Schizophrenia essay

Schizophrenia is one of the psychological diseases that have affected a large number of people in the world today. Individuals who suffer from the disease may portray a series of symptoms that are very abnormal. Some end up interpreting reality in an abnormal way.  Delusions and hallucinations are common symptoms associated with the disease. The patients tend to exhibit a very disordered thinking, and in some cases, they will not make any sense when they are talking. While many people confuse this disease as a multiple personalities, Schizophrenia is just an emotional imbalance. The disease calls for a long time intervention since it is a chronic disease. Many people do not know about the disease; it is very unfortunate that only small percentage know about the disease. Lack of information and misconception replaces a better understanding of the disease. Many people misconceive the disease as a disease where the patients suffer from two personalities. Due to the negative media influences, many people equate the disease with violence.

Some of the widely used remedies for the disease include the use of antipsychotic medication and psychosocial interventions. The combination of the two methods has a lot of benefits. The treatment helps in the elimination of the acute symptoms that may not be treated using the psychosocial interventions. Additionally, the same also helps in the development of social skills which may not be realized by the use of medication only. While the medication prevents and eliminates acute symptoms, the patient also receives social skills that may help him cope with the life experiences. The most effective method is the social skills training.  There are enormous benefits that are realized from the use of antipsychotic medication and psychosocial treatment jointly. In this paper, I will lay an explicit focus on the reasons antipsychotic medication and psychosocial treatment should be combined with the medication for schizophrenia.

 

Symptoms

 The emergence of the signs in men and women vary significantly. In men, the symptoms appear in early twenties while, in women, the symptoms emerge at late twenties. The disease is coupled with emotional, as well as cognitive symptoms.

Delusions

Patients who suffer from the disease tend to have baseless beliefs that are untrue.  These individuals tend to portray beliefs that are not real. Some of them may have a strong belief that they are very famous. Some may have a false belief that their body functions are not normal. This symptom is one of the most eminent symptoms of the disorder. It occurs in almost all individuals who suffer from the disease.

Hallucinations are also another common symptom linked with the disease. Individuals suffering from the disease, tend to hear and see things that are not real. These kinds of hallucinations occur due to misinterpretation of self-talk. Although these hallucinations are abnormal, they make sense to individuals who suffer from the disease.  The voices that they hear may be associated with a person that they identify, and the voices give the impression of being rude and abusive. These people also suffer from disorganized speech. The dissolution in the thinking can clearly be seen in the way that the individual talks. These people have a problem with concentrating and thinking, and this explains the problems in talking. These individuals may exhibit a lot of problems especially when answering queries because they provide irrelevant answers. These people have a tendency of changing from one topic to another without any connection. The use of useless clangs is also eminent among individuals who suffer from this disease. They use a lot of rhyming words that do not have any meaning and relevance.

Negative Symptoms

Negative symptoms are also very eminent among the patients. These individuals lack some of the normal behaviors that exist in individuals. These individuals lack emotional expression. In other patients social withdrawal is also eminent.

Key Causes of the Disease

Schizophrenia is caused by many factors. Researchers have related the cause of the disease, to genetical and environmental interplays. The chemicals in the brain are also associated with the cause of the disease. Researchers have continuously related schizophrenia with dopamine and globate. The variations in the levels of these neurotransmitters pose a significant risk of developing the disease. Lack of a balance between these chemicals is also associated with the disease.  The various changes in the sensitivity of the body to the neurotransmitters have a relation with the disorder. The different studies of the neuro system also reveal that there is a difference in the brain size and structure of among the patients who suffer from the disease. The same evidence supports the fact that schizophrenia is a brain disease.

Genetics

Researchers have revealed that schizophrenia is a hereditary disorder. Despite the fact that no specific gene is linked with the disease, research reveals that the families which have had a past case of the disease are at a risk of getting the disease in the future.  The varying combination of genes exposes an individual to the risk of the disease. The study of hereditary relations with the disease was carried out through various studies on twins. Identical twins showed a higher probability of developing the disease if one of them had the disease. Nonidentical twins showed a lower probability of developing schizophrenia if one of the twins developed it.

Birth Complications

There is a close relationship between the development of the disease and birth complications. Individuals, who have experienced complications during birth, have a high probability of developing the disease in the future. For example, issues such as lack of oxygen and premature labor have a significant impact on the brain, and thus they pose as serious causes of the disease.

