Schizophrenia And How It Can Be Treated
Schizophrenia can be terrible for both the patient as well as their family members and friends. People suffering from schizophrenia cannot express their feelings and emotions properly. Their speech becomes incoherent, and they find it difficult to complete tasks. To sum it up, patients diagnosed with this mental illness find it difficult to function socially and lack cognitive-thinking. It becomes a big impairment in their lives and hampers their work as well as personal lives. It is a serious mental condition that should be treated because patients might feel suicidal at an advanced stage. As if that is not enough, patients are often socially stigmatized which adds to the stress and depression common in this kind of mental illness.
It has been found that schizophrenic patients often get the disorder genetically. But other social, biological, or psychological factors cannot be ruled out. The good news is that almost two-thirds of patients being treated for schizophrenia recover remarkably and can live a normal life. If this mental disorder is identified in its early stages, then chances of recovering are better.
Let’s take a look at the various kinds of psychotherapy available for schizophrenia.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavior therapy can help a lot in reducing hallucinations and internal voices that often plague the lives of schizophrenic patients. With the right kind of medications along with therapy sessions, the patient might see considerable improvement. With time, this kind of treatment will help the patient identify what triggers their delusions. Avoiding those triggers will help them lead a better and normal life. Basically, this kind of therapy will help the patient change their thought process as well as behavior, and that will further help them lead a healthier life.
Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET)
This kind of therapy helps schizophrenics identify social triggers and improve their attention and memory. It also helps them find effective ways to reorganize their thoughts and communicate better. It involves computer-enabled training program as well as group therapy sessions. The group sessions would further help them in establishing social connections, something they fail to do normally otherwise.
As the name suggests, this is a one-on-one therapy session between the patient and a therapist regarding steps that the patient can follow to deal with their thoughts and hallucinations. Instead of keeping things from them, doctors prefer making the patient aware of their situation as well as help them distinguish between what is real and what’s not. This would further help the patient in their everyday life.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy is often used to treat people with severe clinical depression. Patients suffering from schizophrenia are also treated with ECT. This is one of the fastest ways to treat those who are suicidal or are suffering from severe mania. Sometimes, schizophrenic patients suffer from a condition called catatonia. In this condition, the patient’s body becomes immobile. There are several other mental disorders where patients can face a similar condition, and ECT works well in these conditions. But it is more effective for mood disorders.
Once the patient starts responding to the psychotherapy, it is time to start other kinds of therapy in order to improve their social skills. Psycho-social therapy can help immensely in this regard. Apart from helping establish a social reconnection, this also makes them aware of rehabilitation. Rehab can aid them with job counseling, finance management, and problem-solving, among others. It also makes the patient’s family aware of the condition and teaches them how to form a strong support network for their loved one. Having a supportive family often plays a key role in recovery.
Even after the therapy sessions are over, patients are encouraged to take part in community programs and outreach care. This will not only be a way to constantly and surely improve their social skills but will also enable them to help other people going through the same stages. Look for Peer to Peer programs so that you can assure someone who is suffering that they will be okay someday. Patients can also benefit from Coordinated Specialty Care or CSC. In this program, they get medication as well as psychotherapy. They are also provided all kinds of help regarding employment. The family of the patient is also involved in the program. Whatever happens, things will get better, and help will always be there.
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