What are Some Common Treatments for Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a bit more common than you may think. There are some common treatments for it and we will get to those, but first we will talk about what schizophrenia actually is.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia can be described as a mental condition that is characterized by the thought processes breaking down and also by emotional responses that are impaired. Symptoms of schizophrenia can include hear voices, having hallucinations, unaccounted for paranoia, thinking that is disorganized and other negative symptoms that can include avolition and blunted affect. Schizophrenia can cause severe vocational and social dysfunction. While the initial onset of symptoms is people between young adulthood and 30, there have been cases where onset was noticed in younger patients.
There is no definitive test for schizophrenia. It is often diagnosed simply through a doctor interviewing the patient and looking closely at the symptoms.
There are also no definitive causes that have been found although some say that it is carried through the genes. There have been studies though that hint at schizophrenia being caused by chemicals in the brain that are out of balance which leads to messages in the brain to be mixed up. There are also scientists who are of the opinion that both environmental and genetic factors play a role in this disorder.
There has been research done that shows that there is no racial or sexual prevalence for this disorder. It occurs equally in men and women and people of any race.
According to Invega Sustenna, there are roughly 2.5 million Americans who suffer from this disorder.
Medication is the main method of treating schizophrenia. The type of medications are mainly drugs that are in the antipsychotic family. These drugs are used because of their properties that assist in decreasing psychotic symptoms and episodes. Some of the medicines that are most often prescribed are:
Mood stabilizers may also be prescribed. Some of these are:
There are also some antidepressants that are prescribed in conjunction with the aforementioned drugs. Some of these are:
If people who suffer from schizophrenia do not respond to any of the medications then they may also undergo ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). This has shown to be a viable treatment option.
It needs to be said here that each of those treatment options has their own side effects. Some will cause high blood pressure, high blood sugar, birth defects, weight gain and many more. ECT itself can have side effects that include losing memories.
Schizophrenia is treated with medications and most of the time with therapy too.
There is no cure for schizophrenia. This is important for you to know. With meds, your schizophrenia may seem to go away and you may think that it is alright to stop taking the meds. Never do this. Schizophrenia has relapses and WILL come back and may come back worse than before. If you think you are ok, at the very least you should talk to your doctor before going off your meds.