What Is Coordinated Specialty Care For Schizophrenia
A 2016 RAISE study, published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that early intervention after the onset of a first episode of psychosis with a coordinated, team-based approach and low doses of antipsychotic medication resulted in more effective treatment for people with schizophrenia.
This team approach is known as coordinated specialty care.
A coordinated specialty care team may include clinicians, therapists, and case workers with experience in the following areas:
Other therapies for schizophrenia may include these options:
Cognitive behavioral therapy You’ll meet with a therapist to work on your thinking and behavior.
The therapist may teach you how to test the reality of your thoughts or perceptions, and help you develop ways to ignore the voices in your head.
Peer support groups These are safe places where you can meet people who are going through the same things as you. Professional therapists are usually not involved.
Family therapy This involves seeing a therapist along with members of your family.
It’s important that your family knows as much about your schizophrenia as possible. Therapists can help your family develop coping strategies and problem-solving skills.
Rehabilitation These programs can include job counseling, money management, and communications training.
Rehabilitation emphasizes skills that can help people with schizophrenia function better in their communities.
Can Schizophrenia Be Cured
There is no cure for schizophrenia as yet however, treatment can significantly reduce the symptoms. Schizophrenia can be treated with a combination of medication and therapy, says Deepak D’Souza, MD, a psychiatry professor at Yale School of Medicine.
Schizophrenia can be managed just like other chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis, says Dr. DSouza.
Since the causes of schizophrenia arent fully understood, treatment is currently focused on reducing the symptoms and improving day-to-day functioning. Research is underway to develop safer and more effective treatment modalities that can also address the causes of the condition.
Treatment for schizophrenia lasts years and may even be lifelong, says Dr. DSouza. He says recovery in schizophrenia can vary. For instance, he explains that some people may achieve a high degree of recovery and their symptoms may go away completely, allowing them to lead productive and fulfilling lives whereas others may be functionally impaired or have residual symptoms.
Diagnosing the condition and treating it early can help improve treatment outcomes. If left untreated, schizophrenia can persist and become disabling.
Preventing And Managing Complications
Another important part of managing schizophrenia is recognizing and dealing with the complications it can cause. All of the challenging symptoms can contribute to secondary problems, like suicide, self-harm, financial problems, academic difficulties, substance abuse, depression and anxiety, social isolation, and even being the victim of a crime or becoming homeless.
Only treating the condition does not necessarily help a person with schizophrenia live their best life. Anyone with this mental illness should be screened for other mental illnesses and substance use disorders and get treatment as needed. Family support is also crucial in helping manage or prevent some of these complications. Having family to live with, financial support, and a social support system can reduce the risk of negative behaviors, like self-harm, and can help a person maintain a job or get through school.
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Can Schizophrenia Be Treated
Yes. The main types of treatment are counseling and medicines to lessen or stop psychotic symptoms. Medicines will control psychotic symptoms in most people. In milder cases of schizophrenia, medications may not be needed. Medicines can:
- Lessen or stop hallucinations
- Help the person tell the difference between hallucinations and the real world
- Lessen or stop false beliefs
- Lessen feelings of confusion
- Help the person think more clearly
Lessening of these symptoms can help the person resume his or her normal lifestyle and activities. Medicines for schizophrenia need to be taken regularly, even after symptoms are gone. Some people with schizophrenia will stop taking their medicine because they believe the medicine is no longer needed, or they dislike the medication’s side effects. Psychotic symptoms often return when medication is stopped. Do not stop taking medicine without the advice of your healthcare provider.
Discuss any concerns you have about side effects with your healthcare provider.
Treatment Begins With Diagnosis
Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, treatment can be very effective and makes a big difference in the life of someone living with this disruptive condition. The first step to getting the best treatment is to get an accurate diagnosis. There are five categories of symptoms used to diagnose schizophrenia:
- Hallucinations. Hallucinations are sounds, voices, images, or sensations that a person believes are real but arent actually there.
- Delusions. Delusions are false beliefs that cannot be changed by facts or logic.
- Disorganized thoughts and speech. Thoughts jump from one thing to another very quickly, resulting in difficulty communicating and speech that doesnt make sense to anyone else.
- Disorganized behavior. Disorganized behaviors may include aggression, agitation, acting childlike, or anything else unusual.
- Negative symptoms. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia may include decreased emotional affect or response, lethargy, or even catatonia, showing no emotions or expression and barely moving.
