Can Schizophrenia Be Cured?
Schizophrenia is a severe and chronic mental illness. People suffering with schizophrenia may experience hallucinations, disordered thoughts, disorganized speech, and departures or breaks from reality.
Can Schizophrenia be cured? No. There is no cure.
Although schizophrenia cannot be cured, it can be successfully treated.
There are treatments effective in helping manage symptoms, allowing someone with schizophrenia to live a more normal life. A combination of medication and therapy is the most effective treatment, and although most people who get treatment see improvements, schizophrenia requires ongoing, lifelong management.
The Right Treatment Begins with a Proper Diagnosis
The first step in getting the best treatment is to get an accurate diagnosis. Mental health professionals primarily use five symptoms to diagnose schizophrenia:
- Delusions or beliefs that are not based in reality. This might present as believing someone is out to hurt you, or that certain gestures or comments were directed at you, or that someone is following you, or that a catastrophe is about to occur.
- Hallucinations or seeing and/or hearing things that don’t exist. While hearing voices is the most common example of hallucinating, any of the senses can become involved.
- Disorganized thinking and speech. Communication becomes impaired, and answers to questions may become a confused or unintelligible mixture of seemingly random words and phrases—sometimes this is referred to as a word salad.
- Disorganized behaviors which may include aggression, agitation, acting childlike, or anything else unusual.
- Associated negative symptoms or take-aways, such as a lack of emotion, monotone speech, blank facial expressions, a loss of interest in everyday activities, social withdrawal, or a neglect of personal hygiene.
In order to be diagnosed, a person must exhibit at least two of the above symptom types, one which must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech, all of which cannot be better explained by another condition or a medication or drug.
While medications are very important in treating schizophrenia, patients also benefit from therapy, lifestyle changes, social support and self-management.
Medications are useful in helping someone suffering from schizophrenia manage its symptoms. The medications used in treating schizophrenia are called antipsychotic drugs, which act on the neurotransmitter in the brain known as dopamine. The goal is to discover the right medication or combination of medications, which at the lowest dose possible, result in relief with the fewest side effects.
While medications are vitally important, they are not a cure. People with schizophrenia benefit from various types of therapy. One-on-one therapies, like CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), can assist people in taking positive steps toward managing their illness. Therapists guide patients through practical steps they can take to recognizing and changing negative behaviors or moods and relate better to others. Group therapy provide social support and help individuals practice social skills. Other therapies offer other benefits in helping patients better understand their illness and learning to better integrate into the community.
Preventing and Managing Complications
An important part of managing schizophrenia is recognizing and dealing with the complications it can cause. Schizophrenia’s challenging symptoms may contribute to secondary problems, like suicidality, self-harm, financial problems, academic difficulties, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, social isolation, and even being the victim of a crime or becoming homeless.
In other words: If you or someone you love is suffering from Schizophrenia, seek help!
The good news is that while these disorders are serious and can interfere substantially with daily life, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be managed through treatment. Most who receive treatment will improve. Many can return to a more stable lifestyle, hold down a job, and potentially live independently. Patients can live healthy and full lives.
Honey Lake Clinic, the #1 Christian Mental Health Treatment Program in America, is a fully licensed, residential Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective Disorder Treatment Center.
The Honey Lake Difference
Through gentleness, kindness and mirroring the image of Jesus, patients at Honey Lake Clinic experience love, validation, and acceptance in a community/socialized setting. Patients discover a sense of their own individuality within a community concept, learn to deal with their symptoms, gain knowledge and understanding of their illness, and develop the skills necessary to better navigate daily life.