychological interventions – is an intervention therapy used to correct symptoms such as social dysfunction. This therapy can be done individually or through group sessions.
Schizophrenia is not a battle to be taken by the patient alone. A team of health professionals involved in the treatment of a schizophrenic patient includes the case worker, general practitioner, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, psychiatric nurse, pharmacist, social worker and a supporting member of the patient’s family. Complete dedication is needed to help a schizophrenic individual live a normal life.