Diagnosing Teen Schizophrenia
There are five elements that have to be considered when diagnosing a teen with schizophrenia. The first is simply ruling out any other causes for schizophrenic behavior. If a teenager is using drugs, for example, then you can’t diagnose a mental illness until the client is sober.
Diagnosis at the start of a teen schizophrenia treatment program will also include a physical exam. Then, other tests and screenings can be run. An MRI or a CT scan can help identify any potential brain activities or abnormalities that need to be monitored.
The third element of the diagnosis is a full psychiatric evaluation. This is when a doctor meets with the teenager in question and asks questions, gathering as much data as possible. With all that data, the doctor can move to the fifth and final step of diagnosis: Comparing collected data to that listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If symptoms are similar to the DSM-5, then teen schizophrenia treatment is probably necessary.
Medications for Schizophrenia
One of the primary forms of teen schizophrenia treatment is medication. In particular, antipsychotic medications are the most common form of treatment. Schizophrenia includes psychotic episodes, so the goal is to limit or even eliminate those episodes through the use of medication.
Certain antipsychotics come with serious side effects. Therefore, most teens stick with second-generation antipsychotic medications. These are less strong, but they are also less intrusive in everyday life. The overall goal with medication is to take the lowest dose possible that still prevents episodes from happening.
Although medication is the cornerstone of treatments, teens can also benefit from talk therapy. Dealing with a mental illness like schizophrenia is unsettling, and it can be a lot to process. That’s especially true if you’re still a teenager. Talk therapy is a way to process information and work through tough issues without judgment or fear of criticism.
Behavioral therapy is a common form of individual therapy for teens. The goal is to address any behaviors or negative thought patterns that are preventing progress and recovery. This helps teens get and stay on the right track and make choices that reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.
In teen schizophrenia treatment program, there is typically a lot of family support. This is huge because the family can be a key part of the ongoing support network. Family therapy can come in many forms, but each has advantages.
Sometimes, family members and the teen client meet together with the therapist acting as a mediator. This is a fantastic opportunity for better communication and to express ideas to one another calmly. In other sessions, family members will meet without the teen client in order to learn more about schizophrenia and how to help in the future.
Gaining Social Skills and Community Training
Treating schizophrenia is about more than just managing episodes. It is also about creating a life in between any episodes. To achieve that goal, teen schizophrenia treatment should include learning social skills.
Becoming part of the community might mean continuing your education or creating a resume. It can mean social activities or developing a new hobby. Getting support for these things means a better life outside of therapy.
Teen Schizophrenia Treatment at Destinations For Teens
Whether you’re searching for a teen bipolar disorder treatment program or a program for schizophrenia, Destinations for Teens can help. Teen clients can look forward to customized care and all the support necessary to manage conditions like schizophrenia. Treatment may include all of the following:
- Dual diagnosis support
- Individual therapy
- Family programs
- Mindfulness therapy
- Outdoor recreation and hobby therapy
At Destinations for Teens in Woodland Hills, California, you can find effective teen schizophrenia treatment. Call 877-466-0620 if you want to learn more about the programs that can improve your quality of life, your health, and your relationships.