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Schizophrenia - Treatment Overview

Finding out that you have schizophrenia can be scary and hard to deal with. But you can treat it.

The goals of treatment and recovery are to:

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Schizophrenia and Relationships

Penny Frese, PhD, was studying fine arts at Ohio University when she met her future husband. They saw each other for several months, and she noticed he avoided talking about anything personal. "We took a walk in a park, and it was toward the end of summer -- a gorgeous, beautiful day. I confronted him about not being totally honest … and he said he had had a 'schizophrenic break.'" For some couples, that might have been the end. Frese went to the library and read up on schizophrenia. She learned...

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  • Reduce or stop symptoms.
  • Reduce the number of relapses.
  • Develop a personal plan for your recovery by setting and meeting goals for home, work, and relationships.

Medicines help your symptoms. And counseling and therapy help you change how you think about things and deal with the illness.

If medicine and therapy aren't helping you, your doctor may suggest electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). In this procedure, your doctor uses electricity to create a brief and mild seizure. This may change your brain chemistry and help your symptoms.

If you struggle with alcohol, drugs, or tobacco or have other mental health problems, such as depression, you need to treat these problems too.

Treatment may last a long time, and the need to follow a recovery plan usually lasts for your lifetime. Your treatment and recovery plan may change as your experience of schizophrenia and your life change.

Most people with schizophrenia qualify for health care programs such as Medicare or Medicaid. To find out whether you qualify, check with your local health and welfare agency.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 31, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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