Schizophrenia is perhaps the most harsh and cruel mental disorder because it gives the sufferers views and insights of reality that are extremely uncommon and psychotic. People suffering from schizophrenia tend to hear unusual voices from within and also feel afraid, mystified, nervous and apprehensive on a consistent basis (Taken from; Janssen-Cilag http://www.psychiatry24x7.com/index.jhtml?product=schizophrenia).
Onset and course
Many people believe that people suffering from Schizophrenia actually have "split personalities," however; contemporary research has negated this theory asserting that people experiencing Schizophrenia actually suffer from distorted reality, in laymen's terms (Taken from; Janssen-Cilag http://www.psychiatry24x7.com/index.jhtml?product=schizophrenia).
"Approximately 1% of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime -- more than 2 million Americans suffer from the illness in a given year. Although schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency, the disorder often appears earlier in men, usually in the late teens or early twenties, than in women, who are generally affected in the twenties to early thirties (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm)."
Recent studies have shown that people suffering from Schizophrenia not only feel afraid, mystified, nervous and apprehensive on a consistent basis, but also, suffer from speech disorders and jumbled behavior. These behaviors often terrify the people around the patient and are also inconceivable to them. The behavior disorders can also manifest tremendous amount of observation and attentiveness on certain occasions and this too can also become petrifying for others.
"People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. These symptoms may leave them fearful and withdrawn. Their speech and behavior can be so disorganized that they may be incomprehensible or frightening to others. (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm)."
The Prognosis can be acquired through a series of laboratory tests, physical examination and also by acquiring a comprehensive medical history of the person considered to be suffering from schizophrenia. Furthermore, blood and Urine samples should also be taken so that accurate results are acquired because other commonly misused drugs also carry the same symptoms. These are of coarse very common procedures and since medical science has established several new procedures relevant to the diagnosis, it is imperative that we briefly consider them as well (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm).
"A diagnostic system for mental illness widely used in North America was developed by a task force of the American Psychiatric Association. The results of its work was published in a handbook called The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Andreasen noted in her book, The Broken Brain: The Biological Revolution in Psychiatry, that the third version of the Manual, commonly known as DSM-III, squarely placed the emphasis in diagnosis on "the careful study of objective symptoms" (p. 154). She went on to say that "the most important implication (of DSM-III) is a shift from the more psychoanalytic to a more medical approach" (p. 158) (cited in Phillip W. Long, 1996)."
2) Possible interactions with substance abuse
How one may bring about the other or influence the course of the other?
It is clear from recent research that people suffering from schizophrenia have family members, relatives and friends who have or have had interactions with substance abuse. Many people actually think that schizophrenia actually takes place because of drug abuse; however, this is not the case. Reality is that while they may be high drug abusers and the symptoms of schizophrenia also shows symptoms similar to those of drug abusers, research has yet to establish any connection between the two (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm). "Substance abuse can also reduce the effectiveness of treatment for schizophrenia. Stimulants (e.g., amphetamines and cocaine) can cause major problems for patients with schizophrenia, as may PCP or marijuana. In fact, some people experience a worsening of their schizophrenic symptoms when they are taking such drugs. Substance abuse also reduces the likelihood that patients will follow the treatment plans recommended by their doctors (Taken from; Janssen-Cilag http://www.psychiatry24x7.com/index.jhtml?product=schizophrenia)."
Which drugs are most likely to be misused?
Majority of the people suffering from schizophrenia are considered to be chain smokers and thus greatly abuse nicotine. Approximately one third of Americans are smokers, but people suffering from schizophrenia are found to drink cigarettes three times more than an average American. Research has shown that the relationship between smoking and schizophrenia is complex. Although people with schizophrenia may smoke to self-medicate their symptoms, smoking has been found to interfere with the response to antipsychotic drugs. Several studies have found that schizophrenia patients who smoke need higher doses of antipsychotic medication. Quitting smoking may be especially difficult for people with schizophrenia, because the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may cause a temporary worsening of schizophrenia symptoms. However, smoking cessation strategies that include nicotine replacement methods may be effective (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm).
