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What are the treatment options for paranoid schizophrenia?

Paranoid schizophrenia is usually treated with a combination of medication and therapy. Doctors generally prescribe antipsychotic medications to treat paranoid schizophrenia, though antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may also be prescribed. Although medications can't cure paranoid schizophrenia, people who take medications have the best chance at living a normal life. Some types of antipsychotic drugs have negative side effects, but newer types are designed to reduce those side effects. In addition to medications, individuals with the disorder are often also prescribed therapy. Therapy with a psychiatrist or psychologist can help people with paranoid schizophrenia and their families to deal with the symptoms of the disorder, as well as their feelings.
Mark Moronell, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
A number of treatments exist for paranoid schizophrenia, but the primary choice is medication. Other options include:
  • Hospitalization and in-home care
  • Individual and group psychotherapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Hospitalization is sometimes necessary for those with paranoid schizophrenia. When someone is having active hallucinations or delusions, they may be more likely to hurt themselves, or cause harm to someone else. For this reason, hospitalization is necessary to keep people safe. Once a person with paranoid schizophrenia has been stabilized, usually with medication, the person may choose to participate in individual or group therapy. In therapy, patients learn about their illness and how to cope with symptoms. Group therapy can be especially helpful for people with schizophrenia as they learn better ways to communicate with others. Family therapy is one form of group therapy that helps one's relatives understand the illness, and how to cope with its effects. ECT can sometimes be the quickest way to reduce active symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia. This form of treatment affects the way the brain cells communicate, improving the unpleasant symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia.
Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
The major treatment options for people with paranoid schizophrenia include:
  • medications such as antipsychotics, anti-anxiety drugs, and antidepressants
  • psychological therapy, such as support groups and counseling
  • vocational training, to help the person find and keep a job
  • hospitalization, both to treat symptoms and provide the person with food and rest while he is experiencing a break with reality
  • electroconvulsive therapy, which uses electrical currents to help restore the chemical balance within the brain
Commonly, a person with paranoid schizophrenia will take at least one medicine, and his treatment plan may also include one or more of these other options.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.