Dr. Ankur Saraiya talks about schizophrenia treatment and its positive and negative symptoms.
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So, the basic symptoms of schizophrenia can be grouped into 2 areas. What are called positive symptoms and negative symptoms. The positive symptoms are things like hearing voices and having delusions, and the negative symptoms are more a social detachment. So the various kinds of treatment address these 2 areas of schizophrenic symptoms. Psychiatrists have most experience with using medications to manage the positive symptoms. Typically, using anti-psychotic medication to help people stop hearing voices and to stop having delusional ideas. Unfortunately, the anti-psychotic medications are not as effective with helping with the negative symptoms. So, generally speaking, you're gonna want to have a comprehensive treatment program to help manage all areas of the symptoms of schizophrenia. But, like with many psychiatric disorders, the specific treatment is gonna be very individualized, and depend on what that particular patient's symptoms and needs and resources are. So, very often, the treatment is going to include medications to help manage the positive symptoms. And some kind of psychotherapy or group therapy to help individuals manage the social isolation that can be, often, the more debilitating aspect of schizophrenia.