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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is schizophrenia treated?

    For the past few years, my son has demonstrated signs of schizophrenia. He was then recently diagnosed. What are the best treatment options?
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    Jennifer Grant

    Psychologist

    New practice opened Feb 2018. Seewebsite www.coffspsychneuro.com.au I'm passionate about working with people from all walks of life to help them create a more vital, … View Profile

    It depends. The “best” treatment depends on which specific symptoms predominate for your son, their severity and frequency. Your son’s psychiatrist will advise on the pros and cons of different pharmacologic treatments. Importantly, the “best” treatment always includes the support of your son's family and friends. As well as medication and psychosocial support, I encourage you to consider psychological treatments such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). In this approach the goal isn’t symptom reduction (that’s the goal of medication) but living a meaningful value-full life.  You can find an ACT psychologist at www.actmindfully.com.au
    I wish you and your son well.

  • Karel Vine

    Psychologist

    I help people manage mental and emotional health issues, behaviour change, past and present trauma, grief and relationship problems. The techniques I use include Cognitive … View Profile

    It may also be important for you to look at nutritional support which can improve symptoms. Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride examines natural treatments for mental illness including schizophrenia in her book 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome'. There is also one parent's account of addressing their child's schizophrenia, using the GAPS diet in 'GAPS Stories'. Some research suggests that supplementation with Niacin (B3) can also be helpful, as described in 'Niacin The Real Story', Hoffer, Saul & Foster.

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    Darren Stops

    Counsellor, Educational and Developmental Psychologist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist

    For assistance with issues including: anxiety & depression, stress, coping & adjustment, personality & relationships sleep & health issues, separation, loss and trauma, post traumatic … View Profile

    Apart from medication, there is some limited evidence for Family Psychological Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)with the individual. CBT specific for Schizophrenia was helpful, and CBT is recommended by the National Institue for Health Care Excellence in the UK.  This is particulalrly good for helping to reduce the anxiety seen in Schizophrenia, and studies incorporating mindfulness (for helping manage the Anxiety) are promising. I would be asking for someone with specific experience in applying these to Schizophrenia.

    http://psychologyinfo.com/schizophrenia/cognitive.htm

    http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/204/5/333

    I am not aware of any evidence for the "Gut and Psychology Syndrome', and you may want to read some more on this:

    https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/gaps-diet/

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