Treatment of schizophrenia is a set of measures aimed at combating this disease. Schizophrenia is an endogenous mental disorder and with inadequate therapy it can progress. This disease debuts usually in adolescence and is most often manifested by disturbances in thought processes, behavior and consciousness, the appearance of hallucinations and delusions. This disease affects both children and adults, however, children's schizophrenia is much less common. As a rule, the disease manifests itself in both men and women, but the stronger sex is predisposed to an earlier onset and development of pathology. The most difficult to diagnose such a disease in adolescents, there are cases of mental disorders in pregnant women.
Is schizophrenia treatable? How do people live with such a diagnosis? What to do when you find symptoms of a disease in yourself or a loved one? Who to contact in such cases? What is the standard treatment for schizophrenia? Is it possible to completely and permanently get rid of this disease and how long does the treatment last?
Where is the best treatment: in state clinics or abroad? Answers to these and many other questions can be found by reading the proposed article.
Schizophrenia Treatment Methods
To cure a disease such as schizophrenia, complex therapy is usually used, including stopping, stabilizing and supporting methods. In addition, medicine does not stand still, and various ways and means are being devised every day to defeat this disease.
In order to overcome schizophrenia, drug therapy, non-drug treatment, psychotherapy, treatment of hypnosis, cytokines, as well as non-traditional and folk remedies are used: urinotherapy, herbs, hunger, electricity, stem cells, homeopathy, LSD, bioenergy, and even the use of this energy. .
In severe cases, patients with schizophrenia are treated in hospital. Sometimes, with manifestations of negative symptoms, consisting in aggression and hostility towards oneself and other people, compulsory treatment of such patients is shown in specialized clinics.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to completely overcome this disease at the moment, but with timely, long-term and qualified treatment, you can stop the course of the disease, restore the ability to work and human activity in society, remove the negative symptoms, prevent the development of subsequent psychoses and thus achieve sustained remission.
The treatment of schizophrenia is traditionally divided into the following stages:
- Stopping therapy to relieve an exacerbation or an attack of psychosis.
- Stabilizing therapy is used to maintain the results obtained. The main objective of this treatment is to remove the positive symptoms of schizophrenia of various types: hebephrenic, paranoid, resistant and others.
- Supportive therapy aimed at preventing relapse and maximizing the time of the next psychosis.
This is how any type and form of the disease is treated: acute, simple, psychopathic, catatonic, neurosis-like, sluggish, teenage and other types of schizophrenia.
Let us dwell in more detail on the various, most common ways of dealing with such a disease, and examine what the most effective treatment of the disease is.
The most relevant treatment for this disease today is traditional therapy. It includes pharmacotherapy and surgical treatment of schizophrenia.
Of course, such a severe psychotic disorder cannot be cured with antibiotics and vitamins. The following groups of drugs are used to treat schizophrenia: antidepressants, antipsychotics, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants.
A list of the most common drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia is given in the table below.
|Tradename||Active substance||Pharmaceutical Group|
|Azaleptin||Clozapine||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Haloperidol||Haloperidol||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Kogitum||Acetylaminosuccinate||Drugs that have a tonic effect on the central nervous system|
|Risperidone||Risperidone||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Amisulpride||Amisulpride||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Quetiapine||Quetiapine||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Trisedil||Trifluoperazine hydrochloride||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Mazeptil||Thioproperazine||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Meterazine||Meterazine||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Triftazin||Trifluoperazine hydrochloride||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Moditen||Fluphenazine Decanoate||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Piportil||Pipotiazin||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Melipramine||Imipramine||Monoamine oxidase inhibitors|
|Valprokom||Sodium Valproate, Valproic Acid||Anticonvulsant Medicines|
|Depakin||Valproic acid||Anticonvulsant Medicines|
|Aminazin||Chlopromazine||Antipsychotic, neuroleptic drugs|
|Diazepam||Diazepam||Soothing medicines, tranquilizers|
Conventional antipsychotics and atypical antipsychotics are used to relieve acute attacks of psychosis, the former being used mainly in cases where the latter are ineffective. In the treatment of schizophrenia, both tablets and injections are used. Classic neuroleptics are usually prescribed for severe schizophrenia. With their help, catatonic, undifferentiated and hebephrenic schizophrenia is treated. When paranoid take Trisedil. If such drugs are also ineffective, then continue treatment with Haloperidol, which effectively relieves the productive symptoms of the disease: delusions, hallucinations, agitation. This medicine can not be bought without a prescription, so any prescription of antipsychotics and other drugs produces only the attending physician.
