Treatments

People who experience the symptoms of psychosis are normally treated with a combination of medication – antipsychotic drugs, for example – and psychological or ‘talking’ therapies.

MEDICATION

Antipsychotic medication, which can help to control the symptoms of psychosis, works by targeting the dopamine system in the brain and dampening its effect. Medication can be very helpful for some people, and can allow them to lead entirely normal lives.

It may take a trial of several different types of medication before finding the right one. However antipsychotic medication doesn’t work for everyone, and some people find the side-effects difficult to tolerate. People who have on-going distressing symptoms despite optimal medication can benefit from talking therapies.

Researchers are also interested in testing drugs that affect other neurotransmitters that may somehow be involved in the development of the symptoms of psychosis and serious mental illness.

TALKING THERAPY

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a type of talking therapy that aims to help people manage their problems by looking at the way they think, how their thoughts affect their feelings and actions, and how their actions affect their thoughts.

CBT addresses today’s problems and difficulties, rather than only looking into the past, as some other forms of therapy do.

Cognitive behaviour therapy for psychosis, given in addition to medication, can help people cope better with some of the experiences they have – voices and delusions, for example – that may be causing them distress.

However, cognitive behaviour therapy does not help everybody who has experienced psychosis. Generally, only people who want therapy and engage fully in the process are likely to be helped. Therapy cannot be imposed on people, and an individual has to be motivated to meet with a therapist.

The above information is taken from an excellent website about psychosis:
www.mentalhealthcare.org.uk/what_is_psychosis

And Rethink Mental Illness:
www.rethink.org/