Schizophrenia and It’s This paper will go over the basics of what schizophrenia. The various types of treatments that are available for patients with Schizophrenia will be covered more in depth. Treatments “To be a schizophrenic it is best summed up in a repeating dream that I have had since childhood. In this dream I am lying on a beautiful sunlit beach but my body is in pieces . . . . I realize that the tide is coming in and that I am unable to gather the parts of my dismembered body together to run away. . . This to me is what schizophrenia feels like; being fragmented in one’s personality and constantly afraid that the tide of illness will completely cover me (Quoted in Rollin, 1980). ” (Carole Wade, 2002) Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder where a person suffers from delusions, hallucinations, disturbing behavior, cognitive impairments and disorganized speech. Persons suffering from this disease normally discover they have this disease during their late childhood to their early adulthood. Schizophrenia is a rare disease and there are very few well known cases of someone suffering from schizophrenia.
A famous or well known person that suffers from this uncommon disease is John Nash, known for the movie about his life, A Beautiful Mind. He was a Nobel Prize winning mathematician that currently teaches at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Syd Barret of Pink Floyd, Lionel Aldridge a superbowl-winning athlete, Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac and Albert Einstein’s son are a few more people that also suffer from schizophrenia. Originally, researchers believed that schizophrenia came from “being raised by an erratic, cold, rejecting mother or from living in an unpredictable environment . . . (Carole Wade, 2002) Now it is believed that this disorder comes from a genetic problem that affect your brain and is often developed at birth or during a child’s adolescence. There is currently no known cure for schizophrenia. “Several modes of treatment can, when skillfully applied, reduce the impact of schizophrenic disorders on both the patient and the community. ” (Armand M. Nicholi, 1999) There are, however various different modes of treatments available to patients that will assist in controlling the adverse side effects of the disease. These modes include various therapies, medications and treatments.
One of the earlier methods of treatments that is not used as often as more current treatments is Insulin-Shock Therapy. This method was first discovered in the early 1920’s and was first used by Dr. Manfred Sakel to treat schizophrenia. In the 1930’s doctors discovered that patients no longer had psychotic-like thoughts after they recovered from their induced coma. Dr. Max Fink explains that “Insulin injections led to two to three hours of low blood sugar levels . . . When blood sugar levels fall precipitously, the brain cannot sustain consciousness and the patients become stuporous. The sequence of confusion, weakness, awkward walking, slurred speech, and stupor are occasionally seen when diabetic patients have an “insulin reaction,” a sharp fall in blood glucose in response to too large a dose of insulin. )” (Max Fink, 2002) After the treatment was through the patient would be covered in sweat and sometimes the sheets would be soiled with bodily fluids. The patients were observed to be less aggressive, less hostile and very calm. In the successful treatments, the patients’ delusions and hallucinations were no longer present and they also experienced less obsessive thoughts.
Many people view this treatment as dangerous and did not use this method because of the risks involved. This therapy was slowly replaced with Electroconvulsive therapy and is rarely used today. Electroconvulsive or electroshock therapy is “A treatment involving the use of anesthesia and administration of muscle relaxants and oxygen that produces a convulsion by passing an electrical current through the brain. ” (APA P Kahn, 1993) This form of therapy is usually successful in patients that cannot tolerate medication or are catatonic or not eating or drinking.
ECT is administered three to four times a week every other day for a total of twelve treatments. It is also used for severe depression, psychosis and also with patients that have a high suicide risk. This may seem like a very violent and cruel form of therapy, but it usually produces good results and the patient typically does not remember any of the therapy itself. Some side effects of this treatment include temporary and or short term memory loss, permanent gaps in the long term memory, headaches and also muscle pains.