Metarazine is used in paranoid schizophrenia with pronounced delirium, Triftazin is used for unsystematized delusions, and Moditen, Piportil and Clozapine are drunk for obvious impairments of speech and brain activity. Also, in case of strongly pronounced negative symptomatology, Azaleptin is used for medication.
It is necessary to drink these drugs within four to eight weeks from the beginning of the attack, after which the schizophrenic should be transferred to milder drugs.
Often, when treating this disease, you may need a sedative. Along with antipsychotic drugs, Diazepam is used, Quetiapine is used for acute manic psychosis, Klopikson is prescribed for treating schizophrenia caused by abstinence syndrome during alcoholism or drug addiction, and if during attacks there is unmotivated aggression and anger, it is best to turn to a medicinal drug for this drug, a drug will be a medicinal drug, and if it is present unresponsive aggression and anger during an attack, then you should go to a drug, a drug, a drug, a medic, then a drug will be used to treat a schizophrenia. like Aminazin.
Schizophrenics are often susceptible to depressive conditions, and therefore anti-depressants are used in the complex treatment of such a disease. At the same time, Venlafaxine, which is a good anti-anxiety agent, and Ixel, which removes the dreary condition, have proven themselves well. If such drugs turned out to be ineffective, then more powerful agents are used - heterocyclic antidepressants - Amitriptyline and Melipramine. However, they are much worse tolerated by patients. There are cases of treatment schizophrenia Todikampom.
In manic-depressive psychosis, anticonvulsants Valprokom, Depakine, and Lamotrigine are well helpful. Also in such cases, lithium salts are also used, but when taking them, care should be taken because they interact poorly with neuroleptics.
Psychosurgery in schizophrenia has long been irrelevant. Lobotomy treatment - an operation to excise the frontal lobe of the brain has become rare in our time. Although in 1949, the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine was awarded to the Portuguese doctor Egache Moniz for the discovery and implementation of such a controversial method of therapy. But the condition of the patient after such operations performed on the brain was irreversible, therefore such treatment was applied only in extreme cases when other methods of therapy were ineffective. For example, in case of depression and anxiety, as well as pain, which could not be removed with pharmacological agents and drugs.
However, the fight against schizophrenia surgically was soon forbidden, as new and better advanced treatment methods appeared, and besides, lobotomy entailed many complications and unsatisfactory results.
In addition to traditional therapies, various nontraditional methods are often used to treat schizophrenia, especially they are effective in cases where the patient is resistant to pharmaceutical drugs: antipsychotics, antidepressants and antipsychotics. That is, a person is resistant to the effects of such drugs and drug therapy does not bring any result. Let us dwell in more detail on the most common methods of alternative therapy.
Electroconvulsive therapy, otherwise known as electroconvulsive therapy or ECT, formerly known as electroshock therapy, is one of the methods of psychiatric treatment in which electric current affects the brain, causing a large epileptic seizure. Before carrying out such a procedure, the patient must give written consent. This method can be used only in cases where other methods of treatment have not yielded any result. Such therapy for minors is strictly prohibited.
This is a rather complicated procedure, which is put on a par with surgical operations. Extreme intervention in the patient's brain entails serious negative consequences and side effects, one of which is complete memory loss. Other adverse reactions include:
- attention disorder;
- the impossibility of processing incoming information;
- violation of brain activity;
- inability to consciously analyze.
When electroconvulsive therapy, the patient is prescribed general anesthesia. After the end of the course of treatment in some cases it is possible to conduct supporting ECT.
