A new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry today adds to increasing support for early intervention to help treat individuals with schizophrenia. This latest research delved deeper into the treatment strategy of “early intervention,” or getting individuals the right treatment at the right time. This model moves to reach patients shortly after they first display psychotic symptoms; mental health professionals would then focus mostly upon therapy and support, with slight (but much less) emphasis on small doses of the right medication. Historically, treatment of schizophrenia has relied on the administration of high doses of antipsychotics; often individuals battling schizophrenia do not receive treatment for a year or more after the onset of their psychotic symptoms.
Early intervention methods are becoming much more commonplace in Australia and the UK. This new study may be the encouragement that the United States needs to begin adopting this method as well. Organized by the National Institutes of Mental Health, the paper concluded that individuals receiving treatment earlier on were substantially better off than those receiving late treatment.
Click here to read the full article by Jonathan Cohn for Huffington Post.