Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects a variety of individuals. Schizophrenia information is available to any individual who feels that they may be suffering from this sometimes debilitating illness. A psychologist, or psychiatrist can easily diagnose or rule out a mental illness such as schizophrenia. There are local mental health facilities in most all areas in the U.S. that can evaluate and give an appropriate diagnosis. There is also information that can be accessed online which can provide you with information on treatment centers and non-profit support groups.
Although there is a great deal of information available about this particular illness nothing should take the place of seeking the assistance of a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder or illness. Schizophrenia Symptoms include (hallucinations), delusions, disorganized speech, disorganized thinking, impairent in social cognition, paranoia, and social isolation. Schizophrenia signs and symptoms help to distinguish schizophrenia from other mental illnesses. Schizophrenia has positive and negative symptoms.
Positive symptoms are behaviors that are not normally seen in most individuals but are exhibited by individuals with schizophrenia. These behaviors include delusions, disorganized thought patterns and speech. Other positive symptoms are tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory and gustatory hallucinations. Negative symptoms of schizophrenia refers to the lack of a normal emotional response or thought process. Individuals exhibiting negative symptoms will display a blunt or flat affect, alogia, anhedonia, asociality, and avolition. Antipsychotics are used to treat schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia treatment helps to reduce symptoms and lessen the probability that symptoms will return. Antipsychotics are used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia but are not a cure. Antipsychotics reduce a patients psychotic symptoms allowing for a better quality of life. Although these drugs are helpful they are more effective on the positive symptoms of schizophrenia rather than the negative symptoms. Antipsychotics or neuroleptics improve chemical imbalance in the brain. These drugs may also be more effective on patients who are resistant to older drugs. Although they are effective they have some adverse side effects.
These side effects include sleepiness, weight gain, restlessness, muscle contraction, and problems with movement. A condition called tardive dyskinesia which is an inability to control movement is also a possible side effect. Other drugs referred to as atypical drugs have fewer side effects. Atypical drugs used to treat the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia are classified as dibenzepines. This type of drug is considered atypical because the side effects are different than the coventional antipychotics that are used to treat schizophrenia. Extra pyrammidal side effects (EPS) are less likely to occur with atypical drugs.
Drugs used to treat schizophrenia include clozapine(Clozaril), loxapine(Loxitane), olanzapine(Zyprexa) and quetiapine(Seroquel). Clozapine is a drug that is taken orally and is only used when other drugs have not been effective. Loxapine is also a drug that is taken orally. This drug helps patients mental problems and helps them to maintain reality. Olanzapine is an atypical drug taken orally that is used to treat schizophrenia, biolar disorder, and psychotic disorders. Quetiapine is taken orally and is also used to treat schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
Medications in combination with supportive and problem focused therapy can help improve a patients ability to cope. Teaching skills such as behavioral techniques and social skills can help a patient function in the work or social environment. Family treatments that focus on educating the family about schizophrenia and its symptoms can help improve a patients quality of life.