Schizophrenia is a chronic brain disorder that affects an individual’s emotional, auditory, visual, and decision-making ability. A person with schizophrenia finds it difficult to differentiate between his real experiences and imaginary experiences. It’s a serious illness as people die at an early age if they suffer from schizophrenia. But, the best part is that the disease is treatable. With proper therapy and medication, one can easily overcome the symptoms and lead a quality life in the long haul. There are traditional treatments available that involve high doses of medications. But, there’s a downside to this medication treatment. People are saddled with side effects like grogginess, weight gain, emotional numbing, and so on. So, most people are seeking other alternatives to schizophrenia treatment. There are a few other alternatives available but it requires an expert mental health doctor to treat the patient. Many people yield the benefit of talking to an expert psychotherapist during the treatment. However, a lot of people are unaware of what exactly schizophrenia is. Most people believe that it’s a personality disorder. So, let’s take a look at what exactly schizophrenia is before delving into the types of treatments available,
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental illness associated with the disruption in occupational, emotional, psychosocial, and cognition functioning. A person experiences hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, lack of motivation, and trouble with thinking when the disease is at its active stage. It’s not a personality disorder. People with schizophrenia do not showcase multiple personalities. Also, it affects both men and women equally. But, men tend to experience the early onset. There is no cure for this disease, but with the best treatment plan for schizophrenia, one can easily improve his condition. Also, doctors are leading to safer and innovative treatments to help people with schizophrenia. Let’s take a look at the best treatments available for this disease,
- Individual Psychotherapy
Individual psychotherapy involves the process of scheduled talks between the mental health doctor or psychiatrist and the patients. In this stage, the psychiatrist regularly talks with the patient, focusing on past problems, thoughts, experiences, feelings, and relationships. However, one must check whether the psychiatrist is empathic or not. Else, the patient may not feel comfortable talking with these experts. By sharing their words and experiences, a patient experiences a certain relief. On the other hand, it becomes easier for experts to understand the problems more deeply. They also figure out how to help these patients in terms of sorting out the real and unreal experiences. Individual psychotherapy is divided into two stages. This includes,
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy:CBT helps people to change their behavior and thinking. Therapists show these patients to deal with the hallucinations and voices. But, this process involves medication. By combining the medication and CBT sessions, doctors help to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.
- CET or Cognitive Enhancement Therapy:Cognitive enhancement therapy helps patients to improve their memory, attention, and cognitive abilities. It can be conducted through computer-based training to help the patients.
Psychosocial therapy is based on both vocational and social training. Patients learn to develop the skills that they need for living in a society, interacting with others, keeping a job, or moreover, leading a normal life. Generally, persons with schizophrenia often find it difficult to lead a normal life due to their symptoms. But, psychosocial therapy is deemed more useful than other types of therapies available. There are different types of psychosocial therapy available. This includes,
- Social Skills Training: In this session, the patients are taught how to develop their social interactions and communication. It helps them to live like any other healthy person in society.
- Self-help Groups:There are several self-help groups that organize peer-to-peer programs. During this program, the people who already overcome the symptoms of schizophrenia encourage others and provide guides to get rid of the disease.
- Family Education: It becomes easier for people to overcome schizophrenia symptoms when they get proper support at their home. But, most people are unaware of how they should take care of these patients. So, family education is provided by the doctors to make them educated about the disease and guide them to help others.
Electroconvulsive therapy is the process where the electrodes are attached to the patient’s scalp. Doctors give a small shock to the brain while the patients are in general anesthesia. It involves two to three treatments per week. Each session leads to the improvement in the thinking and mood of the patients. However, doctors prefer this treatment when medication doesn’t work on the patients.
These are some of the best treatments available for schizophrenia. The disease is not curable but the symptoms can easily be reduced. And, people can lead a normal life with proper treatments but it should be diagnosed and treated at an early stage.