Table of Contents
Schizophrenia is a condition characterized by a breakdown in the connection of thoughts, emotions, and behavior. Patients suffering from the condition view and interpret reality abnormally, a situation that leads to faulty perceptions. The disorder is characteristic of instabilities in the mood, abnormal social behavior, and thinking. Instabilities in an individual’s thought system is in connection with the change of concept formation that actually leads to misinterpretation of reality. Behavior may be associated with withdrawal, regression, and bizarre actions. It results from a group of psychotic disorders (The New York Times Report, 2008). Most patients of Schizophrenic have other mental health problems such as anxiety disorders, depressive illnesses, or substance use disorder. The common symptoms of these patients are false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hallucinations, emotional depression, as well as reduced social interaction or motivation.
Schizophrenia does not involve split or multiple personalities but does compromise the thinking and changes the perception of the person. Some patients may recover completely or with time from the illness, but for some the illness becomes prolonged which can be characterized by stressful symptoms and disability. The disorder can be diagnosed after six months of sickness, and at least one month of active experience of psychosis symptoms. Notably, not everyone who develops the disorder experiences psychosis. However, there is a possibility of experiencing a single episode of psychosis that may not occur later in the patient’s life (Frith, 2014).
Physiological Contributions to Schizophrenia
Causes of Schizophrenia
The causes of schizophrenia may range from genetics, psychologic or infectious factors. Defects in an individual’s brain such as unusual imbalance in brain chemicals may be a cause of the condition. Similarly, it is likely that some of these patients are born with the susceptibility of developing this kind of illness and issues like stress or multiple uses of drugs such as marijuana trigger the first episodes of the disorder. However, the combination of genetics and environmental factors stimulates the growth and occurrence of schizophrenia. Besides, there are problems associated with the production of brain chemicals, which include neurotransmitters known as dopamine and glutamate, which exposes an individual to schizophrenia.
The main cause of schizophrenia remains a subject of contemporary research. However, certain factors tend to intensify the possibility of triggering the disorder, which includes a family history of schizophrenia disorder, increased resistant activation on the system, birth complications due to starvation or contact to pollutants or illnesses that cause an effect on the brain development, use of mind-altering drugs. Additionally, the interaction of genes and the aspects of an individual environment expose an individual to the development of schizophrenia disorder. The disorder needs close observation if left untreated it may result in a more severe problem that affects the patient’s life. Complications associated with schizophrenia include suicidal attempts, anxiety disorders, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and self-injury.
Signs and Symptoms of Schizophrenia Disorder
Schizophrenic patients experience various symptoms without the treatment the patients may experience a persistent symptom known as psychosis. Confused thinking, delusions, hallucinations, thought and movement disorders are some of the schizophrenia symptoms. The symptoms can vary over time accompanied with periods of extreme and decrease of symptoms. For example among the males, the condition symptoms show between their early years to mid-20s while among the female, the symptoms start to show in the late period of age 20. The condition is uncommon among children and the elderly. Schizophrenia condition associated with teenagers is identical to those of the adults; however, the condition may be difficult to observe. Among teenagers, they often experience withdrawal symptoms, insomnia, and drop in performance in school while the adults are likely to experience delusion and visual hallucinations. For some patients, there may be cases of cognitive symptoms, which may tend to be indirect but for others, it may become more severe, and the changes may be noticed in their memory or on the other aspects of thinking. These cognitive symptoms may include trouble on paying attention and problems on the use of memory.
Schizophrenia diagnosis involves various steps of ruling out conditions associated with mental health and determination of symptoms that do not occur due to treatments, or medical condition. Therefore, the determination of schizophrenic disorder may include physical exanimation that helps identify problems associated with the illness, tests and screening, psychiatric evaluation on the patients by close observation of the patient’s appearance, thoughts, delusions personal and family history.
Treatment and Therapies
Schizophrenia needs a long-term treatment even when the symptoms have subsided. Treatment with medicines and therapies can help manage the disorder. The treatment may involve a social worker, psychologist, and psychiatric nurse. There are various treatment and therapies for schizophrenia condition. The treatments include
This type of medication is usually done by taking a daily pill or liquid from if the medication in the form of injections which are administered once or twice a month. Some patients may experience various side effects, which may disappear after a few days. The antipsychotics are categorized into two: first and second generation. The first generation antipsychotics have potential significance to neurological side effects while second-generation antipsychotics are preferred due to their association to lower risk of acute side effects. Antipsychotic drugs have been the first lane of treatment for schizophrenia. Findings show that this type of medication is associated with decreased mortality rate (Morrison et al., 2014).
Psychosocial Treatments and Interventions
This particular treatment is helpful because the patient and the doctor might be able to find a medication that is convenient and accommodating during the treatment process. Learning and incorporating the use of coping skills to help solve daily challenges of schizophrenia helps a patient cope with the challenges of life, pursue their dreams. Individuals who participate in the psychosocial treatment are likely to progress positively and have minimal chances of relapse or hospitalization. This can only be attained through close coordination of the patient’s progress, individual therapy, social skills training, family therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and employment (Haddad, 2014).
Coordinated Specialty Care
The treatment model incorporates medication, psychosocial therapies, case management, family involvement, supported education and employment services with the aim of symptom reduction and improvement of the patient’s quality of life.
In the process of medication of schizophrenia, hospitalization may be recommended in situations of severe symptoms during a period of crisis in the patient’s life. Hospitalization may be necessary to safeguard the patient’s wellbeing, allow for a healthy diet, sufficient rest and basic cleanliness.
This method of treatment may be used on individuals especially adults who are unable to respond to drug therapy. The mode of treatment might also be helpful to an individual with depression (Pompili, 2013).
- Frith, C. D. (2014). The cognitive neuropsychology of schizophrenia. Psychology Press.
- Haddad, P. M., Brain, C., & Scott, J. (2014). Nonadherence with antipsychotic medication in schizophrenia: challenges and management strategies. Patient Relat Outcome Meas, 5, 43-62.
- Morrison, A. P., Turkington, D., Pyle, M., Spencer, H., Brabban, A., Dunn, G., & Grace, T. (2014). Cognitive therapy for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders not taking antipsychotic drugs: a single-blind randomised controlled trial. The Lancet, 383(9926), 1395-1403.
- Pompili, M., Lester, D., Dominici, G., Longo, L., Marconi, G., Forte, A., & Girardi, P. (2013). Indications for electroconvulsive treatment in schizophrenia: a systematic review. Schizophrenia research, 146(1), 1-9.
- The New York Times Report. (2008). Schizophrenia In-Depth Report.