How can Schizophrenia be Treated?
During an episode of schizophrenia, the patient may require
Neuroleptics or Anti-psychotic Drugs are highly effective in dealing with schizophrenia. These medicines change the chemical balance in the brain and can help control symptoms. Some of these symptoms can normally be brought under control in a matter of days; others in weeks. Usually, few months may be required to achieve a fully stabilized condition.
Clozapine is tried when schizophrenia does not improve with several antipsychotics. It is the most effective medication for reducing schizophrenia symptoms, but it causes more side effects than other antipsychotics.
Schizophrenia is a life-long illness and most people with this condition need to stay on antipsychotic medication for lifetime.
Symptoms of chronic schizophrenia, such as depression and apathy do not respond well to medications.
Supportive therapy involves teaching of skills such as:
- Managing medication
- Learning to socialize
- Handling finances
- Getting a job
- Using public transport
Ideally, in-patient programs should be linked as much as possible with appropriate community-based programs to provide a continuing pattern of care.
Supportive therapy has positive outcomes in most people with schizophrenia. Along with the patient, the family members should also be educated about the disease and offered support.