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Ask Dr. Ed Wilfong Your Own Question
Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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I am a student in a masters counseling program. I am doing

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I am a student in a master's counseling program. I am doing a presentation on schizophrenia next week. What advise would you give to a group of new counselors in dealing with people with this disease and their families?
  • emphasize the genetic/biological nature of it - child rearing is not to blame for this. It occurs in 1% of the population in every society studied.
  • age of onset is typically not until early twenties and may be no signs before that or any triggers for it
  • the only treatment is medication, with some social support if needed
  • compliance - the patient will relapse if they quit medications
  • non-compliance - part of the disorder is that patient will want to quit medication when they feel better. you have to work hard with patient and family education to emphasize this. Also medication side effects can be unpleasant, but not as bad as the schizophrenia.
  • this does not get cured. treatment is lifelong
  • remember, if patient is of legal age, usually 21, they have the right to refuse treatment unless they are of immediate danger to self or others or cannot care for their daily living needs
  • with treatment, many patients can have careers, relationship and lead relatively normal lives


Edited by Dr. Ed Wilfong on 4/2/2010 at 6:55 PM EST
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