Symptoms of schizophrenia affect the day-to-day lives of people living with the disorder and treatment is an ongoing requirement, especially where a person shows severe symptoms that may include positive and negative symptoms.
Called positive symptoms as they are highly exaggerated ideas and perceptions experienced by a person diagnosed with schizophrenia and include:2
- Delusional behaviour
- Disorganised thinking and speech
- Extremely disorganised or abnormal motor behaviour that may present itself in numerous ways and may include behavioural abnormalities such as childlike silliness or unpredictable agitation.
- Resistance to instructions
- Inappropriate or bizarre posture
- Complete lack of response
- Useless or excessive movement patterns
Called negative symptoms because the person diagnosed lacks normal, mental functions such as:2
- Neglect of personal hygiene
- Lack of emotion
- Lack of expression
- Loss of interest in daily activities
Treating schizophrenia the right way
The symptoms of schizophrenia vary from person to person, which is why it’s so important to seek help from a healthcare professional. Some treatment options recommended by healthcare professionals may include:3
Depending on the severity of symptoms, a healthcare professional will recommend daily, oral medication, which will be an effective symptom management solution. The disadvantages include,
- The person may be reluctant to take daily medication, which could result in their symptoms becoming more aggressive.
- They may quit the medication once their symptoms lessen, believing they no longer require treatment. This may cause symptoms to reappear with a higher frequency.
These are administered by a healthcare professional and are effective in managing symptoms of schizophrenia for longer periods. The advantages of injectables include:
- Healthcare professionals track the progress of treatment and symptom management.
- By managing symptoms for up to 30 days, it reduces the possibility of a person resisting treatment and relapsing to symptoms that may result in self-harm.
Therapy sessions work hand-in-hand with medication, and gives the psychologist an opportunity to accurately assess symptoms. Should the symptoms become more aggressive, the supporting psychiatrist may recommend a higher dosage of medication. Other benefits include,4
- A psychologist addresses the symptoms with a person, educating them how to manage delusional thoughts and hallucinations.
- Medical professionals report a higher recovery rate with effective symptom management.
Schizophrenia treatment options have come a long way thanks to research and development from pharmaceutical companies. Each treatment option works differently, for different people, which is why a support system and complementary therapy is necessary. To truly help someone living with schizophrenia, caregivers should have a good understanding of the disorder and how to better impact positive change in the lives of their loved ones living with schizophrenia.5
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354443 – Last accessed
- https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/article/39/5/962/1926273 – Last accessed 30/09/2020
care. – Last accessed 28/10/2020