While all mental health conditions will cause disturbances in most, if not all, areas of the lives of those afflicted by them, schizophrenia is said by many to be the most chronically debilitating of all mental illnesses. The symptoms of schizophrenia prohibit sufferers from being able to appropriately interpret the world around them, interfering with their ability to differentiate between what is real and what is not. Such severe symptoms will inevitably cause the onset of dysfunction in all areas of a person’s life, leading to pervasive feelings of helplessness to change and hopelessness about the future.
Keeping in mind the sensitive nature of the symptoms that are characteristic of the presence of schizophrenia, Cross Creek Hospital has developed specialized programming that is tailored to meet the unique needs of patients who are faced with the challenges that accompany this demoralizing illness. The staff at our Austin-located treatment center make it a mission to help those who are battling schizophrenia learn to successfully manage and healthily cope with their symptoms so that they can live the full and happy lives that this illness has prevented them from living.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Seek Treatment for Schizophrenia
Due to the debilitating nature of schizophrenia, sufferers of this mental illness often have to rely on family members or loved ones in order to function in various areas of their lives. If you have a family member or loved one who is suffering from schizophrenia, you may be feeling weighed down by the responsibility that has fallen upon you in regards to caring for your loved one. On the other hand, you may have a loved one with schizophrenia who is able to care for him or herself independently, but yet you are still plagued by distress over what his or her future holds should his or her symptoms worsen. Here are some tips to keep in mind that can assist you in finding the confidence you need to successfully help your loved one:
- Educate yourself on schizophrenia. Learn the ins and outs of this disorder, including the various symptom types, the warning signs of increasing symptom severity, and the potential effects that can arise in the future. Arming yourself with this education will work towards helping you achieve the confidence you need in order to fully support your loved one.
- Research viable treatment options that may be beneficial in jump-starting the recovery process for your loved one. In many cases, inpatient hospitals are the most optimal option because they allows patients with schizophrenia to have access to around-the-clock care as they become stabilized on appropriate medications and begin to engage in various therapeutic interventions.
- Schedule appointments to meet with staff at the various treatment centers you discover so that you can find one with whom you feel most comfortable entrusting your loved one’s care. Furthermore, research the various centers’ admissions processes so that your loved one can be appropriately evaluated.
- Remain patient and unconditionally supportive. Even once the treatment process has begun, there will likely be setbacks along the way. Do all that you can to help your loved one adhere to aftercare treatments and maintain a steady schedule of taking any medication that has been prescribed.
Why Consider Our Schizophrenia Treatment Program
When individuals are denied appropriate therapeutic interventions for the treatment of schizophrenia, they are susceptible to suffering from a vast array of negative effects. The lack of discernment regarding one’s reality that is characteristic of schizophrenia can leave sufferers lacking the ability to succeed in school, obtain and maintain steady employment, and create and sustain healthy interpersonal relationships. These effects can result in a deterioration of self-esteem, enhancing feelings of depression and eliciting the onset of suicidal ideation. All-consuming paranoia, specific phobias, and heightened levels of anxiety are also known to occur in individuals with schizophrenia. While there is no cure for schizophrenia, through the implementation of appropriate treatment, individuals with this illness have the potential to regain control over their lives, affording them the opportunity to develop the skills needed to be successful and productive members of society.
Types of Schizophrenia Treatment Offered at Our Center in Austin, TX
At Cross Creek Hospital, located in Austin, TX, we are devoted to providing everyone who seeks our care for the treatment of schizophrenia with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Our hospital’s all-encompassing goal for treatment is to help men, women, and adolescents improve their overall functioning by helping them to stabilize and to continue their recovery with new tools that they will be taught in the treatment setting. We are proud to be able to achieve this goal by utilizing the structure and processes of a treatment model that combines cognitive-behavioral therapy, experiential therapies, and didactic therapies.
All of the treatment methods implemented in our inpatient programming utilize a multidisciplinary focus in order to ensure that an integrated approach to treatment that facilitates increased stabilization and growth is received by all patients. Furthermore, we place a high regard on the involvement of our patients’ families, knowing that their contribution to the therapeutic process is paramount to successful healing at our treatment center for schizophrenia. The emphasis of our programming here at Cross Creek Hospital in Austin, Texas is not diagnosis-specific, but rather focuses on treating the symptoms that are plaguing each individual. We are devoted to implementing a truly holistic approach that aims to maximize patient care and help them achieve their highest level of functioning.
