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What Is The Schizophrenia Disorder About ?

Apr 1, 2008
Schizophrenia was ranked the "third most disabling disorder" - mostly because it not only involves hallucinations and delusions, but also leads to depression, confusion, lack of motivation and strained personal relationships. In recent years, the importance of behavior therapy and support nets has been stressed, in addition to the continuous dosage of a schizophrenia drug like Clozapine. Career counseling, housing assistance and education are extremely helpful to a schizophrenic's integration into society.

The symptoms of schizophrenia vary from person to person, depending upon the chemical imbalance of Dopamine, Seratonin and Norepinephrine. One sufferer, Robert Bayley, recounts: "The visions are extremely vivid. Paving stones transform into demonic faces, shattering in front of my petrified eyes.

When I am in contact with people, they can become grotesquely deformed, their skin peeling away to reveal decomposing inner muscles and organs. Buildings and rooms spin and weave and their walls close in as I look on, paralyzed by fear.

The voices either ramble in alien tongues or scream orders to carry out violent acts. They also persecute me by way of unwavering commentary and ridicule to deceive, derange, and force me into a world of crippling paranoia."

The initial schizophrenia drug was Thorazine, but the side effects were daunting. Often patients would develop a gaunt look and the facial muscles would become rigid and legs and arms would sometimes become immovable. While these "neuroleptics" were effective in treating symptoms like severe hallucinations, delusions and psychotic episodes, they affected the nervous system so much that many patients stopped taking the drugs.

Today, atypical anti-psychotic drugs are popular to treat schizophrenia. These drugs include: Clozapine, Zyprexa and Risperdal. The side effects are far less and it is recommended that white blood cells be monitored to ensure optimal health while on these drugs. Clozapine is said to be one of the most effective drugs on the market, though it's not as aggressively marketed because it's not on patent.

Family members sometimes have the hardest time understanding schizophrenia. Parents may feel guilt, denial or anger. Siblings may feel jealousy at the attention their sibling receives, fear or embarrassment.

The schizophrenic will often feel isolated, depressed, fearful and confused. A snide remark or harsh tone can send a schizophrenic into a psychotic episode. Parents also have a tendency to want to do everything for the sufferer, but schizophrenia research suggests that including the schizophrenic in daily chores and gradually increasing the patient's independence are effective treatment methods.
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