The patient might also experience random silly laughing or crying, weakness in their arms or legs and also trouble speaking or aphasia. A few less intense therapies available include Family Therapy and Behavioral Therapy, both of which incorporates other people into the therapy. Family therapy began in the 1950’s to help increase the family members’ understanding of the illness as well as the patient’s behavior due to the disease. It is “a form of psychotherapy that tends to focus on the family unit, or at least the parent and child. (APA P Kahn, 1993) This more or less helps the people involved with a person with schizophrenia deal with the disease where as behavioral therapy assists the patient maintain their own behaviors to be able to live in their communities. It is also referred to as the Token Economy and works most effectively when the person is admitted into inpatient or day hospitals or are living in a half-way house. This form of therapy changes the patient’s behavior with a reward and punishment system and must be monitored and the rewards and punishments controlled.
Patients must exhibit a certain behavioral change according to the program that was laid out for them and in turn will receive poker chip like tokens which can be used to buy rewards such as food, TV privileges and access to special activities. This program focuses on creating the appropriate social behavior the patient needs to have to enter back into the community. The other treatment available and most popular are medication and antipsychotic drugs. “The treatment of schizophrenic patients was revolutionized in the mid-1950s with the recognition of the antipsychotic effects of chlororpromazine.
Since then, the use of this and other “major tranquilizers” or “typical neuroleptic (or antipsychotic) drugs” improved the outcome of patients enough that many long-term hospitalization wards were emptied, and many patients were able to live in the community. ” (Armand M. Nicholi, 1999) Chlororpromazine is a tranquilizer (Used to treat John Nash) that was the first antipsychotic drug to be put on the market according to The Encyclopedia of Mental Health, 2nd Edition. This medication had a low potency and yielded the best results in patients under the age of forty.
Some of the side effects of this form of treatment are dizziness, hypotension, ocular changes and dyskinesia, according to Medicine. net. Another well known antipsychotic drug used in treating schizophrenia is Clozapine, or Clozaril. It was approved to be used in the United States in 1989. Typically, Clozaril is used with patients that have no response to various other drugs or treatment. It improves the patient’s symptoms and helps them to be able to function in the community. Just like most medications, this should be monitored by a doctor or to help prevent a decrease in the production of the patient’s white blood cells.
This happens as a response to the drug and weakens their immune system. These are just a couple of the more popular drugs available to assist patients suffering from this often debilitating mental disease. Some other medications available include mood stabilizers such as lithium, divalproex, carbamazepine and lamotrigine. The mood stabilizers help to treat the mood swings associated with schizophrenia and often take longer to work than other medications. They also require a doctor to monitor the medication.
Some side effects of the various mood stabilizers are sleepiness, dizziness, weight gain due to increased appetite. Muscle stiffness, shakiness and also uncoordinated and sometimes permanent muscle twitches. There are many different forms of therapies available to treat schizophrenia and even more antipsychotic drugs that are available; however it is very likely that over a period of time many patients will relapse even with all of the treatments and therapies they may be involved in. Some patients also may be able to function in their community even without any form of medication, depending on the person.
It is a disease that still puzzles many people today. Hopefully one day someone will uncover a cure to this painful disease. Works Cited APA P Kahn, P. a. (1993). The Encyclopedia of Mental Health Second Edition. New York: Facts on File. Armand M. Nicholi, J. M. (1999). The Harvard Guide to Psychiatry 3rd Edition. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Carole Wade, C. T. (2002). Invitation to Psycology Fourth Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc. David B. Jacoby, M. (1991).
Encyclopedia of Family Health Third Edition. New York, London, Singapore: Marshal Cavendish Corperation. Max Fink, M. a. (2002). American Experience. Retrieved November 21, 2010, from A Brilliant Madness: www. pbs. org/wgbh/amex/nash/filmmore/ps_ict. html Robert J Bryg, M. (2009, December). Low Blood Pressuse Overview and Causes. Retrieved November 17, 2010, from Web MD: www. webmd. com/heart/understanding-low-blood-pressure-basics. com Schizophrenia: WebNet. (2010, September 10). Retrieved November 11, 2010, from WebNet: www. medecinenet. com/schizophrenia/article. htm