Schizophrenia is a disease that can have crippling effects on people’s lives. This disease is defined as a condition where reality is perceived abnormally.
Side effects of schizophrenia can include unwarranted behavior, delusions, inappropriate emotional responses, hallucinations, lack of motivation, and incoherent speech. For years, the way of treating patients with schizophrenia included prescribing them strong anti-psychotic drugs in order to stop symptoms from being expressed.
Unfortunately, these drugs often introduce side effects that can be quite difficult to deal with such as weight gain and tremors. Although some patients are able to live and cope happily while on the higher doses of the prescription pills, around three-quarters of people stop taking them within a year and a half due to unbearable side effects.
For some, the side effects will be minimal and bearable compared to the alternative of not taking them, but for others, the side effects can make like be. This is why it is so important that further research has been done to find other ways to allow patients to live their lives without debilitating side effects.
The newest research done on schizophrenia treatment in the United States, which will be published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, includes lowering doses and focusing instead on one-on-one talk therapy, as well as general support from family and friends. Many have seemed to benefit from this new finding, especially when treatment begins shortly after diagnosis, which usually occurs around age twenty-five.
Researchers found that there were three main steps when using this new finding to treat patients. The first involved helping them consider options in terms of schooling and work, and decide which situations would be the most appropriate and beneficial while undergoing treatment.
The second step was to educate family and friends on the disease so they could provide better support. Lastly, one-on-one therapy took place between patients and therapists, which helped to provide an outlet, combat drug abuse, and manage symptoms.
Although it has not been proven that lower dosages and more one-on-one therapy leads to better results, it does seem to offer better outcomes in comparison.