Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment drugs NMS side effect ECT psychosocial therapy questions for doctor specialist Home Care taking control warning signs Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Types Anatomy

Psychotic Behavior Treatment

There is no cure for schizophrenia: the goal is to control symptoms. Antipsychotic medications effectively control symptoms in about 80 percent of those with schizophrenia.

Treatment for schizophrenia may include:

Psychotic Behavior Drugs

Traditional antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia include:

Side effects of traditional antipsychotic medications include:

Atypical antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia include:

Side effects of atypical antipsychotic medications may include:

Psychotic Behavior NMS Side Effect

Neuroleptic malignant syndrome is a rare side effect of antipsychotic medications, commonly used in the treatment of schizophrenia. Neuroleptic malignant syndrome can be life threatening.

Symptoms of neuroleptic malignant syndrome include:

  • Very high fever
  • Rigid muscles
  • Elevated blood pressure

Psychotic Behavior ECT

Shock Therapy for Schizophrenia
Those with severe schizophrenia may not respond to medications. These patients may benefit from electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which is also called shock therapy. During ECT, electrodes are placed on the patient's head, and an instrument is programmed to deliver a short burst of electricity to the brain. ECT triggers a short seizure, lasting about one minute.

ECT is performed under general anesthesia, in order to prevent pain and control prolonged seizures. Usually, a patient receives therapy 3 times a week, for 2 to 4 weeks. ECT improves symptoms in about 75 percent of patients who complete the full course of treatment.

The most common side effects of electroconvulsive therapy include:

  • Brief episodes of mild confusion:
    • May last several minutes to a few hours
    • Episodes of confusion may become longer after each additional treatment.
  • Temporary, mild memory loss:
    • May persist for a couple of months after treatment
    • Usually resolves
    • Permanent memory loss is unusual.

Additional side effects of electroconvulsive therapy include:

Psychotic Behavior Psychosocial Therapy

Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenia
Although medications are the most effective treatment for schizophrenia, psychosocial therapy helps the person better cope with schizophrenia.

Types of psychosocial therapy include:

  • Psychotherapy for schizophrenia:
    • Helps motivate the patient to maintain treatment
    • Helps improve communication and relationships
  • Family therapy for schizophrenia:
    • Helps families understand the illness
    • Improves family relationships
    • Provides support for the patient
  • Rehabilitation for schizophrenia:
    • Vocational training may allow the patient to be independent
    • Social training improves communication with others

Psychotic Behavior Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of schizophrenia.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for worsening symptoms of schizophrenia?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Psychotic Behavior Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat schizophrenia:

Continue to Psychotic Behavior Home Care

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Psychotic Behavior References
  1. Cantor-Graae E, Selten JP. Schizophrenia and migration: a meta-analysis and review. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Jan;162(1):12-24. [15625195]
  2. Kurtz MM, Moberg PJ, Gur RC, Gur RE. Approaches to cognitive remediation of neuropsychological deficits in schizophrenia: a review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychol Rev. 2001 Dec;11(4):197-210. [11883669]
  3. Tarrier N. Cognitive behaviour therapy for schizophrenia -- a review of development, evidence and implementation. Psychother Psychosom. 2005;74(3):136-44. [15832064]
  4. Turkington D, Dudley R, Warman DM, Beck AT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for schizophrenia: a review. J Psychiatr Pract. 2004 Jan;10(1):5-16. [15334983]
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