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Abilify Maintena®

Managing your condition


What is it like to have schizophrenia?1

 

Many different experiences and behaviours can be part of schizophrenia. For some, these experiences can start suddenly, whilst others may find they develop gradually over time. Each person’s experience of schizophrenia is unique to them.

 

You may find that you: 

 

  • Struggle to carry on with day-to-day activities, like going to work or shopping 
  • Become easily upset or confused
  • Disagree with people who think something is wrong and want to help
  • Feel worried or afraid about seeking help
  • Have difficulty in knowing which of your thoughts and experiences are real and which are not 

What causes schizophrenia?1,2 

 

The cause of schizophrenia isn’t yet known but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, physical, psychological and environmental factors, not just one.

 

Some of the possible causes that increase the chances of developing schizophrenia may include: 

 

  • Stressful life events – for example losing your job, being abused or losing someone close to you
  • Recreational drug use
  • A family history of schizophrenia
  • If some chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, are present at altered levels

Living with schizophrenia

 

Although there isn’t currently a cure for schizophrenia, many symptoms may get better with treatment. You may have periods in which your symptoms return (relapses) but support and treatment may help to reduce the risk of this and provide symptom control.

 

After the initial symptoms of schizophrenia are controlled, various types of therapy can be beneficial in helping to manage the illness and help provide an improved quality of life. For many people living with schizophrenia, family support is very important to their health and wellbeing.


How is schizophrenia treated? 

 

Schizophrenia is usually treated with a combination of medicine and therapy, tailored to each individual’s needs. Antipsychotic medicines are commonly prescribed by doctors as the initial treatment to help with schizophrenia. They work by blocking the effect of the neurotransmitter (body’s chemical messenger) dopamine on the brain. 

 

Antipsychotics can usually reduce feelings of anxiety or aggression within a few hours of use, but may take several days or weeks to reduce other symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusional thoughts. 

 

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a type of talking treatment that can help with patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing difficulties. This type of therapy is designed to help you cope with some of your symptoms.


 

  1. Mind, Understanding schizophrenia. Available at https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/schizophrenia/#.W4lZw5NKiu4 (Last accessed July 2021). 
  2. https://www.medicines.ie/medicines/abilify-maintena-suspension-for-injection-400mg-300mg-not-marketed--34483/patient-info. 
Treatment with Abilify Maintena
Abilify Maintena patient information

Date of Preparation: July 2022