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Talk Therapy for Schizophrenia - Benefits

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Schizophrenia is treated with a combination of talking therapy and medication that is tailored to the individual. Read below to know more about talk therapy.

Written by

Dr. Karthika Rp

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ramchandra Lamba

Published At May 25, 2023
Reviewed AtJanuary 18, 2024


Schizophrenia is a mental condition that makes it hard for an individual to differentiate between real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. It affects about 1% of the general population. But this does not mean there is no other hope for a person with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. Schizophrenia is treated with a combination of talking therapy and medications. A person with schizophrenia may see or hear things that do not exist for others, speak in absurd or strange ways, believe that others are conspiring against them, or feel like others are spying or trying to kill them. With such a faint line between the real and the unreal, schizophrenia makes daily managing activities difficult or frightening. In response to such perception, people with schizophrenia may isolate themselves from the outside world or have confusion and fear.

What Is a Schizophrenic Person Like?

Most patients with schizophrenia experience the condition in the late second or early third decade of life. Although, schizophrenia can appear for the first time in middle age or even during old age. In rare cases, schizophrenia can present very young, even before the child attains puberty, although the symptoms are slightly different. It has been expressed that the earlier the onset of this disease, the more severe it is. Schizophrenia also seems to be more disabling in men than in women.

A few warning signs that suggest the risk of developing schizophrenia shortly are mentioned below,

  • Social withdrawal of individuals.

  • Aggression or suspiciousness.

  • The decline of personal care.

  • Flat, expressionless face.

  • Inability to experience emotions such as crying or happiness.

  • Laughing or crying without reason.

  • Remaining sad and alone.

  • Increased or decreased sleep.

  • Odd or irrational talk.

  • Forgetfulness and difficulty in concentrating.

  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism.

  • Peculiar use of words or way of talking.

  • For some people, schizophrenia comes suddenly and without any warning.

But for the majority, it appears slowly, with minimal warning signs and a slow descent in functioning long before the first severe episode. Many friends and family members of people with schizophrenia recognize that if they had known earlier about schizophrenia, they would have brought their dear ones to the psychiatrist.

Is Talk Therapy Effective in Treating Schizophrenia?

One of the main types of talking therapy suggested for schizophrenia is cognitive behavioral therapy, also called CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which helps to identify and change any opposing thoughts or behavior that makes our life hard. The various helpful factors of CBT are mentioned below,

  • It helps to manage symptoms of psychosis, such as delusions or hearing voices.

  • Relieve stress so the symptoms do not get worse.

  • Manage any drug side effects.

  • Cope with other mental health problems like social anxiety and depression, which people with schizophrenia may also experience.

Talking therapies for schizophrenia should concentrate on managing people with the symptoms rather than trying to convince their beliefs or experiences are wrong. With all kinds of counseling or psychotherapy, the most significant thing is the relationship quality developed between the therapist and the patient. Therapy is successful if people find their therapist supportive and helpful. Some research suggests psychodynamic therapy when schizophrenia is caused by trauma at a young age to understand deep-rooted or unconscious thoughts.

What Are the Benefits of Talk Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy or talk therapy used to treat various psychological disorders, phobias, addictions, and depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most generally used psychotherapy for many conditions, as it helps the patient recognize and overcome challenges quickly. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy requires only limited sessions with a mental health provider.

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help people with the following emotional challenges:

  • In treating and managing mental illnesses.

  • It helps affected people manage their emotions.

  • Teaches people better ways to communicate, thus resolving relationship conflicts.

  • Prevent mental illness from relapsing.

  • A good choice if medicines are not helping with mental illness.

  • Teaches us to cope with stressful situations in life.

  • In the case of abuse or violence, this therapy helps overcome emotional trauma.

  • Make peace with a chronic health problem.

Talk therapy is also recommended for various other mental health problems. Some of them are mentioned below,

How Is Schizophrenia Managed?

Schizophrenia requires lifelong treatment. Medications and psychosocial therapy help manage the condition. An experienced psychiatrist usually guides the treatment for schizophrenia. The treatment team may also include,

  • Psychologist.

  • Psychiatric nurse.

  • Social worker.

  • Case manager to coordinate care.

This full-team approach may be available in clinics; sometimes, hospitalization may be required.

Medical Approach.

Medications are the utmost important thing to manage schizophrenia, and antipsychotic medications are the most commonly used.

Second-generation antipsychotics are:

  • Cariprazine.

  • Asenapine.

  • Brexpiprazole.

  • Aripiprazole.

  • Clozapine.

  • Lurasidone.

  • Iloperidone.

  • Ziprasidone.

  • Olanzapine.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT).

If people with schizophrenia above 35 do not respond to drug therapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be considered. Electroconvulsive therapy may be helpful for people who also have depression.


Although schizophrenia is said to be a lifelong condition, much help is currently available. With the advancement of medical services in the development of newer medications, support, and therapy, most individuals with this condition can function independently and lead satisfying lives. However, the outcome is best only when schizophrenia is diagnosed early and treated appropriately consistently. Therefore, if any one of the readers spots the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia in themselves or their loved ones, they are suggested to seek help without delay.

Dr. Ramchandra Lamba
Dr. Ramchandra Lamba



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