What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a behavioral health condition that interferes with a person’s ability to think clearly, manage emotions, make decisions and relate to others. It can cause a person to see or hear things that aren’t real that affect mood and behaviors.
A person with schizophrenia may have some or all of the following symptoms, and experience them to different degrees:
- Hallucinations: See, hear or feel things that are not there
- Delusions: Believe something that is not true
- Disorganized thinking: Have trouble collecting thoughts or communicating thoughts to others
There are many ways to treat schizophrenia. Use the information below as a guide to help you understand your treatment options. Always speak with your doctor to determine the best treatment for you.
Counseling or talk therapy can be an effective way to treat schizophrenia. It involves regular visits with a behavioral health professional who will help you learn to understand and manage your emotions. It is important to feel comfortable and safe with your behavioral health professional, and you may need to talk with a few to find one who feels right.
Tips about medication for schizophrenia
Medications can be an effective tool in helping to treat schizophrenia. They work by balancing chemicals in the brain, which can help you feel more like yourself again.
- Keep taking your medication as prescribed. Most side effects are minor and temporary. Discuss any side effects with your doctor so you can decide together if the treatment is right for you. Follow up regularly with your doctor to make sure the medication is working correctly for you.
- Medication can take some time to work. You may not feel better for a few weeks, and it is important to give them time.1
- Medications are most effective when taken at the same time each day.2 Try setting an alarm, using a pill box or taking your medication with regular activities to help make it a part of your regular routine.
- If you’re taking a medication for schizophrenia, talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood sugar test once a year to help monitor your health.
1 Mental Health Medications. National Alliance on Mental Illness..
2 General Medication Guidelines. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation. (2014)