Schizophrenia is a serious mental health disorder that affects how you think and perceive reality. Psychiatric symptoms, such as hallucinations, hearing voices, delusions, and catatonia, can have a profound effect on your quality of life and ability to function independently.
Not surprisingly, those with schizophrenia (or who have a loved one with schizophrenia) often ask: is there a cure? That’s the question that Dr. Hadi Estakhri answers below.
Is there a cure for schizophrenia?
While there isn’t a cure for schizophrenia, there are effective treatments to help you manage your symptoms. With the right treatments, many individuals with schizophrenia function well at home and at work with minimal symptoms.
At Allied Psychiatry & Mental Health in Newport Beach, California, our team works with you to treat acute episodes. learn ways to cope with your thoughts and develop helpful routines.
Managing your symptoms
Medication can restore the balance of chemicals in your brain. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of medications.
Medications used to help manage your schizophrenia symptoms include:
- First-generation antipsychotics (FGA) and second-generation antipsychotics (SGA)
- Long-acting injectable antipsychotics
- Anti-anxiety drugs
Medication is an important element of your schizophrenia treatment plan, because it can help reduce psychotic symptoms during your acute flare-ups and reduce the severity and frequency of potential future flare-ups.
Taking your medication on time and as directed is important, but it’s only part of your treatment. Other types of treatment, such as therapy, can help you live a productive, fulfilling life.
Therapy, for example, can help teach you social skills, coping strategies, stress management techniques, and how to spot the early signs of a relapse. For others, vocational training and support groups can help you hold a job and obtain self-sufficiency.
In addition to medication and therapy, lifestyle changes, such as exercise and a well-balanced diet, help support overall wellness. Studies show that exercise can help improve both positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations and paranoia, and negative symptoms include the inability to express emotion or difficulty initiating plans.
Likewise, diet alone won’t cure schizophrenia, but a healthy diet can support those with schizophrenia. Fruit (especially fiber-rich fruit), vegetables, chicken, and marinara are just a few examples of food rich in vitamins and minerals that support your mental health.
Identifying the signs of a relapse
When your symptoms are under control, it’s tempting to think that schizophrenia is gone, but you should continue to take your medication as directed even on days you feel good. Taking your medication, attending therapy, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits are the best practices for reducing relapses.
That being said, it’s still important to know the signs of a relapse so you can get help at the first indication. Insomnia, social withdrawal, an increase in paranoia, and the resurgence of hallucinations are common warning signs of a schizophrenia relapse.
Some signs of relapse, such as difficulty concentrating, can be signs of other conditions such as anxiety or ADHD. Rest assured that Dr. Estakhri can help you manage a relapse or address any other co-occurring disorders you may have.
To learn more about schizophrenia and how it’s managed, book an appointment with Dr. Estakhri today by calling our office at 949-258-7135 or using our online scheduler.