If you’ve been recently diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may be devastated – the outlook may seem incredibly grim. Contrary to your beliefs that having schizophrenia means you’re going to have a lifetime of struggles adjusting to life outside of your hallucinations or delusions, many people who have schizophrenia go on to lead happy, healthy, and meaningful lives. Early diagnosis and treatment will help to reduce long-term consequences and improve the chances you’ll make a total recovery. Recovery from schizophrenia is a lifelong process and it doesn’t mean that you won’t struggle with challenges or will always be symptom-free; recovery means that you’re always learning new ways to cope with challenges and create the life you’ve always wanted.
At Cedar Crest, we’ve had over 25 years helping people just like you learn to cope with the symptoms of schizophrenia and can help you develop the skills you need to succeed. We believe in a strength-based treatment approach that allows you take an active role in your treatment; our staff is simply here to guide you when you need guidance. We know that each person who comes to us is a unique individual who requires an individualized plan of care for their continued recovery.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If your loved one or friend has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may feel at a loss for what to do to help him or her. The love of family and friends plays a very important role in recovery from schizophrenia. You may be struggling, confused and stressed out by the diagnosis and your loved one’s behavior. It’s time to help your loved one into care, but you may not know how or what to say, especially if you’re afraid of making matters worse. Here are some tips for guiding your loved one into care for schizophrenia:
Self-care: Before you try to intervene and try to help your loved one into treatment for schizophrenia, it’s important that you work through a few things. You must work to accept that living with schizophrenia is not a choice – your loved one is not deliberately attempting to frustrate you. Take time for yourself and find the support where you can – a therapist or local community support group can make a tremendous difference.
Be realistic: Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness; it’s important that you are realistic about the challenges you and your loved one face. Help your loved one to set and achieve measurable and manageable goals.
Empowerment: People with schizophrenia are often cared for by friends and family. It’s important to remember that your loved one can – and will – do things on his or her own. Work to empower them so that they’re able to feel successful in their recovery.
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment for Schizophrenia
If you’ve been living with untreated schizophrenia, chances are that you’re struggling with some of the symptoms and consequences of the disorder. You may realize that you’re unable to hold down a job or form lasting bonds with other people. As the disease progresses, you may find it harder and harder to cope with the challenges of schizophrenia. You may turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the symptoms, only to realize that you’ve become addicted. You may even consider or try hurting yourself to end the tremendous emotional pain you’re in. You’re not alone – schizophrenia is a terrible burden to bear. With proper inpatient treatment, though, you can learn the skills you need to make your world as wonderful as you’d like it to be.
Successful treatment of schizophrenia works to relieve the current symptoms you’re coping with, prevent future complications and psychotic breaks, and restore your ability to function at your highest possible level. You’ll learn strategies to cope with your symptoms and how to determine the triggers for a psychotic episode, and receive the medication management you’ll need to successfully lead a fulfilled, meaningful life. By taking you out of your normal environment, an inpatient program will allow you to focus upon what matters most – getting better.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
Cedar Crest Hospital, located on a sprawling campus in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, has been providing mental health care to children, adults, older adults, and teenagers for over 25 years with a proven history of success. We believe firmly that the best way to treat our clients is through a combination of various therapeutic techniques and compassionate care given by our multidisciplinary care team. Our treatment persists long after you’ve completed your care – we’re always available 24/7 to offer guidance and suggestions. At Cedar Crest, you’re home.
Types of Treatments Offered at Cedar Crest Hospital
When you come to us for help, we’ll first perform a variety of evaluations and examinations that will allow us to form a complete picture of your struggles. Our medical evaluation will allow us to diagnose any medical conditions you may be struggling with. Our psychiatric evaluation will determine the type of schizophrenia you have, the presence of addiction, and any co-occurring disorders. We’ll take the results of your examinations and work with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us.
Medications are very important for people who have schizophrenia; there are two types of medications used in treatment of schizophrenia. Typical antipsychotics are the oldest of the antipsychotic medications and are successful in treating the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Atypical antipsychotics are newer types of medications that are often first prescribed to manage schizophrenia as they have less side effects. Medication will be routinely assessed and adjusted as needed.
Individual therapy is another great form of therapy for schizophrenia that will allow you to work privately with a therapist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you with the symptoms that don’t disappear with medication management. Through CBT, your therapist will teach you how to ignore your voices and ways to manage symptoms.
Group therapy can be a very helpful way for people who have schizophrenia to practice social skills, work together to solve problems, and learn to form bonds with people struggling with similar disorders. You’ll learn coping skills, life skills, relapse prevention, and the importance of making good choices while sticking to a medication schedule.
Family therapy can help you and your family to work together to mend any broken bonds, reestablish trust, and allow you and your loved ones the ability to share the ways in which schizophrenia has impacted the lives of all involved. We’ll work to educate your loved ones about schizophrenia, the treatment plan, and what recovery looks like. We’ll also connect loved ones with community resources to allow them to best heal.
In addition to standard therapies we use to treat bipolar disorder, we also offer a variety of experiential methods designed to complement our traditional approaches. These may include:
- Recreational therapy
- Swimming pool
- Numerous walking trails
- Ropes course
- Weekly A.A. and N.A. meetings on campus
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
Cedar Crest Hospital is proud to offer a number of treatment options designed to help children, teens, adults, and seniors who are struggling with schizophrenia and their families. Our compassionate care doesn’t end when you step down into the next level of care – we’re always available 24/7 to help you and your family. When you no longer require the structure of our inpatient program, you and your loved ones will sit down to discuss your continuing care options. Our social worker will provide you with information about local support services, help you cope with the transition out of inpatient treatment, and help create continued treatment goals with you to ensure continuity of care.
Some people step down into a structured outpatient program such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP) or partial hospitalization program (PHP), both of which allow for recovery during the day while slowly reintegrating back into regular life in the evenings. Others may feel they’ve made enough progress and are ready for discharge with referrals to our traditional outpatient therapy clinic and community resources.