Some of the environmental factors also trigger the development of the disease.  For example, stressful situations that one may encounter in life pose a serious risk to the development of the disease. Stressful situations such as loss of close person, violence among others, are some of the stressful situations that may trigger the development of the disease.

Other causes are substance abuse. Researchers have found that abuse of certain drugs may also trigger the development of schizophrenia. Studies have revealed that the abuse of amphetamines, bhang among other drugs can easily trigger the development of the disease among people who are highly susceptible to the disease.  Researchers have also revealed that the teens who abuse drugs have a very high chance of developing schizophrenia by the age of 26 years.

Diagnosis

 The doctors will make an inquiry into the personal history of an individual, where they will enquire about   the medical and psychiatric history. The doctors will conduct a series of tests so as to establish whether the patient has the disease. Some of the major tests included are testing and screening. Some of the tests include CBC. The doctors may also achy a series of other blood tests so as to rule out other diseases with the same symptoms.  Imaging studies may also be carried out so as to ensure that there is the right diagnosis of the disease. Such tests may include the CT scan and the MRI.

The doctor also carries out a psychological evaluation of the patient. In this case, the doctor evaluates the mental status of the patient by making inquiries into moods, drug abuse, and other symptoms. The criteria for diagnosis of the disease must be inconsistent with the DSM criteria. The diagnosis aims at ruling out the possibility of other mental disorders such as substance abuse and any other form of medication. Patients who have the disease must present unique symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations.

Risk Factors

There are various factors that increase the probability of developing the disease. Some of these factors include:

  1. A family history of the diseases is a factor linked with the disease.  There is a high likelihood of the disease occurring when one has had a family member who has had the disease.
  2. Abuse of drugs during the teenage is also another risk factor. Teenagers who take mind-altering drugs have a very high probability of developing the disease in the future.
  3. Exposure to toxins such as viruses during the maternal life in the different trimesters is another risk factor. The social, economic factors also increase the chances of the disease. The disease is very common among the low class. The poor are more likely to develop the disease than the rich.

Psychosocial Treatments

Psychosocial treatments are very useful among patients who have been stabilized. The psychosocial treatments are very imperative to the everyday life of this patient. The main advantage of these treatment methods is that they help the patients in coping with the challenges such as coping with work challenges. They also help in the development of communication skills which cannot be realized by the use of any medical intervention. Applying the medical intervention only, will relieve the acute symptoms but it will not help anything when it comes to socialization. Additionally, the psychosocial treatments can also help the patients in complying with the medications and the chances of hospitalization are significantly reduced. The psychosocial treatments are very helpful since they enable the patients to make an adjustment that enable them to live with the disease. Some of the psychosocial treatment options that are available are discussed below:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

 This type of therapy is focuses on the behavior and the thinking of a person CBT is very useful especially when coping with symptoms that cannot be cured by the use of medications.  The therapists educate the sick people on how to examine whether their thoughts are real or not. The sick ones are also educated on how they can manage the symptoms and how they can decrease hospitalizations.

Family Intervention

The family plays a very critical role in the management of the disease. The patients spend their lives with the relatives, and thus the family intervention is very imperative in the management of the disease. Through the education that the family gets from the therapist, they can assist the patients in coping with the disease. The family can help the patients in adhering to the medication. They can also help them in problem-solving among other related skills.

Compliance Therapy

Compliance therapy is also an important intervention used in the management of schizophrenia. The intervention focuses on ensuring that the patients comply with the medications.  The patients are educated on the importance of complying with the medications. They are warned against skipping medications since it will result to other serious implication such as hospitalization. This type of intervention is very relevant since it helps in the compliance of the drugs, and the rate of recovery is increased.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is another intervention that lays an emphasis on vocational training where they aim at equipping the patients with the relevant skills so that they can lead a good life in the community. Since the disease affects the life of an individual during the productive age, it is important to provide training to the patients so that they can lead a better life.  Rehabilitation program involves a series of activities from job counseling and training as well as the communication skills. The programs are well designed to help in the improvement of thinking. These skills are very beneficial since they help an individual to remember some of the vital details in life, and they also help them in holding jobs.  Some of these skills can never be achieved if an individual was subjected to medication only.

