A type of Psychosis in which patient loses touch with reality. Patients cannot differentiate between reality and their
unrealistic experiences. For that reason, they may not have any insight about their problems. That is the most common
reason for their reluctance to take medication. This disease affects a person’s thinking, emotions, sensory experience,
behavior and personality. Onset of illness is usually before 20 yrs of age. If treatment starts at the early stages, outcome
will be better. Lack of awareness about the illness and stigma about mental illness, prevents the relatives of the patient
from seeking medical attention which adversely affects the outcome of illness.
• Treatment involves medication, psychological treatment , psychosocial treatment, and community support. Treatment is most effective when it is started at the onset of illness.
• The main types of medicines are called antipsychotics and they target the imbalance of brain chemicals.
• Other groups of medications such as mood stabilizers, anxiety reducing tablets also can be used for symptom relief. Medication will restore normal brain function, not alter it.
• Long term treatment is often required.
• Treatment is most effective when it is started at the onset of illness.
• Medications should only be stopped with the permission of treating doctor.
• If you develop any side effects of medication, you can discuss the problem with your mental health physician.
• Self medication is not advised as it is often dangerous.
• Patients and care givers tend to stop medications, when they notice some improvement of symptoms. There is high chance for re-emergence of symptoms shortly or sometimes later, after stopping medications. These may also lead to worsening of disease and need for higher doses of medication.
• Sometimes patients fail to respond to medications to which they initially responded.
• Psychological treatment (talking therapies), psychosocial treatment, and community support may be tried, based on the symptoms to improve the effectiveness of treatment.
• Education to care givers about the nature and symptoms of illness.
• Conditions which worsens or maintains the illness may be different in different patients. Such factors in and around the patient has to be identified and taken care of, for the effectiveness of treatment.
• Inpatient care may be needed in some patients who are unmanageable at home. Patient showing high risk behaviours, destructive behavior suicidal tendency, refusing medications should be admitted preferably. Patients usually refuses medications at the beginning due to the lack of insight. Medications help them to gain insight and later they may start taking tablets by themselves. Rehabilitation may be required in chronically ill patients.
Causes of Schizophrenia
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