What can I do to curb my schizophrenia symptoms?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
The best way to “curb” or control your symptoms of schizophrenia is to follow your treatment plan carefully and consistently. This means that you follow your doctor's instructions or suggestions even when you are feeling fine or find yourself thinking that you no longer need to be on any medication. Another way to curb your symptoms is to learn the signals or indicators that suggest you are having a relapse, or another break with reality. This is part of “illness management skills,” in which you learn how to handle your disease and cope with the challenges that come with it. You may also want to ask your doctor about something called cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. CBT teaches you how to figure out if your thoughts and perceptions are real, and can help you learn how to “ignore” any voices you may be hearing. These skills may help prevent a relapse and reduce the severity of your symptoms.
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Since there is no cure yet, you can manage your schizophrenia by consistently taking your medication and attending regular psychotherapy sessions. The medications will mitigate or completely eliminate your symptoms, and the therapy sessions give you an opportunity to voice all your feelings and feel more connected, as well as discuss your concerns, worries, and struggles in life. It can also help you identify relapse warning signs and learn coping techniques.

Keep in mind that the medications can have some uncomfortable side effects. If you are unhappy with how the medications make you feel or the side effects they cause, talk to your doctor. Do not stop taking your medication cold turkey.

Taking your medications is the single most important thing you can do to curb your schizophrenia symptoms. In fact, the majority of people who do not take their medications will experience another psychotic episode during the year in which they are diagnosed. Only 20-30% of people who take their medications as prescribed will have a psychotic episode. People who take their medications are also much more likely to stay out of a hospital or institution.

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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.