Treating schizophrenia without medication

Treating any mental illness without the use of medication is always an option, albeit one that may not be recommended by doctors.

If you've made the decision to help a family member or treat schizophrenia without drugs, it's important to know what other therapeutic options are available to you — and to utilize them effectively and consistently.

Counseling

Connecting the schizophrenic with a pyschiatrist or social worker who can provide ongoing support will probably be essential to the patient's long-term health and well-being. Regular counseling sessions can help a schizophrenic work through triggers, identify goals and reach recovery outcomes that only a trained professional can help this person achieve.

Regular doctor visits

Even if the patient is not on medication, it will be important to have regular doctor visits to asses the person's health. Mental health symptoms like aggression, depression or anxiety can all affect physical health. And because schizophrenics are more likely to be smokers and suffer from early death rates, it's crucial to make sure the patient is in good health.

Maintain a routine

Schizophrenics tend to do best when they have a set routine they can adhere to on a daily basis. Help the patient create a stable home and family environment where they can carry out their day-to-day tasks with ease. A social worker might be able to help the person find a job, too, which can help the schizophrenic direct energy into a positive endeavor. When he feels like there is hope for a normal life, he will be more likely to maintain a stable mental state.

Build supportive relationships

When treating schizophrenia without medication, the person needs the support of friends, family members and community to help him stay immersed in the world. Mental health support groups can be an incredibly helpful resource for people who do not want to take medication, and support groups for family and friends of the patient are also a great way to cope.

In general, it is important for the schizophrenic to find ways to live independently and learn how to solve problems on his own. A holistic nutritionist or herbalist may also be able to help create a lifestyle and diet plan that will encourage better mood stability and long-term health.

Source: NIMH

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