Tip : Understand The Role Of Medication
If youve been diagnosed with schizophrenia, you will almost certainly be offered antipsychotic medication. The two main groups of medications used for the treatment of schizophrenia are the older or typical antipsychotic medications and the newer atypical antipsychotic medications. Its important to understand that medication is just one component of schizophrenia treatment.
Medication is not a cure for schizophrenia and only treats some of the symptoms. Antipsychotic medication reduces psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disordered thinking. But is much less helpful for treating symptoms of schizophrenia such as social withdrawal, lack of motivation, and lack of emotional expressiveness.
You should not have to put up with disabling side effects. Schizophrenia medication can have very unpleasanteven disablingside effects such as drowsiness, lack of energy, uncontrollable movements, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction. Your quality of life is important, so talk to your doctor if youre bothered by side effects.
Never reduce or stop medication on your own.
Sudden or unsupervised dosage changes are dangerous, and can trigger a schizophrenia relapse or other complications. If youre having trouble with your medication or feel like you dont need to take it, talk to your doctor or someone else that you trust.
Insight Of Schizophrenia Patients
One symptom that 97% of schizophrenia patients suffer from is lack of insight. This means that the schizophrenia patient doesnt fully understand their illness and the need for treatment. This symptom, in and of itself, can make patients stop taking medication simply because they do not believe they need it and do not believe they are sick.
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What About Remission Or Functional Recovery From Schizophrenia
Like some other types of mental illness, schizophrenia symptoms can sometimes wax and wane throughout a persons life. An individual may have an intense schizophrenic episode and go for months or years with little or no issue related to the disease. In most cases, however, even people receiving effective and consistent treatment must contend with at least some consequences of the disease.
But with a combination of medications, psychosocial therapy, and lifestyle adjustments, functional recovery and functional well-being are realistic goals for people with schizophrenia. Though an exact picture of what functional recovery looks like is still somewhat debated among clinicians, a survey of mental health experts reported in suggests that functional recovery involves concepts such as:
- quality of life
- symptom management or remission
- maintaining social relationships
The goal of functional recovery is not just that serious symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions are held in check, but that an individual can live, work, and have positive family relationships and friendships, as well as live independently or with minimal assistance.
Schizophrenia Symptoms Can Be Managed With Proper Treatment
Some people have noted that their symptoms can be temporarily cured with proper psychiatric treatments. In other words, there are people that are fully functioning despite their diagnosis. In some cases, you may not even be able to tell that they have this illness. Take Elyn Saks for example professor of Law, Psychiatry, and Psychology at University of Southern California. She has schizophrenia and is still high functioning to the point that most people would not be able to tell that she had this disease unless she told them.
Most medications on the market today are atypical antipsychotics. Although they carry a variety of side effects, their side effect profile is supposed to be lower than the old typical antipsychotics. These medications have been found helpful at managing symptoms and helping people with this condition be productive members of society.
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Is There A Cure For Psychosis
There is no cure for psychosis, but there are many treatment options. In some cases where medication is to blame, ceasing the medication can stop the psychosis. In other instances, receiving treatment for an underlying condition may treat psychosis. This is another reason why getting help for treating psychosis is important: discovering a potentially life-threatening medical problem.
Some people may only need short-term treatment. Others may need long-term treatment with antipsychotic medication. A doctor might recommend psychological therapy or addiction counseling. It depends upon the cause of the psychosis.
Limitations Of The Remission Concept In Schizophrenia
In their critique of the concept of remission, Reference Leucht, Beitinger and KisslingLeucht et al raised technical questions about measuring the time component in clinical trials. They also noted that the CGISCH severity score of not more than mild appears to be as stringent a measure in researchers’ hands as Andreasen’s Consensus Group criteria.
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Can You Recover From Schizophrenia
Is schizophrenia a life sentence or was Krapelin wrong?
When Emil Krapelin first described schizophrenia in 1898 he called it dementia praecox or premature dementia because he thought that it involved a progressive deterioration of the patients functioning over time. This view persisted for many years into the 20th century.
Dr Emil Kraepelin who first described schizophrenia in 1896.
We now know that this is not the case and that the receipt of a diagnosis of schizophrenia is not a life sentence to an existence of low achievement. 1 Many people who have suffered an episode of schizophrenia or even multiple episodes go on to recover a very high level of functioning and often to be able to re-join mainstream society.2
Rule of thirds and rule of quarters
For much of the 20th century psychiatrists thought of recovery rates from schizophrenia in terms of what was known as the rule of thirds. According to this rule of thumb about one third of those diagnosed with schizophrenia would recovery completely, a further third would be improved over time, leaving the remaining third who would not show any improvement.
