Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder characterized by significant social dysfunction and impaired perception of reality. As a rule, treatment for this mental disorder includes the use of antipsychotic medication to control symptoms (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020). Overall, the effectiveness of this intervention method is high, and psychiatrists aim to find optimal combinations and doses of drugs to achieve positive outcomes. The goal is to prescribe the lowest amount while still ensuring the therapeutic effect. Other options for patients with schizophrenia include anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants; however, the symptoms can only be improved in several weeks (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020). Some researchers examined the effectiveness of using different psychotropic medications. According to Stroup et al. (2019), “adding an antidepressant was associated with a lower risk of psychiatric hospitalization and emergency department visits, whereas adding a benzodiazepine was associated with a higher risk” (p. 508). Furthermore, second-generation antipsychotics are preferred to first-generation medications due to the lower risk of serious side effects.
Medical interventions for people with schizophrenia are often combined with psychological and social support. As reported by Mayo Clinic Staff (2020), psychosocial interventions include individual or family therapy, social skills training, as well as “vocational rehabilitation and supported employment” (para. 24). These methods can significantly improve the quality of life for people living with this mental disorder by helping reduce symptoms and illness progression, as well as improve long-term health outcomes (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2020). Family therapy can reduce the risk of recurrence and hospitalization, while social skills training and employment support enhance the patient’s functioning. Overall, a combination of medication and psychosocial interventions can significantly improve the clinical outcomes of individuals with schizophrenia.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2020). Schizophrenia: Diagnosis & treatment. Mayo Clinic.
Stroup, T. S., Gerhard, T., Crystal, S., Huang, C., Tan, Z., Wall, M. M., Mathai, C., & Olfson, M. (2019). Comparative effectiveness of adjunctive psychotropic medications in patients with schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry, 76(5), 508-515.