Psychotic Disorders (cont.)

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Is it possible to treat psychotic disorders without medication?

In spite of successful antipsychotic treatment, many patients with psychosis have difficulty with motivation, activities of daily living, relationships, and communication skills. Also, since an illness like schizophrenia typically begins during the years critical to education and professional training, these patients lack social and work skills and experience. In these cases, the psychosocial treatments help most, and many useful treatment approaches have been developed to assist people suffering from a psychotic disorder.

  • Individual psychotherapy: This involves regular sessions between just the patient and a therapist focused on past or current problems, thoughts, feelings, or relationships. Thus, via contact with a trained professional, people with psychosis become able to understand more about the illness, to learn about themselves, and to better handle the problems of their daily lives. They can become better able to differentiate between what is real and, by contrast, what is not and can acquire beneficial problem-solving skills.
  • Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation may include job and vocational counseling, problem solving, social skills training, and education in money management. Thus, patients learn skills required for successful reintegration into their community following discharge from the hospital.
  • Family education: Research has consistently shown that people with a psychotic disorder who have involved families have a better prognosis than those who battle the condition alone. Insofar as possible, all family members should be involved in the care of their loved one.
  • Self-help groups: Outside support for family members of those with any psychotic disorder is necessary and desirable. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is an in-depth resource. This outreach organization offers information on all treatments for psychosis, including home care.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/1/2013

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