In order to be diagnosed, a person must have at least two of the above symptom types, and one of those must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech. The symptoms must be prevalent for at least a month at a time, cause significant problems in a persons life, and cannot be better explained by another condition or a medication or drug.
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Treating Schizophrenia With Medication
It can be easy to assume that any medication is a cure for an illness, but this isnt always true. With schizophrenia the medications used to treat it help to manage symptoms, but they do not cure the condition. Even though they do not provide a cure, they have an important role to play and help many people with schizophrenia get relief. Therapy alone is not enough to treat schizophrenia.
The medications used for schizophrenia are called antipsychotic drugs. These drugs are thought to work by acting on the neurotransmitter in the brain known as dopamine. They help relieve symptoms but can also cause side effects. The goal of using antipsychotics to treat schizophrenia is to use the lowest dose possible or the smallest combination of drugs that manage symptoms. Some patients may have to try more than one medication, or a combination of drugs, before settling on treatment that gets results with the fewest side effects.
Antipsychotics include first and second generation medications. The first generation drugs generally cause more side effects, but they are also less expensive. Second generation antipsychotics are generally preferred, as they come with less risk of serious side effects. Examples of second generation antipsychotics used to treat schizophrenia are:
Nutrition: Low Sugar Low Fat / Gluten Free Diet
Nutrition can play a huge role in improving mental health. If your brain is getting the nutrients that it needs, cognition and other mental processing tends to be enhanced. Most studies show that diets high in sugar and saturated fat tend to worsen symptoms and long-term prognosis among individuals with schizophrenia. It is hypothesized that high levels of sugar and saturated fat cause the brain to produce less BDNF . BDNF aids in the formation of neural connections and increases are considered beneficial for brain functioning.
Other nutritional research has shown that there may be a link between schizophrenia and celiac disease or gluten-intolerance. There have been small findings that show genetic gluten intolerance have a three-fold risk of developing schizophrenia. Although not many people end up with gluten allergies, it is hypothesized that a gluten and/or wheat free diet could be a beneficial at reducing both the symptoms and severity of schizophrenia.
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Schizophrenia Myths And Facts
- Schizophrenia is not caused by bad parenting, childhood trauma, poverty, street drugs or alcohol
- Schizophrenia is not contagious
- Schizophrenia is very different from dissociative disorder
- Schizophrenia is no ones fault
- People who experience schizophrenia have a higher risk of suicide. In one study, 20-40% of people with schizophrenia attempted suicide and 5% of people with schizophrenia completed suicide, so all talk of suicide should be taken seriously
Symptoms Associated With Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia can have long-standing implications for your emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. As most cases of schizophrenia begin during the teenage years, which itself is a transitional phase characterized by emotional, intellectual, and behavioral changes along with erratic mood swings, these symptoms are often lost in the confusion or dismissed as teenage tantrums.
The symptoms associated with schizophrenia do not present uniformly among all patients. In some cases, you might get a clear inkling that all is not well due to conspicuous symptoms, whereas others may only reveal schizophrenic traits when they start expressing their thoughts.
Besides variations in the type of symptoms, the way they manifest also differs from person to person. In addition, the symptoms can be exacerbated by stress and lack of coping skills.
The symptoms of schizophrenia are broadly classified into the following categories depending upon their inherent nature:
Symptoms can become worse without proper treatment and can be more difficult to treat with a patient that is not compliant with treatment.
Some of the common symptoms include:
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More Evidence Of The Ketogenic Diet For Schizophrenia
While inspiring, these two case reports arenât the first of their kind. They join a growing body of evidence supporting the use of the ketogenic diet in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia in 1965
In 1965, ten women hospitalized with schizophrenia who were already receiving medications and electroconvulsive were also placed on the ketogenic diet for a month. The researchers reported that their symptoms improved after two weeks on the diet, but then returned back to their baseline level of symptoms after the diet was stopped.
Schizoaffective disorder in 2017
In 2017, I reported two other cases of schizoaffective disorder improving significantly on the ketogenic diet. Schizoaffective disorder is a diagnosis that includes both a mix of schizophrenia and a mood disorder, often bipolar disorder. One man and one woman, both in their 30s, had suffered treatment-resistant schizoaffective disorder for years. On the diet, their symptoms were greatly improved, and they both lost significant amounts of weight. Off the diet, their symptoms returned.
Schizophrenia in Ecuador
Schizophrenia in mice
In 2015, researchers conducted a study of the effects of the ketogenic diet in a mouse model of schizophrenia. Studies exactly like this are used in the development of new antipsychotic medications. The ketogenic diet was found to normalize the mouse behaviors associated with schizophrenia, indicating an antipsychotic effect.