What possible patterns of use may occur?
In 2000, while the director of the "National Institute of Drug Abuse" presented his report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse, revealed; "Of patients with schizophrenia, 70 to 80% smoke. Nicotine corrects certain information processing and cognitive psychomotor deficits seen in many patients with schizophrenia. Clozapine, but not conventional antipsychotics, has been shown to correct some of these deficits. Investigators from Duke University assessed psychopathology and smoking in 70 patients with treatment refractory schizophrenia (55 smokers and 15 nonsmokers) at baseline when they were receiving conventional antipsychotics and again after they were switched to clozapine. Smokers showed significantly greater therapeutic response to clozapine than nonsmokers. Smokers smoked less when treated with clozapine than when treated with conventional antipsychotics. The authors concluded that certain patients with schizophrenia have contributing pathophysiologic mechanisms that respond favorably to either nicotine or clozapine. (Director's Report, 2000)."
3) Treatment issues commonly faced
Janice Fay Kauffman and George E. Woody (1995) assert that people suffering from schizophrenia actually have been very difficult to diagnose, at the early stages, and thus, the treatment methods vary from patient to patient, taking in regard the stage at which they are in (Janice Fay Kauffman and George E. Woody, 1995).
The concept of TIP "Treatment Improvement Protocol" is a relatively new concept. The healthcare providers build different phases that can are considered to be helpful in treating people suffering from schizophrenia. "A patient can be regarded as engaging in a series of successive interventions within a single program, with each intervention building on the other and leading to one or more well-defined goals (Janice Fay Kauffman and George E. Woody, 1995)."
What is the role of medication?
The role of medication is considered to be critical in the development of the health of people suffering from schizophrenia and the most useful and successful drugs are Antipsychotic medications. These medications have been available since the 1950's and have been successful in tremendously augmenting the prospects of people suffering from schizophrenia (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm).
"Although there is presently no permanent cure for schizophrenia, the symptoms of the illness can be effectively controlled in many patients by the use of antipsychotic (neuroleptic) drugs. Most individuals can obtain improvement in their symptoms with the use of modern drugs and modern approaches to management. Successful drug treatment of schizophrenia is dependent on careful assessment of the individual, careful selection of the antipsychotic drug and dosage, and provision of appropriate information and support for the patients and their family Janssen-Cilag. http://www.psychiatry24x7.com/index.jhtml?product=schizophrenia)."
How does the illness affect client compliance and motivation?
Majority of the people suffering from schizophrenia are inclined to be living in volatile domestic circumstances and homelessness. People from these backgrounds often do not comply with the treatment methods that prescribe medication and embody excessive treatment expenditures. These people are also considered to be less motivated to treat themselves because of consistent substance abuse, such as alcohol and cigarettes. Although some long-term studies have shown that over time people suffering from schizophrenia coming from these backgrounds, tend to give positive results. However, it must be noted that these studies have lasted for approximately 2-3 years (Robert E. Drake and Kim T. Mueser, 2003).
How does the illness affect the client's support system?
People suffering from schizophrenia often cannot think straight and as a result often talk nonsense. This behavior paves way for social embarrassment and, in due course, social isolation and mutilation and destruction of all kinds of relationships. Furthermore, the careers of people suffering from schizophrenia are also affected immensely because they cannot maintain their focus, attention and thoughts on one particular subject for a longer period of time (Overview of Schizophrenia; taken from: http://www.schizophrenia.com/family/sz.overview.htm).
What other interpersonal (work, family, educational) issues does the client face?
Since the people suffering from schizophrenia have distorted perceptions of reality, they end up frightening not only their family members and relatives, but also their friends and colleagues in the office. This is because their behavior tends to vary with the extraordinary realities they acknowledge. "Sometimes they may seem distant, detached,…