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Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. In other words, this is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, and disturbances in thought, perception, and behavior requiring professional schizophrenia treatment. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality, which causes significant distress for the individual, their family members, and friends.

The symptoms can be persistent if schizophrenia is left untreated. However, effective schizophrenia treatments are available. Therapy can help patients affected to engage in school or work, achieve independence, and enjoy personal relationships when delivered in a timely, coordinated, and sustained manner.

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Beginning of Schizophrenia Illness

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is typically diagnosed in the late teen years to the early thirties and tends to emerge earlier in males than females. Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking, cognition, behavior, and emotions.

Gradual changes in thinking, mood, and social functioning often begin before the first episode of psychosis. Usually starting in mid-adolescence. Signs and symptoms may vary; however, they typically involve delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech, reflect an impaired ability to function and require schizophrenia treatment.

Symptoms of schizophrenia generally fall into the following three categories:

Firstly, Psychotic symptoms include altered perceptions like abnormal thinking and odd behaviors. People with psychotic symptoms may lose a shared sense of reality and experience themselves and the world distortedly. Specifically, individuals typically experience:

  • Hallucinations. These usually involve seeing or hearing things that do not exist. 
  • Delusions. These are false beliefs that are not based. For instance, being harassed.
  • Thought disorder, which includes unusual thinking or disorganized speech.
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Secondly, Negative symptoms refer to reduced or lack of ability to function normally. It includes loss of motivation, disinterest, or lack of enjoyment in daily activities, social withdrawal, difficulty showing emotions, and difficulty functioning normally. Specifically, individuals typically have:

  • Reduced motivation and difficulty planning, beginning, and sustaining activities.
  • Diminished feelings of pleasure in everyday life.
  • “Flat affect,” or reduced expression of emotions via facial expression or voice tone.
  • Reduced speaking.
We Level Up as a accredited Schizophrenia Treatment Center
We Level Up is an accredited Schizophrenia Treatment Center

Thirdly, Abnormal motor behavior may show in several ways, from youthful foolishness to unpredictable fear.

Furthermore, Cognitive symptoms include problems in attention, concentration, and memory. Specifically, individuals typically experience:

  • Difficulty processing information to make decisions
  • Problems using information immediately after learning it
  • Trouble focusing or paying attention

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Risk Factors of Schizophrenia Treatment

Certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. Firstly, a family history of schizophrenia can cause this disorder. Secondly, brain structure and function are the differences in brain connections and brain circuits seen in people with schizophrenia may begin developing before birth known as neurotransmitters. Thirdly, taking mind-altering drugs during teen years and young adulthood. Moreover, Schizophrenia treatment oftentimes is the only plausible long-term therapy that when applied early on can have improved results.

Schizophrenia Treatments and Therapies

According to WHO [1], schizophrenia is treatable. Treatment with medicines and psychosocial support is effective. There is clear evidence that old-style mental hospitals are ineffective in providing the treatment that people with mental disorders need and violate the basic human rights of persons with mental disorders.

Diagnosis of schizophrenia involves ruling out other mental health disorders and determining that symptoms are not due to substance abuse, medication, or a medical condition. The causes of schizophrenia are complex and are not fully understood, so current treatments focus on managing symptoms and solving problems related to day-to-day functioning. Determining a Treatment for schizophrenia may include:

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Antipsychotic Schizophrenia Treatment Medications

First, antipsychotic Schizophrenia treatment medications can help reduce the intensity and frequency of psychotic symptoms. The goal of treatment with antipsychotic drugs is to effectively manage signs and symptoms at the lowest possible dose. They are usually taken daily in pill or liquid forms. Some antipsychotic medications are given as injections once or twice a month, which some individuals find more convenient than daily oral doses. 

The psychiatrist may try different drugs, quantities, or combinations over time to achieve the desired result. Patients whose symptoms do not improve with standard antipsychotic medication typically receive clozapine. Also, people treated with clozapine must undergo routine blood testing to detect a potentially dangerous side effects in 1-2% of patients. 

