In spite of successful antipsychotic drug treatment, many people with schizophrenia have difficulty with thinking, motivation, activities of daily living, relationships, and communication. Also, since the illness typically begins during the years critical to education and professional training, people with schizophrenia often lack social and work skills and experience. In these cases, the psychosocial treatments can be especially important. Many useful therapies have been developed to assist people suffering from schizophrenia and include:
Individual psychotherapy: This involves regular sessions between the patient and a therapist focused on past or current problems, thoughts, feelings, or relationships. Thus, via contact with a trained professional, people with schizophrenia become able to understand more about the illness, to learn about themselves and to better handle the problems of their daily lives. They become better able to differentiate between what is real and, by contrast, what is not and can acquire beneficial problem-solving skills.
Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation may include job and vocational counseling, problem solving support, social skills training, and education in money management.
Cognitive Remediation: This is a form of behavioral treatment often using paper-and-pencil exercises and drills or a computer-based series of exercises that aims to help people with schizophrenia strengthen and develop existing cognitive skills and develop new, more effective strategies for managing problems with attention, memory, planning, and organization.
Family education: Research has consistently shown that people with schizophrenia who have involved families fare better than those who battle the condition alone. Insofar as possible, all family members should be involved in the care of a loved one. with schizophrenia.
Self-help groups: Community care and outreach programs are very helpful in avoiding relapse, non-compliance, legal problems, and repeat hospitalizations.The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is an outreach organization that offers information on treatments and support for people with schizophrenia and their families.
There is no test that can make a schizophrenia diagnosis. People with schizophrenia usually come to the attention of a mental health professional after others see them acting strangely.
Doctors make a diagnosis through interviews with the patient as well as with friends and family members.
Psychiatrists have the most experience with diagnosing schizophrenia. A psychiatrist or other licensed mental health professional should be involved in making a schizophrenia diagnosis whenever possible.