Schizophrenia creates new challenges every day and continues to be a complicated mental illness for many people. Although many believe developing the disorder is rare, it in fact is not rare at all and almost anyone is at risk of developing it throughout their lives. To understand the importance of why schizophrenia needs to be treated will be presented in this paper below. In addition to the treatments available to schizophrenia, it will cover the controversy of the treatment that is most appropriate to treat this mental illness.
Schizophrenia Schizophrenia is characterized by hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders, social withdrawal, lack of initiative and persistence, speech poverty, deficits in learning and memory, and poor abstract thinking (Carlson, 2010). Symptoms normally develop in young adulthood and can be followed by loss of brain tissue and can affect multiple areas of the brain. Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected many people every day. People with this disorder have heard voice before that others do not hear. They tend to believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or wanting to cause them harm. These types of thoughts can cause people to become extremely agitated and make them withdrawn. Some people with this disorder may not make sense when they use their speech and may sit for hours without moving or talking. Many have difficulties holding a job or caring for themselves and end up relying on others for assistance.
Schizophrenia DSM-IV Criteria
Two or more symptoms, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1 month period
Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
Continuous signs of disturbance persist for at least 6 months The first step in getting treatment for schizophrenia is getting a correct diagnosis. Symptoms of schizophrenia can be similar to others major brain disorders such as bipolar disorder or depression. It is important to see a good psychiatrist that is experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia since family doctors may not be too familiar with the symptoms of schizophrenia. As mentioned above, the diagnosis of schizophrenia, according to DSM-IV, requires at least 1-month duration of two or more positive symptoms, unless hallucinations or delusions are bizarre. Negative symptoms appear to reflect loss of normal functions. They are difficult to evaluate because they are not grossly abnormal as positive ones and may be caused by other factors as well. Delusions are universal in schizophrenia. The content of the delusions is extremely varied: patients may feel persecuted; they may have grandiose ideas; all manner of things may refer and pertain to them. As mentioned before, they may feel influenced and controlled by others.
The Four D’s Even though medications are crucial in the treatment of schizophrenia, many with this disorder are not compliant with taking them, and even those who do comply with taking their medication, over 50% of people with the mental illness will continue to have distressing symptoms. Cognitive therapy has shown to be very effective in treating those patients with schizophrenia. In the cognitive model, delusions are thought to result from faulty interpretations of events and therapists help the patient identify and correct those faulty interpretations. This often results in a decrease of distress and fear in the patient. Therapy is usually delivered in individual sessions, lasting 50-60 minutes and can be treated in shorter durations or the patient can be offered breaks depending on the level of agitation the client is experiencing or any distress. The main goal of cognitive therapy in schizophrenia is to decrease the patient’s distresses that