The following methods for care may be incorporated into the individualized treatment plans that are given to each adolescent, adult, and senior adult who are engaged in treatment for schizophrenia at Cross Creek Hospital:
Medication management: The use of psychotropic medications are cornerstone to the successful treatment of schizophrenia. The implementation of these medications, however, are used in conjunction with other therapeutic methods as a means of fully treating the symptoms of this illness. The specific aspects of a patient’s medication needs, however, are always determined on a case-by-case basis. Patients meet with a psychiatrist at least once each day so that the therapeutic effectiveness of any medications that have been prescribed can be monitored and changes can be made when necessary. Additionally, there are also nurses on our hospital staff who assist in monitoring medication needs.
Individual therapy: This individual case consultation will occur at a minimum of once each week, but additional sessions can be added whenever needed or deemed beneficial to the patient. Various members of our patients’ treatment teams, including their assigned individual therapists, provide such consultations and afford patients a time to meet one-to-one to discuss any concerns they have, process through various emotions they are experiencing, and to track treatment goals.
Family therapy: Family involvement is important in the overall success of treatment for our patients. Keeping this in mind, family therapy sessions are held at least once each week for our adolescent patients and are held on as-needed basis for our adult patients. For the family members of those who are struggling with schizophrenia, this can be a time for them to learn about the illness itself, while also gaining valuable knowledge on ways in which they can be of best support to their loved one.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a significant component to the treatment options offered here at Cross Creek Hospital. The types of groups that our patients may engage in at our treatment center can include:
- Education groups teach patients about the origin and the nature of the disorder(s) that they are suffering from. In these groups, patients learn to identify problems, form a treatment plan, and work effectively on obtaining recovery and maintaining stability.
- Process groups provide a structured setting for the discussion of issues and concerns that are identified by patients. This group focuses on the processing of feelings, internal communication and cooperation, and participation in healthy group feedback.
- Addictions groups apply the 12-step addictions model for recovery to a wide range of self-destructive behaviors, including self-mutilation, disordered eating, and unhealthy personal relationships.
- Journaling groups provide a structured setting for developing therapeutic and recovery skills in the form of journaling, keeping a diary, completing homework assignments, and other writing tasks.
- Music therapy groups provide an emotionally evocative group setting that is designed to provide the participants with an opportunity to practice affect management skills.
- Healthy relationships groups focus on developing social skills and practicing health interactions. It provides a forum for structured, supportive risk-taking and practicing assertiveness, and the giving and taking of feedback.
- Discharge planning groups provide an opportunity for building skills that will improve the quality of life after discharge and reduce the likelihood of readmission.
Experiential therapy: In an attempt to provide a truly holistic approach to treatment, the staff at Cross Creek Hospital offers a number of experiential therapeutic options for our patients using things such as psychodrama and recreational techniques. These therapies are designed to teach patients skills for appropriate risk-taking, internal communication and cooperation, and expressing needs and fears. Examples of the experiential therapies that patients may engage in while at our Austin-based treatment center include:
- Physical wellness and exercise therapy program
- Animal assisted therapy
- Art therapy – This type of therapy is used to teach nonverbal strategies for expressing thoughts, feelings, and behavior in a healthy fashion. It is meant to be a technique for individuals to learn how to “tell without talking.” The art therapy groups also involve verbal processing of the artwork that is created.
- Relaxation integration – This type of experiential modality is designed to increase self-esteem, motivation, and energy levels by providing a forum for learning and practicing leisure and social skills, while also developing healthy support systems.
Continuing Care and Levels of Schizophrenia Treatment
At Cross Creek Hospital, we want to ensure that each patient will have continued success in healing and maintaining recovery after completing inpatient care at our treatment center. In order to do this, we make it a priority to begin discharge planning from the moment a patient is admitted into our care. This plan coincides with a patient’s treatment plan and aims to address any concerns or needs for further, less intensive treatment after engaging in our programming for the treatment of schizophrenia.
Our caring and compassionate treatment staff will work with patients and their families to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment recommendations that will allow our patients to refine and build upon the skills learned at Cross Creek Hospital in Austin, Texas. Recommendations will be provided based on each patient’s needs so that the treatment goals achieved while in our care can be upheld and exceeded, decreasing a patient’s need for a higher level of care going forward. Furthermore, a member of our staff will contact patients 48 to 72 hours after being discharged to ensure that a successful transition from Cross Creek to each patient’s respective community or continuing care center has been achieved.
At Cross Creek Hospital, we will do all that we can to help you or a loved one learn to cope with and successfully manage the devastating symptoms of schizophrenia so that a much deserved bright future is realized and within reach.