It is important that schizophrenia is diagnosed as early as possible, because the chances of recovery are much greater the earlier it is treated. The most effective treatment for schizophrenia patients is usually a combination of medication and psychological counselling.
Anti-psychosis drugs have made a great difference in schizophrenic patients’ lives, allowing them to lead a much more normal life than before. Compliance (that is, following the medication regimen) is a major problem in the treatment for schizophrenia. You may be tempted to go off your medication for long periods, at huge personal cost to yourself and to those around you as well.
You must continue taking medication even when symptoms are gone, otherwise they will come back. Successful schizophrenia treatment comes from a life-long regimen of both drug and therapy. The medication can help control your hallucinations and delusions, but it cannot help you to learn to communicate with others, get a job, and thrive in society. If you have schizophrenia and comply with the treatment regimen, you will be able to lead a happy and productive life.
Sometimes you may experience side effects when you start taking these medications. Most side effects go away after a few days and often can be managed successfully. These include:
Therapy and counselling help you to deal with everyday challenges of the illness, such as difficulty with communication, self-care, work, and forming and keeping relationships. Learning and using coping mechanisms to address these problems can allow you to socialize and attend school and work.
Receiving regular psychosocial treatment can also make you more likely to keep taking your medication, and less likely to have relapses or be hospitalized. Therapists can help you to better understand and adjust to living with schizophrenia. They can also provide education about the disorder, common symptoms or problems you may experience, and the importance of staying on medications.