Schizophrenia is a traumatic brain disorder in which an individual misinterprets reality. It can range from mild to severe and can cause a person to have frighteningly real episodes that involve paranoia and disabling panic attacks. Individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder, no matter how severe, must be treated for the rest of their lives if they intend to fully control how it affects them. Schizophrenia can take many forms and the treatment plans associated with the condition are highly customized.
Understanding a Dual Diagnosis
Schizophrenia treatment centers recognize the problems associated with a dual diagnosis. They are able to isolate the symptoms of the drug addiction and separate them from the symptoms associated with the schizophrenia. This can be extremely hard to accomplish during the first few days of the treatment program. Individuals who are detoxing off of hard drugs, like heroin and cocaine, can experience the same level of paranoia and panic that a schizophrenic person can. Providing treatment methods that help to control the physical reactions to the detox process is one of the first steps that a doctor will take in helping his patient get off the drugs. Once the drugs are eliminated and the addiction recovery has started, it is much easier for the doctor to begin to treat the mental illness.
Treating the Illness
Without the symptoms and issues that are connected to the drug addiction, a schizophrenic patient can then begin to focus on the mental illness. Treating the illness will be much easier since there are no other extenuating circumstances to aggravate the mental disorder. Schizophrenia must be treated for as long as the patient lives. There is no cure, only control, and maintenance. Doctors have several different medications they can use to help control the many symptoms the disorder is characterized by. Doctors also use socialization or group therapy in addition to other types of counseling that will provide the patient with the skills they need to be productive members of society. The severity of their illness will determine how extensive the healing plan is and what type of medications will be used.
After the drug addiction has been addressed and the mental illness is brought under control, the patient will begin to see a clearer path to their future. What was before shrouded by clouds of confusion, is now much clearer providing them with the ability to see themselves as a healthier, more active person. A dual diagnosis does not have to be a life sentence. In fact, it can be a blessing in disguise for many people. By experiencing both and recovering from each one individually, the patient gets to see just what type of effects they would have if the medications were not in control. This gives them the opportunity to understand their treatment plan and play an active role in reaching their new goal of good health and emotional well-being.
An effective schizophrenia treatment plan will address each issue the patient has. This can include PTSD episodes, dual diagnoses and other mental conditions that are often associated with schizophrenia. Doctors can utilize several treatment options at the same time to create a well-rounded plan of action that will help the patient live as normal a life as possible. This gives them an opportunity to move forward with their lives and achieve goals that would not have otherwise been possible.