Social And Self-Care Skills

The patients have a critical role; in managing their illness. This type of intervention educates the patient on how they can manage the illness. The patients are educated about the disease and how they can manage it. This type of intervention can be provided on an individual basis or in the group.  The intervention was invented a long time ago, and it is among the most effective method of treating the disease.

Cognitive Abilities and Moods

This intervention helps the patients to cope with mood disorders. They are very essential since they help in eliminating the negative effects that emanate from dangerous moods that the patients may portray. The same also helps in the development of useful skills in life that may help the patients to cope with the daily life.

Social Groups

 The patients who suffer from the disease need serious interventions. In addition to the support that they may receive from the family members, it is also crucial for the patients to join some social groups.  Joining other people who have the same disease can have a lot of positive implications. The patients benefit from the social support that they enjoy from each other. On the other hand, there is a series of interventions that can be carried out in a group.

Biological Interventions

Apart from the psychosocial treatment options for the disease, there are other forms of treatment that are used together with the method.  Some of these methods are

 Antipsychotic Medication

The medications are a series of medicines which are also used in the treatment of other related diseases. The common medications include:

  • Thorazine
  • Haldol
  • Prolixin
  • Etrafon

These medications were invented in the 1950,s, and there have been a series of improvements in the drugs. New drugs have been invented, and they are also widely used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

Conventional and Atypical

 The 1990 was marked by the invention of new types of drugs that are now widely used alongside the old medications in the treatment of the disease. These types of medications are referred as atypical drugs or conventional drugs. Clozaril is among the drugs in this category. The drug has proven to be very effective especially in the treatment of hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms.  These drugs work like the old drugs, but they are efficient than the old drugs. Among the unique characteristics of these drugs is that they work on the varying messengers in the brain. These medicines are also widely used in the treatment of other related diseases such as depression.  The effects of these drugs are almost similar to the effects of the older drugs.

Side Effects

The various medications used in the treatment of the disorder cause side effects.  Some of these side effects may include, weight gain, and sleepiness.  The drugs also have an implication on the libido of the person, and they affect the sex life.  A long-term use can result to face movements. Heavy dosages of the drugs also have a lot of implications. Individuals who use the drugs in heavy doses may experience Parkinsonian effects.

With the introduction of Medicaid, the accessibility of healthcare has been increased the poor can easily access the medical facilities, and they can get the various medications. The availability of the medicines has also had a stake in the over dosage. The pharmaceutical companies have had a stake in the increasing use of medications. There have been incentives among the physicians who prescribe these drugs and that are why the prescription of these drugs is very common. The association between the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies has also been a significant boost in the use of these drugs. These drugs have turn out to be so widespread than the other methods of treatment. The drugs appear to be inexpensive options because than the other options because the prices have been lowered.

Long-Term Benefits

The various interventions can lead to the realization of long-term benefits. The use of various interventions can lead to an improved relationship between the patient and the doctor. The patients have knowledge of the disease, and they are likely to interact with the doctors well since they know they have a lot of awareness on the disorder. They will have adapted to live with the disease without a lot of problems. They will cooperate with the doctors for the betterment of their lives. Additionally, there is enhanced communication with the patients so that they can have an enhanced understanding of their conditions. The patients are concerned about their well-being, and they are more likely to seek information on the disease so that they can understand it better.

On the other hand, there will be better treatments for the disease since the psychosocial options will aid in effective treatments. The perceived misconceptions of the disease will be eliminated through education of the paints’ the doctors will also handle the patients in a humane way. The society and the family members will also treated the patients in a good way since the existing myths and misconceptions will no longer exist. They will be able to support the patients and perceive them as part of the larger community.

Conclusion

 Schizophrenia is a common mental disorder that is affecting a large proportion of people in the world today. Various factors such as defects during birth and drug abuse cause the disease. There are predisposing factors such as the age of the father and abuse of drugs. There are various interventions used in the treatment of the disease. Some of these methods include rehabilitation, social groups and the use of the family intervention. These methods are used together with the medications there are two main types of medications that are used which include the old generation methods and the new generation drugs. These drugs have some side effects especially when used for a long time. The above interventions have long-term benefits that include good relationships between the patients and doctors, as well as better treatment of the patients.

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Schizophrenia essay

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