The goals of schizophrenia therapy
Over the last half century, the goals of therapy evolved considerably. Fifty years ago, the main objective was to sedate patients, 30 years ago – to reduce delusions and hallucinations.
This has been possible with the arrival of novel anti-psychotics and new strategies of environmental and psychosocial therapy. This is evidenced by the criteria of permanent remission or recovery in schizophrenia, published by experts in the field several years ago.
Remission in schizophrenia is defined as a condition in which a patient fulfils all of the following criteria:
- reduction of all negative and positive symptoms, acc. to the mental state evaluation scale (during the last 2 years),
- working at least on a half-time basis or learning at least at a part-time school or extramural studies within the last 2 years,
- for people at retirement age – active participation in family life, recreation and volunteering,
- the ability for autonomous, independent daily functioning; the ability to independently initiate activities,
- meetings to maintain social ties with non-family members at least once per week.
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Currently, the goals are quite different and relate to the, so-called, functional remission, that is a situation when a person, suffering from schizophrenia, returns to a good functional level in the family, at school or work, among friends and during leisure activities.
Having a family and being in a family is one of the basic elements of human functioning. There are no legitimate grounds to claim that people who suffer from schizophrenia are not capable of living in marriage or partner relationships, or unable to have and bring up children (the inheritance risks are discussed in the article What Causes Schizophrenia? in the category What is Schizophrenia and How is it Diagnosed? in the tab Schizophrenia).
The current therapy options, including in-patient and community treatment strategies make it easier to establish and maintain intimate relationships.