With improvements in treatment methods and newer medications, this model was seen to be unrepresentative and doctors now tend to use another rule of thumb which they call the rule of quarters and which suggests the outcomes after 10 years from diagnosis.
Disparity between clinical and social outcomes in schizophrenia
Factors affecting the outcome in schizophrenia
Should Someone Try This Diet On Their Own
If you have schizophrenia or any serious disorder and are considering using the ketogenic diet as a treatment, I strongly recommend that you consult with a healthcare professional before trying this diet. Why? Because mental illnesses are serious disorders and sometimes dangerous. The medical version of the ketogenic diet has risks and side effects. You should have accurate information, help, and medical supervision to implement treatments in a safe and effective way. All of the patients described in all of these studies were treated by physicians while attempting the ketogenic diet.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this article is intended as medical advice. Anyone contemplating the ketogenic diet as a treatment for illness of any kind is urged to seek medical help from a competent medical provider trained in treatment of the underlying condition as well as the ketogenic diet therapy before initiating the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet induces significant metabolic changes which can impact medication metabolism, among other things. Individuals seeking treatment of any illness using the ketogenic diet will likely require additional support especially during the initial adaptation phase, and thereafter for the duration of treatment which can take years depending on a variety of factors. No doctor-patient relationship is created by this article, or by any responses to comments posted in this forum by Chris Palmer, M.D.
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When Should I See My Healthcare Provider
You should see your healthcare provider as recommended. You should also see them if you notice a change in your symptoms, such as symptoms getting worse even if youre taking your medication. You can also see them if side effects of your medication are causing disruptions in your life. Your healthcare provider can sometimes recommend alternative medications or treatments that might better treat your condition without causing those same effects.
When should I go to ER?
You should go to the ER or call 911 if you have thoughts about harming yourself, including thoughts of suicide, or about harming others. If you have thoughts like this, you can call any of the following:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline . To call this line, dial 1.800.273.TALK .
- Local crisis lines. Mental health organizations and centers in your area may offer resources and help through crisis lines.
- 911 : You should call 911 if you feel like youre in immediate danger of harming yourself. Operators and dispatchers for 911 lines can often help people in immediate danger because of a severe mental crisis and send first responders to assist.
What Treatments Are There For Schizophrenia
Experiences of schizophrenia will vary from person to person, as will the treatments that work best for them.
On this page you can find information on:
Can I recover from schizophrenia?
There isn’t currently a cure for schizophrenia. Some people find many of their symptoms get better with treatment, while others find that they stop for long periods or never come back. For other people schizophrenia is something they learn to live with long-term.
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Whats The Outlook For An Individual With Schizophrenia
The challenges facing people with schizophrenia are plentiful and often severe. But with proper treatment, some of the more severe symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, may be made more manageable.
Lifelong treatment is necessary and medication needs may change through the years. Dosages may have to be adjusted and certain medications may need to be changed, added, or subtracted, depending on how the individual responds.
A study in the journal Revista Colombiana de Psiquiatria suggests that about one in seven people with schizophrenia can achieve functional recovery. With no cure in sight, that means the majority of people with schizophrenia will have to deal with symptoms for the rest of their lives.
Schizophrenia should be considered a treatable disease, though the effectiveness of treatment can vary dramatically from one person to the next. Access to proper healthcare is essential, as is commitment to a treatment regimen.
Individuals who are reluctant or unable to take their medications regularly and follow through on other components of their treatment may need a family member or health aide to assist them. The severity of schizophrenia also varies, so expectations of symptom management and quality of life need to be tempered based on the nature of the individuals condition.
Does Schizophrenia Get Worse As You Age
For some people, schizophrenia symptoms and episodes may grow worse with time or age, particularly if they avoid treatment or professional help. However, when schizophrenia manifests at a younger age, symptoms and behavior are generally more extreme than with later-onset schizophrenia. That means if schizophrenia symptoms develop later in life, theyre generally less severe than when they develop at a younger age.
The most important thing to remember is that schizophrenia doesnt necessarily get worse with age. Preliminary research has found that individuals living with schizophrenia dont experience cognitive decline any faster than the general population. Psychosocial function may even improve with age, and most individuals experience improved quality of life as they grow older.
For people committed to recovery and following a medication regimen, a long-term balanced lifestyle is possible with preventative treatment, even as they grow older.
Are you or someone you care about struggling with symptoms of schizophrenia? Find out if PCH is the right place to find the help and hope youre looking for. Is PCH Right for You?
