If you are diagnosed with schizophrenia, your doctor will most likely recommend antipsychotic medications as treatment. These medications include, Prolixin (Fluphenazine), Thorazine (Chlorpromazine), and Haldol (Haloperidol) amongst many others. Though these medications have been proven to be effective, they do come with side effects. This may include nausea, restlessness or seizures. Another side effect that results from the prolonged use of antipsychotics is Tardive Dyskinesia.
Tardive Dyskinesia is a disorder in which you experience random movements of the face and sometimes of the limbs. They include unintentional lip smacking, eye blinking, chewing motion in the jaw, and the waving of the arm(s).
With this in mind, your doctor may suggest non-drug therapies. In fact, according to a 2015 study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, low doses of antipsychotic medication accompanied with a team-based, coordinated intervention can result in a more effective treatment for people with schizophrenia, if detected early enough.
Here are some examples of non-drug therapy methods:
- Self-help groups: Self-help groups are professional therapist-free places where you will meet people that are experiencing the same symptoms and situations as you are.
- Rehabilitation programs: These aim to help schizophrenia patients function better in the community. They may include communication training, money management, and job counseling.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: In this type of therapy, your therapist will help you change your thinking and behavior. Specifically, the therapist may teach you how to test your thoughts or perceptions against reality. You may also learn how to ignore the voices in your head.
- Family therapy: Going to a therapist with members of your family included will allow your family to develop problem-solving skills and coping mechanisms that better your interactions with them. This will also allow your family to know and understand the depth of your schizophrenia.
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