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Is Art Therapy a Recommended Treatment for Schizophrenia? by Tara Mandarano (Part. 2)

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a lifelong mental health condition. If you live with it, you may experience distortions in reality, including delusions or hallucinations. Per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), two of the following five symptoms must be present for a diagnosis, and at least one of those two symptoms must be from among the first three on the list below.

  • delusions

  • hallucinations

  • disorganized speech

  • disorganized or catatonic behavior

  • negative symptoms

“Positive” symptoms of schizophrenia are those that involve psychosis. They include delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized speech. “Negative” symptoms are blocked emotions or a muted emotional response. You may also feel less able to function in your everyday life. Psychosis is a symptom of schizophrenia. Sometimes people have trouble understanding it. It usually accompanies hallucinations or delusions. The most common types of hallucination are hearing voices and seeing or feeling things that aren’t really there.

Art therapy for schizophrenia

Recent trends in psychiatry have been focusing on a more holistic approach to treatment. The practice of using creativity or art therapy to improve symptoms actually started more than half a century ago. It’s been receiving renewed attention over the past 30 years. This may be because many antipsychotic medications come with distressing and debilitating side effects that people find intolerable.

Visual art therapy

“Art therapy can help keep people feel more focused in the present moment as they explore and play creatively. I find it helpful to provide a guided directive,” says Alexa Pinsker, an art therapist and counselor based in Colorado.

For example, create an image of an anchor or something that grounds you. This can be literal or metaphorical. “Most people appreciate having structure and something to focus on,” says Pinsker. It’s difficult to know if art therapy actually works as a treatment for schizophrenia. Trial results have been inconsistent, mixed, and sometimes contradictory. Visual art therapy has been analyzed the most. It appears more successful than other creative forms.

Music therapy

Music therapy is another popular form of art therapy that’s been studied. During this treatment, you create music — guided by your therapist — or listen and respond to music by analyzing the lyrics of a song. StudiesTrusted Source have shown improved outcomes in positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia when art therapy was used in addition to standard mental health treatment. Research also suggests that music therapy may improve social functioning and quality of life.

Another studyTrusted Source of psychiatric outpatients assigned to a year of weekly music therapy — in addition to receiving standard mental health care — revealed that they needed a lower dose of medication to manage their symptoms compared to those who did not go through music therapy. This likely indicates an improvement in their symptoms.


Soure here; https://psychcentral.com/lib/art-therapy-beneficial-schizophrenia-treatment#positive-symptoms

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