Schizophrenia & Other Psychotic Disorders
What is the treatment for schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is usually diagnosed by a psychiatrist. Other mental health professionals usually participate in the completion of a comprehensive mental health evaluation to determine individualized treatment needs.
Specific treatment for schizophrenia will be determined by your physician based on:
- your age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the disease
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric illness. Treatment for schizophrenia is complex. A combination of therapies is often necessary to meet the individualized needs of the individual with schizophrenia. Treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms associated with the disorder. Types of treatment that may be helpful to an individual with schizophrenia may include:
- medications (also called psychopharmacological management; to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia), including the following:
- neuroleptics - a specialized class of medications used to treat schizophrenia. Neuroleptics are used primarily to treat the pervasive, intrusive, and disturbing thoughts of a person with schizophrenia. They are designed to help minimize the severity of delusions and hallucinations the individual is experiencing.
- antipsychotic medications - a specialized class of medications used to treat schizophrenia. These medications act against the symptoms of psychotic illness, but do not cure the illness. However, they can reduce symptoms or reduce the severity of symptoms.
- individual and family psychotherapy (including cognitive and behavioral therapy)
- specialized educational and/or structured activity programs (i.e., social skills training, vocational training, speech and language therapy)
- self-help and support groups