Lateral physiotherapy is a method in which a depressive, manic, catatonic state, along with delusions and hallucinations, is stopped by stimulating some specific points on the patient’s body that are associated with hemispheres of the brain with electric current. Thus, the neurons are reloaded, and as a result of breaking off the incorrectly formed unnatural connections, a lasting therapeutic effect is achieved. Such a procedure is applied in short courses and is most often used to enhance the treatment with medical preparations.
Psychotherapy, along with social therapy, is one of the indispensable treatments for schizophrenia. Work with a psychotherapist is aimed at restoring the cognitive abilities of a patient who has had an attack of the disease, his social function, training him in the possibilities of dealing with such a disease, as well as at rehabilitating the patient. It is used only after complete relief of acute psychosis, as one of the types of post-thrust therapy.
Several types of psychotherapy are used to treat schizophrenia:
- cognitive behavioral therapy;
- family therapy;
- psychoanalysis methods;
- cognitive training.
The principles of psychoanalysis in the treatment of this disease are one of the most controversial methods, the effectiveness of which many experts argue to this day. However, the results of a single meta-analysis suggest that psychoanalytic therapy, even without medical intervention, is as productive as traditional antipsychotic medication. Such a study provides an opportunity to hope that psychotherapy will be a panacea for those patients who do not want to take neuroleptics, those whom they do not help sufficiently, as well as those who receive therapy from a doctor who prefers not to use treatment with medication, or use it in small quantities.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to reduce the negative symptoms of this disease, such as impaired thought processes and memory, decreased concentration, suppression of the will and emotional rigidity. This type of treatment is aimed at improving the patient's self-esteem, instilling in him social and professional communication skills that allow him to work and live a normal life without experiencing fears and panic, or other unpleasant feelings. Thus, cognitive-behavioral therapy is largely focused precisely on enabling a person suffering from schizophrenia to develop a position in life that would allow him to avoid strong feelings and suffering. Currently, it has been proven that the use of CPT has significantly reduced the frequency of possible recurrences of psychotic episodes in patients with schizophrenia, and even its superiority over supporting psychotherapy in mental disorders.
Cognitive training is used to combat impaired cognitive abilities, often present in this disease: memory, attention, and others. This method of therapy is based on neuropsychological rehabilitation techniques, and the results of treatment testify to its immaculate effectiveness, which is confirmed by functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain.
The principles of family therapy are aimed at teaching relatives and friends of schizophrenic patients how to behave with a patient, at improving family relationships and eliminating problems that may cause a relapse of the disease. Relatives of a person suffering from schizophrenia learn to manage communication skills, behavior in stressful situations, which eliminates criticism and over-care of the patient.And the patient himself is proved the necessity of his own responsibility for his life and health.
Today, in psychotherapy, various creative forms of treatment of schizophrenia are gaining direction, such as: treatment with music, communication, sleep or hypnosis, creativity, or art therapy. But data on the effectiveness of such treatment is very controversial: in some cases it is said about the possible benefits of this therapy, in other works its unproductive and ineffective results are noted.
Acupuncture treatment for schizophrenia has come to us from China, where there are many different clinics that use this technique. The essence of this method is the impact on the brain of a sick person by pressing on certain points on the body. For these purposes, the main points are used, which are located in the center of the upper lip, as well as on the crown, and auxiliary points located in the center of the nose bridge between the eyebrows and in the place where the sternum ends.
Acupuncture has become no less popular in the treatment of schizophrenia, at which the specialist acts on certain points that greatly affect the central nervous system with the help of long, thin needles. These points are responsible for human behavior, his thought processes, aggression, and depressive state.
No matter how simple this method of therapy may seem, using it at home is strictly prohibited. Treatment should be carried out only by a qualified specialist, especially since today there are many such centers throughout the world, and many see them as a chance to get rid of mental disorders.
Physiotherapy and balneological treatment are also good in the recovery-remission period of schizophrenia. Balneotherapy includes treatment with mineral waters, irrigation and washing of the intestines, carrying out inhalations and therapeutic drinks, including showers, various baths, therapeutic bathing in the pool.
