Treatment Options

Types of treatment

Medication

Medication for the treatment of schizophrenia is called antipsychotic medication. The available medications can be broadly split into two groups depending on their route of administration: oral (daily) and long-acting intramuscular (injectable) antipsychotics.

Real life insights

Working with your doctor to choose the right treatment is an important step on the road to recovery, find out how the right treatment choice made a big difference to the lives of these people living with schizophrenia, and their friends and family.

To watch more videos on the impact schizophrenia can have on friends and family.

Psychological and Psychosocial Therapy

In addition to medication, you may be offered psychological and psychosocial interventions.[1] These therapies can further help to relieve your symptoms and allow you to get back to everyday life.[2]

There are 5 main approaches to psychosocial intervention:[2]

Cognitive Therapy[3][2]

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you to think about how you see yourself, other people and the world around you. It also looks at how actions can affect your thoughts and feelings. CBT can help to change how you think (‘cognitive’) and what you do (‘behaviour’), helping you to feel and cope better.

Psychoeducation[3][2]

Psychotherapy is the verbal treatment of emotional and mental disorders. Sharing experiences with a trained and empathetic person, by talking about your experiences with someone who has been specially trained, may help you to gradually understand more about yourself and discover ways to manage your condition.

Family Education[3][2]

People with schizophrenia can often be discharged from hospital into the care of their family. If this happens to you, it is important that your family or carers learn all they can about schizophrenia to understand the difficulties and problems that can be associated with the condition. It is also helpful for family members to learn ways to minimise your chance of relapse, for example, family intervention can help your whole family develop patterns of behaviour which will help them to understand you and support you better.

Social Skills Training[3]

Sometimes, people living with schizophrenia can struggle with social situations, which can lead to a stressful environment. Social skill training looks at helping you to recognise, understand and react to different social situations. This in turn helps with communication and lets you re-integrate into your community.

Assertive Community Treatment[3][2]

People living with schizophrenia who struggle to engage with other people may find assertive community treatment (ACT) beneficial. It involves a high level of exposure to different people in different situations, including at home and in a supervised care environment.

Some of these approaches may be more suitable for certain people than others, and not all people living with schizophrenia find these options helpful. It is important to gain advice about the best approach for you and how it will work alongside the other treatments you are receiving.

A treatment should help you achieve goals that you feel are important

CP-298122

References

National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Psychosis and schizophrenia in adults: prevention and management. 2014. CG178.
APA Clinical Guidelines. American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guidelines for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. 2004.
Harrigan et al. Psychol Med 2003; 33: 97–110.
Bottlender et al. Schizophr Res 2003; 62: 37–44.
Weiden et al. Psychiatr Serv 2004; 55: 886–891.
Robinson et al. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1999; 56: 241–247.
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