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The Views Of Service Users Carers And Psychiatrists
How do service users and carers view remission? In 2007, a survey sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry found that three-quarters of carers of people with schizophrenia thought that remission is a realistic treatment goal . Service users in another study felt that their health improved when they achieved remission. However, there has not been a study focusing on evaluating the usefulness of remission to service users. Some people may have a concern about the term remission, which is more familiar in connection with cancer treatment.
Critical psychiatrists may view remission as little more than another cog in a system of constructed false knowledge designed to sustain the power of professionals and the pharmaceutical industry . However, remission judged on the basis of symptoms is quite capable of showing the ineffectiveness as well as the effectiveness of drugs and other interventions. Psychiatrists might be concerned about using a measure that can demonstrate poor outcomes if they believe that this would lead to disinvestment in existing services. However, an alternative view is that poor outcomes could demonstrate the need for services to be improved rather than removed.
What Is The Difference Between Schizophrenia And Multiple Personalities
While the name schizophrenia does come from the Greek words for split and mind, none of the conditions under schizophrenia involve multiple personalities. Instead, multiple personalities fall under a condition known as dissociative identity disorder . That condition falls under the category of dissociative disorders.
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When Should I See My Doctor
Some people with schizophrenia do not realise they have a problem or avoid health professionals if they have paranoid thoughts. Its important to get professional help to manage schizophrenia. If you or someone you know seems to be experiencing signs of schizophrenia, see your doctor as soon as possible.
It can be hard to recognise signs of schizophrenia at first, but over time the changes in someones thinking and behaviour may get worse.
See a doctor if you or someone you know:
- gets very preoccupied with something
- starts talking or writing very fast, or is talking much less than normal
- seems muddled, irrational or is hard to understand
- withdraws from normal activities
- is hyperactive or starts behaving recklessly
- laughs or cries inappropriately, or cannot laugh or cry or express happiness
- doesnt look after their personal hygiene
- develops depression or anxiety
Although the majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent, severe symptoms can cause some people to have thoughts of suicide or harming others. If you think someone may be at risk of suicide or violence, call triple zero .
New Research Suggests Ketogenic Diet May Play A Role In Treating Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is usually a chronic, devastating disorder that causes tremendous suffering. It can ruin lives. Even with the best treatments available, symptoms and suffering often continue. An article that two colleagues and I just published April 6, 2019 in the medical journal Schizophrenia Research describes two patients with longstanding schizophrenia who experienced complete remission of symptoms with the ketogenic diet, a well-established, evidence-based treatment for epilepsy. Of particular interest in our research, both patients were able to stop antipsychotic medications and have remained in remission for years now. Though more evidence is certainly needed, this is extraordinarily hopeful news for those with this disorder and for the mental health professionals treating them.
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Therapy To Treat Schizophrenia
Therapy can help people with schizophrenia cope with their symptoms, identify early warning signs of relapse, manage stress, develop social skills, and distinguish between whats real and what isnt.
These are some of the forms of therapy that may be helpful in treating schizophrenia:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy , which can help the person identify hallucinations or delusional thoughts and prevent them from acting on them. For instance, someone who sees a hallucination of insects crawling across the wall can learn to realize that its probably not real if others in the room are not reacting to it.
- Family therapy, which can help family members cope with their loved ones condition and work together to care for the person and find practical solutions to day-to-day problems.
- Supportive therapy, which can improve the persons self-esteem, address negative thinking, and help them cope with challenges and stressors.
- Social skills training, which can help people build their social skills and be more confident.
- Art therapy, which can help people express themselves creatively and relate to others through artistic mediums.
- Support groups, which can help people connect with others who are living with the same condition.
What Conditions Fall Under The Schizophrenia Spectrum
According to the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition , the disorders in the schizophrenia spectrum are:
- Schizoaffective disorder.
- Catatonia is a syndrome that can include a lack of movement, unusual movements, unusual repetitive behaviors, not speaking and social withdrawal. It can also complicate schizophrenia, as well as other psychiatric and medical conditions.
- Other schizophrenia spectrum disorders . This diagnosis allows healthcare providers to diagnose unusual variations of schizophrenia.
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Complementary And Alternative Therapies For Schizophrenia
Several supplements have been shown to help reduce symptoms of schizophrenia. Still, these may affect each person differently. Its best to talk with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Its also important to keep in mind that research on these supplements is often very limited. Having results from only a few studies makes it difficult to draw clear conclusions about the supplements effectiveness for easing schizophrenia symptoms.