What is schizophrenia and can schizophrenia be cured? Schizophrenia is a serious mental health problem. People with schizophrenia typically have difficulties differentiating between what is real and what is imaginary. Thought processes can become disconnected and the person might seem confused and disorganized.
What are the main symptoms of schizophrenia?
Patients with schizophrenia can experience a wide range of different symptoms, some more severe than others. In the early stages of the illness, symptoms might be vague and include sleep problems and an inability to concentrate. In later stages of schizophrenia, the person is likely to become delusional and suffer from hallucinations and other symptoms of psychosis.
Is schizophrenia a dangerous mental health illness?
Most schizophrenic patients become withdrawn as opposed to violent, but the media often fixates on the isolated cases of patients who have committed violent acts as a result of their disturbed mental state. In reality, schizophrenics are no more likely to be prone to violent outbursts than anybody else, and if they do lash out, it tends to be directed at those in their immediate circle. The biggest risk with schizophrenia patients, in particular young men, is that they are prone to suicide attempts. On average around 10% of all schizophrenia patients commit suicide as a result of their illness.
Can schizophrenia be cured?
Schizophrenia can never be cured, but it can be successfully managed in a large number of cases. Treatment is most effective if the illness is diagnosed early enough and research has shown that patients who receive treatment during the first episode of the illness are less likely to be hospitalized during subsequent episodes.
What is the treatment for schizophrenia?
There are several different treatment options for patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. These include various types of medication, psychotherapy, electroshock therapy, and family support and rehabilitation.
One of the most common types of medication for schizophrenia are antipsychotic drugs such as Thorazine. Antipsychotic drugs, also known as Neuroleptics, have been available since the 1950s and have greatly improved the outlook for schizophrenia patients. They work by blocking dopamine receptors in the brain, which helps to reduce the frequency of psychotic delusions and hallucinations.
A different variety of drugs known as atypical medications has also been developed in recent times. These target a different area of the brain and considered to be more effective in many cases. Other useful medications to treat schizophrenia include antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, and antianxiety drugs.
Despite its bad reputation, electroshock therapy can also be a very effective treatment for schizophrenia patients. A low voltage electrical current is used to induce a seizure in the brain, which can help to lessen the symptoms of schizophrenia, and many doctors believe ECT is actually safer than the various medications commonly used to treat the illness.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is usually used in conjunction with other types of treatment to treat patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Therapy can help to strengthen a patient’s capacity for normal thinking by teaching them to combat negative thought patterns, gain a greater understanding of self, and learn to differentiate between what is real and what is unreal.