Non-Drug Treatments of Schizophrenia

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Non-Drug Treatments of Schizophrenia

There has been a lot of research in the area of treatments of schizophrenia. However, most of the research has been focused on medication. This paper focuses on various non-drug treatments for schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects approximately two percent of the population. Since it is highly debilitating various treatments are available. The most common treatments are pharmacological, as it is biologically based. Cognitive behavior and other therapies are often used alongside medication to lower relapse rates. In addition to this family interventions, which attempt to teach families of patients techniques to better care for their loved ones are used. Interventions have shown to significantly reduce relapse rates for at least the first nine months after the families are educated (Kuipers, 1996) . They also improve social function of patients (Tarrier et al. 1988) , and ease the burden on those who care for the patient (Falloon & Pederson, 1985) .

Unfortunately, patients with schizophrenia can be difficult to deal with and hospital staff may dislike them and thus act in a negative manner toward them. As they are the people who are mainly taking care of the patient at the time, hostile attitudes toward a patient are not conducive to his or her well-being.

In addition to this, families of the patient may make relapse more likely.

In order to find out which families have a greater likelihood of having a patient relapse, the Expressed Emotion (EE) measure was developed. It has been found that patients with high EE families have higher relapse rates.

In terms of treatment options, most of the emphasis...

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...ect to take medication.

While it would be difficult to change so many things at once, focusing training staff, lightening the staff's caseload, making sure to hold interventions for high risk families, and learning to not be put off by ECT to use it even in times when it would be the best treatment for the patient, if it is taken bit by bit, these changes can be accomplished.

It is unfortunate that better treatment for patients with schizophrenia is not used because of monetary issues, but that is the main reason for most hospitals ignoring the staff training guidelines mentioned here.

Family interventions as well as additional cognitive behavioral therapy and other kinds of therapy are also limited by the patient's ability to pay and thus many of our nation's severely psychologically disturbed individuals are homeless and without any sort of support at all.
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