With such procedures, the general well-being of the patient is significantly improved, his psycho-emotional background increases, the work of various organs and systems is restored.
Treatment of schizophrenia with fasting was first used in 1938, and since the sixties of the last century it has gained momentum. This technique has proven to be more useful for patients with a hypochondriac form of the disease or sluggish schizophrenia. The standard version of this treatment was carried out in two stages:
- unloading, in which you must completely refrain from eating food for fifteen to twenty-five days;
- dietary recovery.
Before such a procedure, it was imperative to clean the intestines, for which enemas were used, and after that - a general bath, therapeutic massage and a shower. After it was allowed only to drink water and it was possible to go for a walk. At night, the patient was offered broth hips. And such a regime was maintained throughout the first stage.
The transition to the second stage was also carried out gradually. At first they introduced liquid food, predominantly carbohydrate, and took it within three to five days. After the diet was supplemented with fruit juices and grated fruit, then it was replenished with fermented milk products, liquid cereals, vinaigrette, nuts. By the end of the second period, the caloric intake reached 4,200 kcal. The duration of the second stage was exactly the same as the first stage of fasting.
However, it should be noted that currently there is no evidence of the effectiveness of this method of treatment in medical practice.
Treatment with insulin, or rather with insulin coma, or with a glypoglycemic coma, is one of the methods of treating schizophrenia by administering large doses of insulin, causing an artificial hypoglycemic coma.
The main indications for such therapy are hebephrenic and catatonic forms of schizophrenia, with a pronounced hallucinatory-delusional syndrome. ICT largely has an antidepressant effect, reduces emotional and volitional impoverishment, reduces the effects of autism. Especially its use is indicated in cases where the patient cannot, for whatever reason, take antipsychotics and antidepressants.
However, there have been cases in medical practice where the use of this therapy in simple schizophrenia led to a significant worsening of the disease instead of the expected improvement.
During the period of remission of the disease, the patient can be treated at home with folk remedies. Recipes of traditional medicine, involving the use of various medicinal herbs help to cope with anxiety and aggression, to relieve a convulsive effect, to overcome depression and to calm the patient.
The following herbs are used as a treatment: motherwort, comfrey, valerian, hop, woodberry, peony, reseda, oregano and others.
A recipe for poppy and milk has long been used against drying out of the brain. To do this, it is necessary to consecrate poppies in the church, throw one tablespoon into a thermos, and then add boiling milk there. To insist on this mixture should be within two hours, and then drink, without straining. Take this infusion should be in the morning and evening for three to five days.
To relieve aggression and anger, you can use the following recipe. Two hundred grams of flowers resedy pour half liters of any vegetable oil. Put insist in a cool place for two weeks, preferably in a dish of dark glass. Shake the infusion daily. The resulting oil should be in the morning and in the evening to rub into whiskey. The duration of such therapy is unlimited.
A decoction of comfrey will help against hallucinations. To do this, pour a teaspoon of medicinal herb with a liter of water and bring to a boil over high heat. After boil ten minutes on a small one. Infusion should be infused within an hour, and the resulting remedy should be drunk throughout the day. The duration of therapy is ten days, after you need to take a two-week break, and if necessary, repeat the treatment.
Stem cell application
Stem cell therapy gives fairly good results for schizophrenia. One of the causes of this disease may be the death or pathological changes in the neurons of the brain. And due to the introduction of stem cells into the hippocampus, regeneration and replacement of dead neurons occurs. To carry out such therapy is possible only after the withdrawal of an acute attack of psychosis during the recovery period. This treatment significantly prolongs the remission of the disease.
Features of inpatient treatment
Hospitalization of a schizophrenic patient in a hospital is carried out in order to save the patient from the progression of the disease, and his psyche from further decay. This is especially true for patients under the influence of delusions and auditory hallucinations, which are dangerous both for themselves and those around them.
In addition, it is quite important to distance the patient from the place where he developed an attack, strictly speaking, to change the negative situation for him. In the hospital, he will be monitored 24 hours a day and 24-hour medical assistance and support will be provided.
