It is unlikely that therapy alone can replace the need for medication in people who have bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. However, therapy can be an important part of a well-rounded treatment plan.
Numerous studies have found that psychosocial treatments as part of an overall schizophrenia treatment plan can be very helpful. This therapy helps patients who are already stabilized on antipsychotic medication deal with certain aspects of schizophrenia, such as difficulty with:
- Establishing and maintaining relationships with others.
As an addition to medication, psychosocial treatments -- including certain forms of psychotherapy (or "talk" therapy) -- are helpful in providing support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder, as well as to their families. Studies have shown that psychosocial interventions can lead to increased mood stability, fewer hospitalizations, and improved functioning in several areas.
(For more information, click Psychosocial Therapy for Schizophrenics or Bipolar Psychosocial Treatments.)
Fortunately, there are many medications available to treat bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, and there are other medications that can be used along with antidepressants for the treatment of depression. These medications can include:
- Other atypical antipsychotics
- Older, typical antipsychotics
- Mood stabilizers (for bipolar disorder)
- Other augmentation strategies (medication to be used along with an antidepressant to boost the effectiveness of the depression medication).