Treatment for Schizophrenia

Do You or Someone You Love Need Schizophrenia Treatment?

Schizophrenia is an intense mental disorder that results in severe behavior changes.  If you or a loved one has been suffering with schizophrenia, you have likely discovered first-hand the difficulties associated with this disease and the challenge of living with this mental health condition.  Schizophrenia disorder involves behavioral disturbances, that can be debilitating physically, psychological, and socially.  An individual with schizophrenia may suffer with delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, lack of emotional responses, and social dysfunction.  While some of these symptoms could be a result of another mental health disorder and if signs of disturbance are active for more than a month, it may likely be schizophrenia.  Only a health professional or schizophrenic treatment center can be qualified to effectively diagnose and treat this mental health condition.  Because schizophrenia involves many different subtypes, complexities, and a wide range of symptoms, it is important that you seek the help and support from a schizophrenia treatment center for guidance in your healing journey.  If not addressed adequately, a schizophrenia disorder can negatively affect the various aspects of your life, preventing you from living to the fullest potential you may have. Having professional treatment during this time can promote healing and offer guidance so that the effects of schizophrenia are minimized.

Treatment Plan for Schizophrenia

A schizophrenia disorder treatment team will approach this mental health condition comprehensively to address the various needs and concerns involved.  This will entail an interdisciplinary approach, through the networking of health professionals who are specialized in dealing with the various aspects of schizophrenia, such as licensed therapists, and medical providers, as well as loved ones alike.  Your support team will consist of loved ones, a therapist, a schizophrenia healing program, and a support group. These four components will contribute tremendously to your ability to manage schizophrenia:

  • Loved ones – Loved ones will play a significant part in the healing process and cannot be undervalued. They will provide support and help when therapy and treatment becomes challenging.
  • Licensed counselor – A licensed counselor will be able to create a personalized schizophrenia treatment program. They are also important in making the arrangements to enter a schizophrenia treatment facility.
  • Search for a schizophrenia disorder treatment facility – A schizophrenia treatment program will assist with working through any physical or psychological issues that are present. It will also assist in addressing any ongoing co-occurring issues.
  • Join a support group – It is imperative that a support group is joined due to the insight and direction they can provide. In order to prevent the ending of therapy and taking medications, the group can offer much needed help. The support group is essential in maintaining healing.

Treatment Levels for Schizophrenia

Treatment for schizophrenia disorder will typically involve a combination of medicinal treatments and psychotherapy which can be managed in a variety of settings based on the need of a man, woman, adolescent, or child.  The following are common levels of care for schizophrenia treatment, in order of acuity:

  • Inpatient / Hospital Treatment – Continuum of care for 24 hours per day in a hospital setting. The primary focus of this level of care is medical and psychological stabilization with stays less than three weeks.
  • Residential Treatment Center (RTC) – This kind of facility provides the patient an extended overnight stay for 30 to 90 days. An RTC will focus on the main issue and any other co-occurring concerns that may also be present.
  • Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP) – This type of program is frequently held in a hospital or residential setting and includes attending groups and individual therapy sessions. It normally goes five days a week either all morning or all afternoon, but there are some PHPs that will go Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment Level (IOP) – This level of outpatient care provides intense assistance and individual services. It allows the patient to participate either in morning or afternoon sessions while continuing some every day functions.
  • Outpatient Management Programs (OP) – This kind of schizophrenia disorder facility can provide the patient with a regimented therapy schedule with greater flexibility.  Sessions are varied to include individual, family, and group therapy.
  • Groups of Support – Support groups provide supervision and direction to prevent relapse. The guidance they offer is key in effectively managing a mental disorder.

Types of Pharmacological Therapy for Schizophrenia Treatment

Medicinal therapy can be a helpful part of managing the symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly acute psychosis.  Several types of medications may be used to treat schizophrenia disorder, including the following:

  • Antipsychotic drugs, which may be effective in reducing the risk of a future psychotic episode
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Mood-stabilizing medications

Types of Therapy for Schizophrenia Treatment

Various forms of psychotherapy may serve as effective treatments for managing some schizophrenic symptoms.  A schizophrenia treatment center will likely apply several meaningful modes of psychotherapy techniques to encourage wellness in the suffering individual, as well as support and further insight for their families and loved ones.  The following are the main types of psychotherapies that may be used for the treatment of schizophrenia:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – This level of treatment works toward changing maladaptive thinking patterns so the patient can modify their behavior in a positive way. This also allows negative coping skills to be replaced with positive coping skills.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) – This version of behavioral therapy combines aspects of IBT and CBT behavioral therapy for emotion regulation. Mindful awareness and stress management elements are merged into this treatment.
  • Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) – The level of therapy provided by IPT centers upon the interpersonal connections and community functions utilizing brief supportive treatment and also tries to assist the person to better resolve existing situations and troubles. The four main parts acknowledged by IPT are role changes, relationship shortcomings, unresolved grief, and role disputes.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) – This type of cognitive behavioral treatment uses mindfulness and acceptance approaches mixed in multiple ways with strategies of commitment and behavior-change. This should enhance the emotional and mental flexibility.
  • Family Therapy – A form of psychotherapy that focuses on the intimate relationships within families or couples.  Therapies are based on the premise that involving family members in the process will ultimately benefit the patient’s health and healing.
  • Supportive Programs – This includes groups such as support groups, group therapy, family therapy, etc.  The support these programs offer to those suffering with schizophrenia is invaluable to their healing and wellness.

You can obtain the help you desire to manage schizophrenia by simply reaching out for the support and resources you need. Though it is a difficult decision to seek treatment and ask for necessary help, you are choosing to create a new beginning for yourself or your loved one, which will ultimately create a positive impact in your life.  While schizophrenia has likely caused you to suffer painstakingly throughout this process, you no longer need to bear this burden alone.  By seeking out the available help offered through a qualified schizophrenia treatment center, you can start to put the pieces of your life back together again. A schizophrenia treatment center can be one of the most important aspects to helping you get started on the right track towards mental health healing and wholeness.  Consider taking the first step towards healing today and access the resources available on Addiction Hope to get started on your recovery journey.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 15th, 2013
Published on, Substance Abuse Treatment Guide