This necessary measure will also help the relatives and friends of schizophrenic to prepare for further outpatient treatment of the patient at home after relieving an acute attack of psychosis.
Is it possible to treat schizophrenia on an outpatient basis?
Before stabilization and normalization of the state during a psychotic attack, the patient is hospitalized. It takes about four to eight weeks, depending on the severity of the patient’s condition. Subsequent treatment is outpatient at home. The main condition for such treatment is that the patient will have someone who can monitor compliance with the doctor's prescriptions: relatives or guardians. If the patient refuses to take drugs, will show aggression or anger, it should be taken to a specialist. Such a condition may mean the onset and development of an attack of psychosis, therefore, a medical consultation should be prompt.
Treatment of schizophrenia abroad involves the use of advanced techniques and technologies aimed at getting rid of this disease. They include the latest generation of antipsychotic and sedatives of the last generation, working with experienced psychologists who are able to greatly facilitate the adaptation of the patient in society, which helps him to return to normal life as soon as possible. The best in this regard are clinics in Israel and Germany. Strong specialists in the treatment of this disease are also in Switzerland, the UK and France.
Duration of treatment
Conventionally, the course of the disease can be divided into four stages with different durations:
- Relief of acute psychosis. It is treated in a hospital. The duration of treatment is between one and three months.
- Supportive Therapy Such treatment can be carried out at home, on an outpatient basis or in day hospital conditions. The duration of this stage is from three to nine months.
- Rehabilitation stage. Regenerative therapy lasts from six to twelve months.
- Relapse prevention. This stage can last for years and take the rest of your life. In this case, there are two methods of treatment: continuous and intermittent. The continuous treatment regimen is more reliable, but it has many side effects. In turn, the intermittent scheme is less costly, it rarely causes complications, but its reliability is significantly reduced.
Hospitalization for schizophrenia can be either voluntary or without the patient’s consent. Compulsory treatment is necessary in the case when the patient denies that he has the disease and does not agree to go to the hospital, but there is a danger of harm to himself or to the people around him. The following symptoms are necessary for non-voluntary hospitalization:
- appearance of imperative hallucinations;
- delusional states;
- unmotivated aggression and anger;
- depression with suicidal tendencies;
- attempted suicide.
In any of these conditions, it is necessary to immediately call emergency care and hospitalize the patient in the hospital to relieve attacks of psychosis and normalize the condition.
Who to contact
With the development of schizophrenia or the presence of obvious symptoms of the occurrence of this disease should immediately contact a psychiatrist or your doctor, who will refer to a narrow specialist.
Chance of a cure
Fully cure such a disease as schizophrenia at the moment is impossible, however, the prognosis for this disease is most favorable in cases where the disease manifested itself at a later age. It should also be noted that the attack of psychosis, which passes with vivid emotional experiences, will be shorter and sharper. Such attacks are best treated and are characterized by long-term remission.
Statistics for schizophrenia are:
- complete remission is observed in about twenty-five percent of patients;
- periodic recurrences of psychosis occur in thirty percent of patients, but during the rest of the time, patients can fully serve themselves and live a normal life;
- Twenty percent of patients require constant care and care, as they are not able to look after themselves and maintain themselves, while they often have bouts of psychosis, which requires long-term treatment in a hospital.
Also, half of all people with schizophrenia make suicide attempts, and about ten to fifteen percent of them end in death.
Consequences if untreated
Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that, without prompt and qualified treatment, can lead to the following serious consequences:
- development of dementia;
- death in the case of suicide or in the form of hypertoxic disease;
- complete change of patient's personality;
- the presence of multiple mental defects;
- complete isolation from society.
Schizophrenia is a serious and dangerous disease, for the treatment of which an integrated approach is necessary, including drug treatment, psychotherapy and some alternative treatment methods. Unfortunately, there is really no chance to recover from such an illness, but with timely and adequate therapy, it is possible to achieve stable and prolonged remission without repeating bouts of psychosis. To do this, should the first symptoms of the disease immediately seek the help of a specialist. Self-treatment in such cases leads to serious and serious consequences.