Schizophrenia and Its Treatments Essay

This essay has a total of 1931 words and 8 pages.


Schizophrenia and Its Treatments





Schizophrenia and its Medication’s


Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder which affects one person of every
hundred, both men and women alike (Nichols, 1). It usually develops in a persons late
teens or early twenties, though it sometimes (rarely) starts in middle age or even much
later into a persons life (Nichols, 1). The earlier this problem starts, the more potential it
has to harm the persons personality and their life (Nichols, 2). It makes working,
studying, relating to other people, and living an independent life extremely hard to deal
with. “Before 1950, most all people with schizophrenia spent most of there lives in mental
hospitals away from home” (Nichols, 2). “But things have changed since then, now most
all people with the illness live outside of a hospital and live “normal” lives, holding jobs,
having friends, and making long lasting relationships” (Driedger, 2). Drug treatment has
come a long way in helping people reduce their problem of schizophrenia. But even with
the use of drugs, schizophrenia may never be cleared up entirely.
No-one knows the cause of schizophrenia. “Approximately one in ten people with
schizophrenia have a parent that had the illness as well” (Nichols, 1). “This tell us that this
is likely due to heredity or genes and not the upbringing of a child” (Nichols, 1).
“Identical twins, for example, if one of the twins has schizophrenia at birth the other child
has great odds of having it to, even if the twins are raised miles apart from one another”
(Driedger, 2).
I have chosen six sources to give me and show me differences in the use of drugs
to relief the affects of schizophrenia. I am using two journal articles, one from the British
Medical Journal and one from the Journal of Genetic Psychology. Also two web sites,
Mentalhealth.com and Schizophrenia.com and two magazine articles. All of these sources
have given me their own side of Schizophrenia and the use of treatments to help the ease
this problem.
Schizophrenia has many different symptoms, some more noticeable than others.
“The most noticeable symptoms a person is likely to have during an acute episode of
schizophrenia include hallucinations, delusions, thought disorder or some bizarre
behavior” (Long, 1). These symptoms can be reduced by the use of drugs. “Other
symptoms more obvious during a less active stage, includes loss of energy, loss of interest
toward anything, and the loss of a sense of humor and warmth toward people he/she
knows” (Long, 2). Medications, however, don’t work as well to people with these
symptoms. And that can make this problem even more difficult to the patient as well as the
family to deal with.
Drug use is crucial to people with schizophrenia to help maintain sanity. “The
drugs are enhancers of the normal biochemical process within the body” (Long, 2) “Use
of the drugs can either speed up certain effects and slow down others” (Long, 2).
Meaning, they help regulate the speed of a person’s “working” brain.
In The British Medical Journal says that the drugs Clorazine and Olanzapine are
more effective than traditional antipsychotics and should be offered to patients who have
not responded to other antipsychotics drugs. Clorazine helps a schizophrenic have fewer
relapses, and also a much greater reduction in symptoms. “Olanzapine is very effective
against antipsychotic behavior, much less sedation, and fewer extrapyramidal side effects”
(McGrath, 4). The side effects of Clorazine are sedation, hypersalivation, weight gain,
and an increased risk of convulsions at higher doses. Olanzapine has few sides as well
they are: sedation, weight gain, and dizziness. But both Clorazine and Olanzapine have
been found to work extremely well at changing behavior in schizophrenic’s. These drugs
have been both used for children with schizophrenia and adults as well. The dosage is
very important in reducing severity and the side effects. “The drug should be given at low
amounts when it is first given and gradually the doses will increase” (McGrath, 4). Both
age and size of problem are also a factor when giving doses of a new drug. Sometime the
drug will work as soon as a day, other times it can take up to and past 2 weeks for the
drug to start working.
The Journal of Genetic Psychology says that “75% of schizophrenics experience
auditory hallucinations, therefore drug use is essential to maintain a schizophrenic’s
sanity” (Leibman, 1). But also a certain kind of therapy will help there mental illness slow
down. The use of antipsychotics medications leaves a part of patients without any benefit
of those who benefit from pharmacotherapy during beginning hospitalization. Some
treatments that were given were in a therapy sessions, and some having success. “The
general aim of these treatments has been to train individuals in symptom self-management
through combinations of cognitive restructuring, reality testing, and teaching coping
strategies. Although recently, researchers have given promising results, finding that
limited generalizability to schizophrenia for two reasons” (Leibman, 5). First many
treatment studies were not guided by real models of schizophrenia, but by clinical
observations or theories of limited extent. And secondly, the studies that were given were
too closely focused on the symptoms themselves, instead of being on the hallucinations
and delusions that were happening with the patient.
Mentalhealth.com (Dr. Long MD) states that a drug use is the best way to help
schizo’s cope with their problem in an easier and faster way. But drug use cannot be
effective unless it arrives at a “target zone” within the brain. “Meaning that the dose of
drugs has to be high enough to withstand all of the difficulties along the way arrival into
the body such as- getting into the bloodstream, getting past a host enzymes ready to
destroy the drug, and getting through the blood vessel wall into the brain. The chemical
properties needed are different with every person, whether how high/low the dosage needs
to be” (Dr. Long, 1). If the medication is indented to affect the brain cells, then a drug
that dissolves quickly has to be given in smaller doses than a drug that doesn’t dissolve as
fast. “Some patients require higher doses than others, not necessarily because their
problem with schizophrenia is worse but, they may have poorer absorbers (how fast the
drug get into the bloodstream) or faster metabolizers” (Dr. Long, 1). But certain drugs
can sometimes have no effect on a person with schizophrenia. Many tests and evaluations
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