What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia
Each person may feel symptoms differently. These are the most common symptoms:
False beliefs not based on reality
Seeing, hearing, smelling, or feeling things that are not real
Disorganized speech and behavior
Feeling like someone or something is out to get them
Withdrawal from others
Inflated self worth
These symptoms can make it very hard to function in the world and take care of yourself. People with this illness are usually not violent.
The symptoms of schizophrenia may look like other problems or mental health conditions. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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Vitamins B6 B12 Popular Natural Remedies For Schizophrenia
You can also incorporate vitamin B as part of your schizophrenia natural treatment plan. Some research shows that niacin can aid with delusions and paranoia, which can be very beneficial for schizophrenia patients. Particularly if you are suffering from schizophrenia and has a low deficiency of vitamin B, incorporating vitamin B can show drastic results.
A study conducted on schizophrenia patients shows that a combination of psychotic medications and vitamin b can prove to be very beneficial. Some common sources of vitamin B include nuts, eggs, and meat.
How To Help Manage Symptoms
1. Dietary Alterations
Like all conditions, schizophrenia onset is affected, in part, by what a person eats. There is evidence, for instance, that celiac disease may be a precipitating factor for the illness. Having excessive free radical damage and not enough antioxidants circulating is also connected to a higher risk of schizophrenia.
Another dietary risk factor for symptoms of schizophrenia is poor metabolism of essential fatty acids . Two fatty acids, arachidonic acid and DHA, are much lower in patients suffering from schizophrenia and may be increased by some antipsychotics, one possible reason these drugs decrease symptoms.
However, a diet for schizophrenia mirroring what we already know about treating food as medicine will be beneficial for maintaining lower weights and overall health but it may not help to treat the condition.
For example, a 1999 clinical trial observed participants with schizophrenia eating and supplementing their diet based on food sensitivities and nutrient deficiencies. After five months, patients had improved the blood levels of their nutrients, but no direct symptoms of schizophrenia.
There are some impressive case studies that suggest keto might be a revolutionary natural treatment for schizophrenia. Among the most popular are cases of two women and one man with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder who experienced a drastic reduction in all symptoms of schizophrenia while following the diet. 30063-4/abstractâ rel=ânofollowâ> 35, , )
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What Causes Schizophrenia
There’s no one cause for schizophrenia. It does not happen because of poor parenting or a bad upbringing. Although stress can trigger or worsen symptoms, stress does not cause schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain. It most likely develops from a mix of factors that may include:
- A defect in certain chemicals in the brain that control thinking and understanding.
- The person’s genetic make-up
- A defect in how the brain forms a person’s personality.
Who Gets Schizophrenia
Although not as prevalent as other well-known mental disorders, schizophrenia continues to be a pressing mental health issue nonetheless.
Of all the 23 million patients reported globally, the incidence of schizophrenia appeared to be higher among males than females . However, on closer inspection, it was found that this was largely due to the fact that the problem begins to show earlier in men than women.
Thus, even though schizophrenia is equally common in both genders, the onset differs to a certain degree. Men are prone to develop this condition in their late teens or early 20s whereas women may exhibit initial symptoms in their 20s or early 30s. The sooner the symptoms appear, the more severe the course of illness is likely to be.
Thus, teens and young adults together form the highest-risk demographic for schizophrenia. Very rarely though, children above the age of 5 can exhibit schizophrenic symptoms as well. Conversely, once a person is past 45, he/she is unlikely to develop this condition at all.
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How Do They Work
The medication in many LAIs is also available in oral form. Instead of a daily pill, LAIs slowly release medication into the bloodstream. When these medications are manufactured as injectables, theyre mixed with a liquid solution like water.
A healthcare professional will inject the medication into one of your muscles. The LAI will dispense in your body over time. This medication will remain in your body longer than medications taken orally.
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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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.
Is There A Cure
There is no known cure for schizophrenia, but the outlook for people who have this illness is improving. There are many ways to treat schizophrenia, ideally in a team approach. These include medication, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, and social services, as well as employment and educational interventions. Psychiatrists, primary care doctors, psychologists, social workers, and other mental health professionals are crucial in helping people with schizophrenia and their families explore sources of treatment. The earlier treatment is sought, the better the outcome. With treatment, many people with schizophrenia can recover to the point of living functional, rewarding lives in their communities.
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