Dr. Lieberman describes the different treatments for schizophrenia.
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Question: What are the treatments for Schizophrenia? Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman: Treatment for Schizophrenia that comes in two basic categories, the first is medication or pharmacologic treatments in the second are psychosocial treatments things that occur in terms of trying to help or supporting, or training an individual. Medications mainly involve a class of medicines called anti-psychiatric drugs and these are drugs that are very effective that have been proven to work in terms of suppressing or elevating the positive psychiatric symptoms of the illness and preventing their reoccurrence, preventing relapses from occurring. They are very, very effective in doing that, they don't work in everybody, but they work in the vast majority of people, at least to some degree. They also are associated with side effects, some cause neurologic side effects where they cause some muscle stiffness or slowing or shakiness, others cause change in appetite, so you are hungrier, you eat more you can gain weight. And others may cause endocrine effects, and endocrine effects can take a variety of forms in some cases in association with the increased appetite people can get hyperglycemic been in their blood sugar goes up, they can potentially develop diabetes, they can develop a higher cholesterol and lipids, which can facilitate or lead to long-term cardiovascular disease. So, these treatments have to be used carefully, only when they're really needed and patients followed and monitored closely. The psychosocial treatments are numerous, there are various forms of psychotherapy, meaning somebody meets with patients and helps them to really deal with the issues in their daily living. There are forms of rehabilitation therapy that is, after somebody has had an episode of Schizophrenia, or they may have been hospitalized, where they may be capacitated for a period of time. How do you get back into your life? You just don't return to school, you don't return to the jab, it's not that easy. It's like when you have a broken leg or you have a heart attack, you don't just resume doing what you're doing immediately, you have to go through a process of rehabilitation. Similarly, you have to go through a process or reclamation or rehabilitation to resume your school, supported education that's called resume your jobs, support in employment, it's called. In some cases, the disruption to somebody's brain processes, brain functioning and mental processes are so severe that they can even with support go back to work in your school. They need to have rehabilitation, which involve something called cognitive remediation and this involves working with a trained doctor or therapist using a computer based system of doing exercise, it could kind of retrain your brain because you've been out of action for a while and you've got to get back into the swing of figuring out things and understanding how you analyze problems in daily living. There is also other forms of psychosocial treatment that are very, very helpful, sometimes people who have Schizophrenia don't want treatment or don't feel they need treatment or just playing for get about treatment. In those cases, with what's called sort of community treatment, a case manager or somebody that's a side work with that person will go out to find them, you know go their home, you haven't come to the clinic, you haven't come to the office, you haven't shown up what's going here, you need to get your medication, you need to go through your rehabilitation, so they'll get after them. So, there is a whole variety of these things, and then even there is a therapy that could be directed towards the family that is how does a family provide the best care for their family member who has Schizophrenia and how do they avoid that person's illness from providing such great stress on the family that it really has a detrimental impact and is bad. So, there is family therapy to use what might be called a care giver burden on the family.