Schizophrenia, formerly lat. Dementia praecox (“premature dementia”) is a mental disorder associated with distorted thinking and emotional responses. Schizophrenia is one of the most common mental illnesses. For most people, this word is associated with something terrible, with getting to a psychiatric hospital, long, possibly lifelong treatment, unpredictable aggressive behavior, disability and dropout from society.
There is also an opposite point of view: schizophrenia is not a disease at all, but simply a “personality warehouse”, “a special view of the world.” The Internet is replete with ads promising a complete cure for this disease. Where is the truth? We adhere to the classic view of schizophrenia as a chronic mental illness that, like any chronic illness, cannot be completely eliminated. At the same time, modern psychiatry has made great strides in the treatment of this disease, which cannot be ignored. Modern drugs allow minimizing the risk of relapses of schizophrenia, maximizing the quality of life of patients. With well-chosen treatment and adherence to the doctor’s recommendations, patients with schizophrenia can lead a life that actually does not differ from that of healthy people.
Effective treatments for schizophrenia
There are different points of view on the effectiveness and appropriateness of psychotherapy for schizophrenia. Sometimes, mainly because of the fear of psychiatrists and psychiatry, which, unfortunately, exists in our society, they try to completely treat the disease with psychotherapeutic methods, sometimes, on the contrary, psychotherapy is completely neglected, engaging only in drug treatment. We believe that in the acute period of the disease, psychotherapy is ineffective, and sometimes contraindicated. With the help of psychotherapy, it is impossible to eliminate delusions and hallucinations, it is possible, perhaps, to enrich them with new content. Nevertheless, even in the acute period of the illness, it is advisable to talk with the patient, to find out the content of his experiences. This allows in the future, adjusting to the special language of his illness, to establish an effective dialogue with him, to convince him of the need for treatment, to bring him back to reality. Psychotherapy acquires particular relevance after the relief of acute symptoms, when the patient faces the questions of returning to society, rational employment, a full life, despite the illness.