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Can a person with Schizophrenia get better?

A reasonable estimate is that 20 to 30 percent of all schizophrenia patients are able to lead somewhat normal lives with treatment. About 20 to 30 percent of patients continue to experience moderate symptoms, and 40 to 60 percent of patients remain significantly impaired by their disorder for their entire lives.

What is the treatment for Schizophrenia?

Antipsychotic medications are the mainstay of treatment for schizophrenia. Approximately 70 percent of patients treated with any antipsychotic achieve remission. Antipsychotics can be categorized into two main groups: the older conventional antipsychotics, which are known as first-generation antipsychotics, and the newer drugs, which are known as second-generation antipsychotics or serotonin dopamine antagonists.

Benzodiazepines are also effective for treating agitation during acute psychosis. The use of benzodiazepines may also reduce the number of antipsychotics that are needed to control psychotic symptoms.

Psychosocial Therapies

In addition to antipsychotic medications, research has shown that psychosocial interventions, including psychotherapy, can improve outcomes. Patients with schizophrenia benefit more from the combined use of antipsychotic drugs and psychosocial treatment than from either treatment used alone. Psychosocial therapies include a variety of methods to increase social abilities, self-sufficiency, practical skills, and interpersonal communication in schizophrenia patients.

Different types of therapy that have shown success in treating schizophrenia patients include:

  • Social skills training is also known as behavioral skills training.
  • Family therapy educates family members about schizophrenia and how best to support the patient.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to improve cognitive distortions, reduce distractibility, and correct errors in judgment.
  • Long-term psychotherapy is based on the patient perceiving a reliable and trustworthy relationship with a therapist who has faith in the patient’s potential as a human, no matter how disturbed, hostile or bizarre the patient may be at times.
  • Personal therapy, uses social skills and relaxation exercises, education, self-reflection, self-awareness, and exploration of vulnerability to stress.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy combines cognitive and behavioral therapies in both individual and group settings.
  • Vocational therapy is used to help patients regain old skills or develop new ones.
  • Art therapy provides an outlet for a patient’s constant bombardment of imagery.
  • Cognitive training utilizes computer-generated exercises to improve cognition and working memory.

Mental Health Library Sources:

Information included in all topics of the Mental Health Library comes from the Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 and Kaplan & Sadock’s Concise Textbook of Clinical Psychiatry. Complete diagnostic and treatment information may be found within these publications.


Information within the Mental Health Library is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis purposes. Rather, it is provided as a public educational service to make people aware of mental health conditions. Please consult a qualified mental health professional for a diagnosis of any suspected mental health illness.

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