Treatment

Youngsters diagnosed with this disorder should get help as soon as possible. The sooner treatment starts, the better chance the individual will respond to medication, get back on track and learn how to manage the disorder. Without early, proper treatment, youngsters will be more difficult to treat, may have gotten into difficulty with the law, or tried to help themselves inappropriately by abusing alcohol or drugs. A treatment plan may include:

Medication

Neuroleptics is the term used to refer to the specialized drugs used to treat schizophrenia. Neuroleptics are the first line of defense in treatment and are necessary to keep the delusions and hallucinations at bay. An encouraging 80% of the youngsters who receive medication after their first break will respond, but that figure keeps dropping for each episode that the individual is untreated.

Maintenance

Once the right medication is established, the key to maintaining a realistic view of the world is to keep taking the medication even when the symptoms subside. One of the biggest threats to the person with schizophrenia is recurrence of the most difficult symptoms due to noncompliance with the prescribed medication.

Multidisciplinary treatment may include individual and family therapy aimed at psychoeducation about the disorder, its cause, the warning signs, and the need for medication. Special forms of living arrangements and vocational and educational programs are often required throughout life. These programs provide social skills and life skills training to help these youngsters make realistic choices about their future.