When diagnosed with Schizophrenia it is difficult to retain and lead a normal life. The Mayo Clinic defines this disorder as being a group of severe brain disorders in which people interpret reality abnormally. Schizophrenia may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior. There are numerous ways to treat Schizophrenia, but as a chronic disorder patients diagnosed will require lifelong ongoing treatment.
Depending on the form of Schizophrenia that is medically determined will decide what form of treatment is needed. WebMD reports that the most common subtypes are paranoid, disorganized, undifferentiated, and residual schizophrenics. The conditions of the disorder are very similar in traits but are medically diagnosed by the slightly different symptoms. General therapy, medications, and management require many of the same treatment scenarios.
For those who require a better understanding of Schizophrenia and how it affects the body, brain, and life of a patient, Schiz Life lists numerous links and articles that will help educate those with general knowledge, coping, treatment, and care. Individual profiles are available from Schiz Life to assist in identifying and aiding the variety of mutations for Schizophrenia.
Listed below you’ll find 3 ways to treat Schizophrenia.
1. Anti-psychotic Medications
Understanding the nature of the disorder will aid in establishing proper medications to the patient. The Oxford Journal explains that patients taking anti-psychotic medication to reduce the amount of hallucinations will still experience mild to moderate episodes during the first year. Each disorder may require trial and error when determining the most effective drug as some are ineffective against treating hallucinations. The most commonly used anti-psychotics are Olanzapine, Amisulpride, Ziprasidone, and Quetiapine. When a patient is found resistant to at least two of these drugs, Clozapine is prescribed. Anti-psychotics help balance neurotransmitter activity in the brain by controlling the levels of dopamine and serotonin.
Medicine alone cannot treat the symptoms of Schizophrenia. Once main factors such as hallucinations subcede, social therapy is an important residual treatment. Social skills training therapy is used to improve a schizophrenics communication skills and better their social functioning. Some patients will succeed in this area and can continue to lead a normal social life. Family therapy is also included to educate and support the family or loved ones of a schizophrenic in order to bring about a healthier relationship and lifestyle. Vocational rehabilitation and supported employment is available to patients with a mild disorder that is under control to help place them in employment that will substantiate and work with the patients ongoing treatment of schizophrenia. Individual therapy is vital to the disorder. Based on a patient’s unique needs, this therapy will help the patient deal with stress and teach ways to manage the progression of the disorder as to prevent relapse.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy or ECT is used in other medically diagnosed cases such as severe depression. Using this therapy in Schizophrenics is usually a last resort when the depression is worsening or they pose a threat to their own well being or others. Web MD explains the process of ECT as putting the patient to sleep using general anesthetics and muscle relaxers. Electrodes are then placed on the patients scalp to provide controlled and subtle electric currents to the brain. This triggers a mild seizure to occur which after awakening the patient has no conclusive memory of happening. Reporting on Schizophrenic ECT therapy, Schizophrenia.com, many scientists explain that electricity already running throughout our brains is what cause the neurons to fire and discharge neurotransmitters. This carries the impulse across the division of the neurotransmitters to the next cell. “Brain cells are set up in oscillating circuits that are firing regularly,” explains Csernansky. “What you are trying to do when you induce a seizure is get them all to fire in synchrony.” Researchers and psychiatrists are concluding that the seizure caused by this therapy boosts the brain’s response to releasing serotonin. This is a key concept in aiding and treating depression as low serotonin levels are what contribute to the signs and symptoms of severe depression.