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Explains schizophrenia, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
Treatments that are recommended for schizophrenia include:
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – the organisation that produces guidelines on best practice in health care – recommends treating schizophrenia and psychosis with a combination of talking treatments and antipsychotic medication while you are unwell.
You can read the full guidelines on the NICE website, including a list of questions you might want to ask about your diagnosis and treatment.
"A lot of people want help with understanding why they are experiencing their symptoms and want help to live their lives without distress. The goal isn’t always to eradicate symptoms but to understand them, tolerate distress and address any deeper problems."
CBT for schizophrenia can help you to:
Talking treatment for schizophrenia should focus on helping you cope with your symptoms, rather than trying to convince you that your beliefs or experiences are wrong.
See our section on CBT for more information.
Doctors usually prescribe antipsychotic drugs (also known as neuroleptic drugs or major tranquilisers) to help with schizophrenia.
Medication for schizophrenia:
See our section on antipsychotics for more information.
"I am on mood stabilisers as I also get hyper and very depressed. Also angry sometimes."
Family intervention is a type of talking treatment for relatives or carers of people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Family intervention for schizophrenia can:
Arts therapies use creative arts – music, painting, dance, voice or drama – to help you express yourself in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist.
Arts therapies for schizophrenia:
"I have had one major and three minor episodes of the illness but am able to lead a pretty normal life. I have made some good friends through my experience but am more distant with others. I would say to others that you can get through the worse times and [to] always have hope."
This information was published in February 2017. We will revise it in 2020.
References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.