For many years, when there was no treatment, it was seen as a degenerative disease, it was incurable and without any hope of recovery. The ultimate cause for it is genetics and environmental triggers.
Schizophrenia was described as having a long term deteriorating course and the clinical symptoms of hallucinations and delusions. Earlier, the only treatment of Schizophrenia was to dump the patient in Mental Asylums and treated cruelly. In 50s and 60s, anti-psychotic medications were introduced and it was a tremendous help in controlling psychosis. However, the comorbid disorders such as personality disorder and substance use disorder can make the prognosis poor. Nowadays, there are many researches going on stem cell treatment as well as targeted drugs for schizophrenia, clinical trials are also going on to find out new ways to prevent and detect this illness, which will be a significant step in the treatment.
According to WHO, there are 21 million people suffering from Schizophrenia and nearly 50% do not receive appropriate treatment because in the developing countries people still perceive it as some demonic possession or witchcraft, where the patient’s condition gets more deteriorated. Their beliefs and hallucinations are real and disturbing to them. So the best decision would be admitting the patient in Psychiatric Hospital where they would be treated with anti-psychotics, psychotherapies, psychoeducation, support and respect. Schizophrenia has been misperceived as a disabling disorder however treatment in Psychiatric Hospital is structured and patient oriented which enables the patient to identify the symptoms, manage it and seek help. The main motto of the treatment is to make the patient functional in bio-psycho-social aspects of life.
So, is there any cure for Schizophrenia? Probably not, because it’s like other illnesses which are not curable but can be treated well. Through the regular treatment people can regain their life and this process is called ‘recovery’. You will get to know about ‘Recovery’ soon…..
There has been stigma around Schizophrenia since decades because it was misperceived as a degenerative and disabling disease. The Psycho-Social rehabilitation has been proved to be successful with the Schizophrenia patient in achieving ‘recovery’.
Recovery is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self- directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. (SAMHSA)
Goals of rehabilitation-
The functions of Psychiatric hospital are to enable with the best practices of Schizophrenia management and psychosocial functioning. Below are the principles on which Psychiatric Hospital thrives-
- Enabling the patient with Schizophrenia to live a normal life in the community. The goal is to bring focus away from the disease model towards a functional model.
- Re-instigating the interest of individuals again in social activities like meeting people, friends, and relatives. Going for outings and participating activities which bring pleasure.
- Restructuring the environment of home to suit the needs of the individual.
- Reducing the burden of the family by improving the quality of life for both patient and caregiver.
Types of best evidence-based treatment provided for patients of Schizophrenia in a Psychiatric Hospital-
- Individual-Centered Strategy- It aims in developing the patient’s skill in interacting with a stressful event and patient learns a vocation which will suit their current capabilities and help them to become independent.
- Ecological Strategy- It is directed towards developing the environmental resources to reduce stressors. It focuses on psycho-educating the family about the illness. It also focuses on expanding and reaching out to the support group networks which also facilitates recovery among the peer by self-help groups.
- Pharmacological Treatment- Anti-psychotic is the primary step in the treatment of Schizophrenia, because psychosis can be disturbing for the patient, these medicines are to reduce the acute symptoms in which the patient can harm self or others.
- Behaviour Therapy- Since the patient has learnt maladaptive behavior during the course of illness, behavior therapy aims to change it.
- Cognitive Rehabilitation- Engaging the person in such activities which involves their cognitive abilities like memory, decision making and problem solving.
- Vocational Rehabilitation- The major role in this is to identify the skills which are still present in the present in the patient. This therapy later can help individual to earn money himself/herself and become independent.