Because medications for schizophrenia treatment can cause serious side effects such as weight gain, dry mouth, restlessness, and drowsiness when they start taking these medications, people with schizophrenia may hesitate to take them. Willingness to cooperate with treatment may affect drug choice. For instance, someone who is resistant to taking medication consistently may need to be given injections instead of taking a pill. Suddenly stopping medication can be dangerous and make schizophrenia symptoms worse. People should not stop taking antipsychotic medication without talking to a health care provider first.

Shared decision-making [2] between doctors and patients is the recommended strategy for determining the best type of medication or medication combination and the right dose. Moreover, you can find the latest information on warnings, patient medication guides, or newly approved medications on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)[3].

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Psychosocial Schizophrenia Treatment

Second. Psychosocial Schizophrenia treatments can be helpful for teaching and improving coping skills to address the everyday challenges of schizophrenia. They can help people pursue their life goals, such as attending school, working, or forming relationships. Moreover, individuals who participate in regular psychosocial treatment are less likely to relapse or be hospitalized. In addition, these newer, second-generation medications are generally preferred because they pose a lower risk of serious side effects than do first-generation antipsychotics. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral skills training, supported employment, and cognitive remediation interventions may help address the negative and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. A combination of these therapies and antipsychotic medication is common. 

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Second-generation antipsychotics include:

  • Cariprazine (Vraylar)
  • Clozapine (Clozaril, Versacloz)
  • Iloperidone (Fanapt)
  • Aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • Asenapine (Saphris)
  • Brexpiprazole (Rexulti)
  • Quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal)
  • Ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • Lurasidone (Latuda)
  • Olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • Paliperidone (Invega)

First-generation antipsychotics include:

  • Haloperidol
  • Fluphenazine
  • Perphenazine
  • Chlorpromazine

These antipsychotics are often cheaper than second-generation antipsychotics, especially the generic versions, which can be an important consideration when long-term treatment is necessary.

Some antipsychotics may be given as an intramuscular or subcutaneous injection.

  • Fluphenazine decanoate
  • Haloperidol decanoate
  • Aripiprazole (Abilify Maintena, Aristada)
  • Risperidone (Risperdal Consta, Perseris)
  • Paliperidone (Invega Sustenna, Invega Trinza)

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Family Education and Support

Educational programs for family members, significant others, and friends offer instruction about schizophrenia symptoms, treatments, and strategies for assisting the person with the illness.

Schizophrenia Treatment Specialty Care

Coordinated specialty care is a general term used to describe recovery-oriented treatment programs for people. The person with early psychosis and the team work together to make treatment decisions, involving family members as much as possible. Compared to typical care for early psychosis. In conclusion, CSC is more effective at reducing symptoms, improving quality of life, and increasing involvement in work or school. A team of health professionals and specialists deliver CSC, which includes psychotherapy, medication management, case management, employment and education support, and family education and support. 

Psychosocial Interventions from Schizophrenia

In addition, to continuing medication, psychological and psychosocial interventions are important. These may include:

Firstly, social skills training focuses on improving communication and social interactions and the ability to participate in daily activities.

Secondly, vocational rehabilitation and supported employment. This focuses on helping people with schizophrenia prepare for, find, and keep jobs.

Thirdly, family therapy. This provides support and education to families dealing with schizophrenia.

In conclusion, individual therapy or psychotherapy may help to normalize thought patterns.

At the We Level Up Treatment Center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. All work as a team giving schizophrenia treatment for successful recovery. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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Sources

[1] www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/schizophrenia – Schizophrenia (who.int)

[2] https://www.samhsa.gov/brss-tacs/recovery-support-tools/shared-decision-making – Shared Decision-Making Tools | SAMHSA

[3]https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-approvals-and-databases/drug-trials-snapshots-vraylar-treatment-schizophrenia – U.S. Food and Drug Administration (fda.gov)