Schizophrenia is mental disorder that is thought to be an inherited condition that involves several different brain disorders. Medication is the most common treatment for this condition, but there are several different alternative and complementary treatments available for those seeking holistic treatment options. Alternative treatments include changes in diet, dietary supplements such as vitamins and herbs, and lifestyle changes.
Schizophrenia is a very serious condition that can lead to harmful behaviors in those suffering from the condition. Because this disorder is serious, seeking treatment from an experienced physician is the first step in the process of recovery. Treatment with prescription medications allows those with schizophrenia to reduce symptoms while alternative treatments promote overall well-being and mental health. It is generally advised that patients with schizophrenia continue medications until a physician is consulted because there are often serious side effects when medications are suddenly stopped.
Types of Alternative Treatment Available
Alternative treatments for schizophrenia are focused on using dietary supplements, including herbs and vitamins, and making healthy lifestyle changes to encourage mental health. Drugs, such as marijuana, are harmful to patients and may make symptoms of schizophrenia more severe. Other steps toward health are also important. Reducing and eliminating alcohol and tobacco consumption are both steps toward healing holistically. Other treatments can safely be used with lifestyle changes. Therapy with a licensed therapist, using vitamins and dietary supplements, and attending group therapies are all options available.
Therapy and Schizophrenia
Therapy is widely accepted as being beneficial for anyone suffering from a mental disorder. Schizophrenia is now considered as a condition caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, but therapy can benefit patients with this disorder by allowing them space to work through problems and issues that arise in their personal life because of the disease. A psychologist can also provide resources that patients can use to encourage a healthy lifestyle. For instance, if rehabilitation services, such as group home living, is needed a therapist can provide recommendations.
Rehabilitation services are an important part of recovery after beginning a consistent medication schedule. Rehabilitation can include vocational and living training to assist patients in gaining the skills needed to live independently. Stress management skills are also important for those learning to live independently. Therapy and rehabilitation services are among the most important alternative therapies available for schizophrenic patients today.
Vitamins and Herbs
Modern therapies for schizophrenia can include the use of vitamin supplements or herbs to reduce the symptoms of the disorder and to improve overall health. It is important that patients check with a licensed physician before beginning the use of dietary supplements to ensure the herbal ingredients in supplements won’t interact with any prescription medications currently being used. Some herbs have side effects and interaction precautions that make them unsuitable for use among schizophrenic patients. Vitamins are typically safe if taken according to the instructions on the label, but checking with a primary physician first is recommended.
One of the most common vitamins used in the treatment of schizophrenia is niacin along with Omega 3 fatty acids. This treatment is relatively safe. Some herbal treatments, however, can be dangerous when combined with traditional prescription medications. For example, St. John’s Wort is considered an alternative treatment for schizophrenia but the herb, when combined with medications, can result in lowered blood pressure.
Caution is important when using herbal treatments along with prescription medications. The most successful alternative treatments for schizophrenia are those that can safely and effectively be used in combination with traditional prescription medications. Advances in medical science have made prescription medications more effective and convenient for use than ever before. Medication, therapy, a healthy lifestyle, and rehabilitation services are the ideal combination of treatments available today.