Schizophrenia treatment may seem overwhelming, but taking some time to learn about your options will help you work with your doctor and find the right treatment for you. The efficacy of your treatment depends on a co-ordinated multiplicity of approaches, provided by a multidisciplinary team. As per well-published data, around one-third of the patients with schizophrenia are completely treatable.
Though the symptoms are reduced, another one third has to live with those. Unfortunately the last one third, even following complete schizophrenia treatment, has to experience the full burden of the disorder.
Anti-psychiatric drugs are the class of medications commonly used in schizophrenia treatment. These are drugs which are very effective in suppressing the negative symptoms, or alleviating the positive symptoms of this condition. These drugs also play a significant role in the prevention of their reoccurrence, and prevention of the occurrence of relapses. Not in everybody are these drugs effective, but these drugs are effective in the vast percentage of schizophrenic patients, at least to a certain degree. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that, this primary method of treatment is also associated with adverse effects. Of course, no one can deny the transformation in the schizophrenia treatment, developed by the introduction of chlorpromazine, which is in fact the first anti-psychotic drug introduced. There are basically two classes of anti-psychotic drugs namely, atypical and typical; and Risperdal, the generic name of which is risperidone; Zyprexa, and Seroquel belong to the atypical class. The only medication confirmed to be very efficient in the treatment of schizophrenia, not responding to other antipsychotic. Medications, is clozapine.
The older typical drugs may be effective in patients, not responding to newer medications. The mode of action of these antipsychotic medications is, through the inhibition of naturally occurring dopamine in specific brain pathways.
The schizophrenia treatment options in patients who are not willing or incapable to take medicines regularly: In such cases, long-acting depot preparations of antipsychiatic drugs can be administered once in two weeks to achieve adequate control. The only two countries with regulations which allows this type of administering medication by force on those who refuse, but are otherwise steady, living in the society, are America and Australia.
It is generally recommended that, you should avoid daily dietary supplementation of arginine more than 30 milligrams, in schizophrenic patients. Similarly, you can use omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplementation, with effective results. Based on a surveillance that, the effects of schizophrenia are eased by smoking tobacco, a recent proposal has been made for the use of nicotine patch as a schizophrenia treatment option.
You can experience certain adverse effects following the administration of these medications, which include; neurological side effects causing some muscle stiffness or tremor; alteration in appetite, making you hungrier. You can gain weight, as you eat more. This increased appetite along with endocrine malfunction, you can develop hyperglycemia(high blood sugar level), and you can potentially develop diabetes. Apart from these, you can also develop a spike in the cholesterol and lipids levels, which can in the long run result in cardiovascular disease. Hence, these schizophrenia treatment options have to be used with great caution, and only when they are genuinely essential, and the patients are under close supervision.
Electroconvulsive therapy :
is usually started, when the patient is becoming a hazard to himself or others. This therapy is indicated in patients who refuse to take meals and water; or in patients who are at high risk of suicide or homicide; or in patients withcatatonic symptoms. It is not a treatment option in drug resistant schizophrenic patients.
This in fact is, following an episode of Schizophrenia, somebody may have been hospitalized, where they may be capacitated for a duration of time. Then, how do you retrieve into your routine life? You just don’t go back to your school, or you don’t go back to your job, because it is not that easy. It is similar to if you happen to have a fracture in your leg, or if you have a heart attack, you don’t just start again doing what you are doing immediately. You have to undergo a course of rehabilitation. Similarly, you have to undergo a course for retrieval in the form of supported education to resume your school; or support in employment to resume your work.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, abbreviated as CBT is the ideal treatment option for schizophrenic patients, whose brain functions and mental processes are so damaged that they refuse to go back to school or job even with support. Recent research has revealed out the efficacy of CBT in such patients with psychotic symptoms. The next approach is cognitive remediation therapy. This involves undergoing a course of neuropsychological rehabilitation, under the supervision of a trained health professional or therapist. This uses a computer based system of performing exercise, which in fact could somewhat prepare your brain again. This provides you an understanding about the analysis of problems in daily living. This results in the progress of the earlier shortfalls in psychomotor speed, verbal as well as nonverbal memory, and executive functions, and these improvements can be measured by FMRI, as changes in brain activation.
Metacognitive training, abbreviated as MCT, is being recently adopted as a harmonizing method of schizophrenia treatment. MCT aims at creating awareness of patients for various types of cognitive preconceptions, for example, arriving at conclusions quickly without thinking, attributional preconceptions, over-confidence in mistakes, which are concerned with the development and maintenance of the positive symptoms in schizophrenia ; especially delusions.
Family therapy or family education, which deals with the whole family system of an individual who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, has been found over and over again, to be beneficial. This schizophrenia treatment option aims at educating the family about the best possible care which they can provide for their family member having schizophrenia. The moral support from the family of the individual plays a significant role in the management of these patients.
Recent research studies have investigated the possible advantages of music therapy, as well as other creative therapies, as other treatment options for schizophrenia.