About Mental Illness
Major Depressive Disorder
Diagnosis & Medication
Reintegration & Recovery
What is Reintegration?
Family & Friends
Back to School
Standard of Care
Center for Reintegration
About Mental Illness
Hope & Help
Schizoaffective disorder is an illness that can be treated and managed. The symptoms can be managed often times with medication. Mood stablization and reduction or elimination of psychotic symptoms is key! This can often times be done with second generation antipsychotic medication, or in combination with other mood stablizers. Occasionally , antidepressant medication may be useful. As always, it is ultimately about the relationship between the doctor, patient and the support system.
Reaching out. Looking in.
Reintegration doesn't happen without help. The help may come from a caregiver, a sibling or even an employer. Often, the help comes in the form of psychotherapy as well as social and vocational training-all of which are helpful in providing support, education, and guidance to people with mental illnesses and their families.
When combined with consistent and appropriate drug therapies, these types of therapies and training can be very effective.
Individual psychotherapy involves regularly scheduled sessions between the patient and a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric social worker, or psychiatric nurse. The goal of this treatment is to help people with serious mental illness understand their experiences, thoughts, and feelings. By sharing experiences with a trained, knowledgeable, and understanding person people with mental illnesses may gradually understand more about themselves and their problems.
Psychoeducation involves teaching people about their illness, how to treat it, and how to recognize signs of relapse so that they can get necessary treatment before their illness worsens or occurs again. Family psychoeducation includes teaching coping strategies and problem-solving skills to families (and friends) of people with mental illnesses to help them deal more effectively with their ill relative. Family psychoeducation reduces distress, confusion, and anxieties within the family, which may help the person recover.
Social skills training
This training, which can be provided in group, family or individual sessions, is a structured and educational approach to learning social relationship and independent living skills. By using behavioral learning techniques, such as coaching, modeling and positive reinforcement, skills trainers have been successful in overcoming the cognitive deficits that interfere with rehabilitation. Research studies show that social skills training improves social adjustment and equips patients with means of coping with stressors, thereby reducing relapse rates by up to 50 percent.
Self-help and Support Groups
Self-help and support groups for people and families dealing with mental illnesses are becoming increasingly common. Although not led by a professional therapist, these groups may be therapeutic because members give each other ongoing support.
Members of support groups share frustrations and successes, referrals to qualified specialists and community resources, and information about what works best when trying to recover. They also share friendship and hope for themselves, their loved ones, and others in the group.