The best treatment for schizophrenia is always the one that best matches your treatment goals. And schizophrenia treatment goals are unique, but often include items like:
- Relief from symptoms
- Maintaining independence
- Minimizing side effects of treatment
- Providing a higher level of safety
This list is not exhaustive, and many people with schizophrenia have different goals when entering treatment. But regardless of what motivates you, finding the best treatment for schizophrenia can make all the difference in your life.
The latest treatment for schizophrenia uses multiple methods to address mental illness and can help you or your loved one accomplish these goals and achieve recovery. Seeking help at a psychiatric treatment center will connect you with a team of psychiatrists, counselors, and physicians who will work with you to help you overcome your challenges and restore your quality of life.
Schizophrenia is a serious, lifelong mental illness. And as of yet, there is no cure for schizophrenia. But the good news is that treatments are effective at improving quality of life and helping people to manage their symptoms.
Age of Onset
Although people can be diagnosed with schizophrenia at any age, symptoms typically appear in early adulthood. This usually happens in the early 20s for men, and late 20s or early 30s for women. The symptoms of schizophrenia take many forms, and people can have any number of them. Common symptoms include:
People with schizophrenia can hear, see, or smell things that can’t be perceived by others. This often includes hearing voices or seeing people that aren’t there. But even though these things cannot be experienced by other people, they are very real to a person experiencing schizophrenia.
Delusions refer to false beliefs that do not change when presented with new facts or information. For example, one delusion might be that a celebrity is secretly in love with the individual. To an outside observer, delusions may sometimes seem like paranoia or belief in conspiracy theories. Delusions and hallucinations are both referred to as positive symptoms of schizophrenia.
The negative symptoms of schizophrenia cause a loss of interest or motivation for everyday activities. This could appear as depression, a diminished ability to express emotion, or slowed and distorted speech.
The cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia cause people to struggle with memory and organization. They may:
- Switch rapidly between topics while talking
- Forget to complete everyday tasks
- Leave tasks half-finished
People with schizophrenia may also show a lack of insight into their disease. Since their symptoms feel like reality to them, it’s easy to dismiss other people as the ones with the problem. Unfortunately, this can make it harder for them to receive the best treatments for schizophrenia.
The Best Treatments for Schizophrenia
Ultimately, what constitutes the “best” treatment for schizophrenia will come down to the individual. But certain treatments and therapies that are evidence-based and proven can often provide help along the way to recovery. And regardless of what your schizophrenia treatment goals are, you can rely on these treatment methods to help you reach them.
Medications to Treat Schizophrenia
Antipsychotic medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia. Medications such as Risperdal and Zyprexa have been shown to reduce both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia by up to 40%. In addition, these medications have mild side effects, which can make them more helpful in reaching one’s schizophrenia treatment goals.
Not everyone responds to medications the same way, and some people need to try several medications before finding the right one for them. But ultimately, the best treatments for schizophrenia typically include these medications. During treatment, a psychiatrist meets regularly with their patients to:
- See how medications are working
- Discuss any side effects
- Adjust the dosage
- Try different medicines that could be more helpful
In this way, each patient’s medications are individualized, and specific side effects are addressed.
Behavioral Treatment for Schizophrenia
Many people with schizophrenia benefit from services such as cognitive behavioral therapy, community engagement, and recreational therapy. When seeking treatment at a psychiatric hospital, clinical staff work with their patients to achieve independence while helping them manage the symptoms of schizophrenia. This includes:
- Developing a daily routine
- Working with patients to accomplish activities of daily living
- Training patients with schizophrenia to manage their symptoms
- Fostering independence and providing safety in the community
- Engaging in activities that the patient finds personally meaningful
The goal for behavioral treatment is to enable the person with schizophrenia to live their lives as they see fit without endangering themselves or others. While some people may always need support to manage their symptoms, the goal of treatment is for people with schizophrenia to be as independent as possible.
Treatment Options for Schizophrenia
Treatment options for schizophrenia vary in the level of services offered. Treating schizophrenia is always done with the goal of stepping down in care, allowing people as much independence and freedom as they are prepared to take on. At Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital, we offer four levels of care for our patients with schizophrenia:
Crisis Care Services
As its name implies, crisis care services are intended to support people in crisis. People who are fearful that they may harm themselves or others, are engaging in self-destructive behavior, or are experiencing a mental health breakdown can come to our crisis care program for help. This program is designed to provide a peaceful respite from the overwhelming nature of mental illness and provide a space for patients to begin to heal.
Adult Psychiatric Program
The adult psychiatric program is our inpatient treatment option for people with schizophrenia. Generally, inpatient treatment is recommended when people are first seeking care for schizophrenia, have more severe symptoms, or need the safety provided by constant support.
Inpatient treatment allows our clinical staff to provide around-the-clock care and closely monitor treatment progress. Among all treatment options, this is one of the best treatments for schizophrenia. This is because inpatient programming can greatly benefit the recovery process for people with severe mental illness, as our clinical team will have a better understanding of each individual’s symptoms and medical needs.
Dual Diagnosis Program
Our dual diagnosis program is designed to help people who have a substance use disorder alongside schizophrenia. With nearly 50% of people with schizophrenia having a co-occurring substance use disorder, there is a great need for programs that can treat both disorders simultaneously. Dual diagnosis care can improve mental health outcomes in both domains, making it a highly effective treatment option.
Intensive Outpatient Program
The intensive outpatient program is best suited for people who are managing their symptoms of mental illness well on their own but still need regular support from psychiatric professionals. Less restrictive than our other programs, people attending intensive outpatient treatment can return home after receiving care for the day.
The Best Treatment for Schizophrenia at Baton Rouge Behavioral Hospital
When you or a loved one are ready to start receiving the latest treatment for schizophrenia, we’ll be ready to help. Reach out to our admissions professionals at 225-300-8470 or ask your questions online. The best treatments for schizophrenia vary by the individual, but we are ready to meet you where you are to progress your recovery.