How We Can Help
Schizophrenia & Thought Disorders Treatment Information
The best results for schizophrenia and thought disorder patients come from early intervention and adherence to a prescribed medicine regimen. At IU Health Behavioral Health our physicians, psychiatrists, advance practice nurses and therapists use a multidisciplinary approach that combines medicine with different psychological, social and behavioral therapies to help you reach your full potential.
- Antipsychotic medicines. These prescriptions can minimize your delusions and hallucinations. There are two classes of antipsychotics: Typical or conventional antipsychotics are older medicines like Thorazine and Haldol. Atypical or second-generation antipsychotics developed in the 1990s are highly effective at treating symptoms such as hallucinations and breaks with reality. They include Abilify, Risperdal and Clozaril.
- Antidepressants. These medicines help you think more clearly and can assist in achieving significant recovery from depression. Antidepressants are most often used in severe depression. These prescription-only drugs should only be taken under your doctor’s supervision. Your provider will discuss which kinds of medicines may work best for you.
- Anti-anxiety medicines. Anti-anxiety drugs can be helpful in treating panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, but they are not intended for long-term use. Beta-blockers are more commonly used to treat heart conditions, but they can prevent the physical symptoms that go along with an anxiety disorder, especially a social phobia.
- Medication management. At IU Health Behavioral Health, a psychiatrist or an advance practice nurse works with you to monitor your medicines and make sure there are no harmful drug interactions and that you do not experience negative reactions or side effects. We make changes in prescriptions to find the right medicines and dosages for you and your symptoms.
- Psychotherapy. Different types of therapies help you and your family cope with and manage the symptoms of your schizophrenia and thought process disorder.
- Individual therapy. In sessions with your mental health provider, you work to understand why you act and think in ways that are troubling to you or others. Sessions focus on your current and past thoughts and experiences. This helps you regain control of your behaviors and learn skills to make changes in your actions. For children with schizophrenia, therapy is more supportive.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. In this form of treatment, you actively work with your therapist to examine the relationships among your thoughts, feelings and behaviors and what leads to self-destructive actions. You learn how you can modify your thinking patterns to improve coping.
- Psychological testing. A variety of tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis, rule out certain conditions or uncover other issues. Symptoms of schizophrenia are similar to other mental illnesses. At the same time, a psychosis can occur outside of schizophrenia. Tools such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory help you and your therapist determine what is really going on. Psychological testing provides information used to determine the best treatment for your situation.
- Specialized training. You may benefit from social skills training and speech and language therapy. These treatments help you better interact with others. Children may need specialized and highly structured education programs at school.
- Clinical social workers. These professionals are vital to helping you manage important aspects of you or your child’s care. Social workers assist you in making the right accommodations for supportive services, housing and making accommodations at school. You may need help with your finances, or you may need to arrange for a power of attorney or guardianship. A clinical social worker helps you access needed services, as well as applications for disability and medical waivers.
- Self help groups and support groups. It is important to feel supported by others as you work to manage your schizophrenia symptoms. Support groups teach you coping skills and let you know you are not alone. Support groups for family members give your family the skills they need to help you recover.
- Nutrition. Scientific studies show that diets low in sugar and fat are helpful for schizophrenia patients. Eating excess amounts of sugar and saturated fat cause the body to produce less of a protein important in forming new neural growths and synapses in the brain. A registered dietitian can recommend proper nutrition intake and menus to maximize your health.
- Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS). If you are battling severe schizophrenia, or another type of thought disorder you may be a candidate for rTMS. This new therapy sends weak magnetic impulses to the frontal lobe of the brain. This creates electrical currents that stimulate neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which are implicated in depression. rTMS resets your brain’s chemistry. It is akin to rebooting your computer. This daily treatment is offered at the IU Health University Hospital adult outpatient center during a four-to-six week period. IU Health University Hospital is one of the first centers in the state to offer rTMS treatments and continues to conduct research on the therapy.
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you find that other treatments for your thought disorder are not successful, ECT may offer some relief. In this procedure, electric currents are passed through your brain in a controlled setting while you are under general anesthesia. This triggers a seizure, which causes changes in your brain chemistry and can reverse your depression symptoms. You may be able to decrease medicines for depression after treatment.
Schizophrenia & Thought Disorders Locations & Physicians
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Schizophrenia & Thought Disorders Support Services
Learn more about schizophrenia and thought process disorder treatments at these websites:
A Sampling of Schizophrenia & Thought Disorders Support Services
Prevention and Recovery Center for Early Psychosis (PARC)
This is the only early psychosis clinic in Indiana. Part of Indiana University School of Medicine, PARC specializes in treating individuals in the early stages of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
Indiana University Psychotic Disorders Clinic
Located at the Larue D. Carter Memorial Hospital, the clinic is focused on research and clinical trials for the treatment of psychotic disorders and mental illnesses. The clinic also trains psychiatric residents, psychologists and medical students.
An online community dedicated to improving the lives of people and families suffering from schizophrenia by providing science-based information, support, education and research.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
This national, grassroots mental health organization offers extensive information about treatments, support and research for schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and other mental illnesses. The Indiana chapter organizes support groups throughout the state.
National Institute of Mental Health
A scientific organization dedicated to the research and understanding of schizophrenia and all mental illness.