As you sit in the classroom imagine hearing voices all around you as you try to concentrate. The voices may be saying good or bad things to you. You try and block the voices out but you just can not seem to get the voices to stop. Some people think hearing voices is the only thing that defines schizophrenia but that is not true. Schizophrenia is far more than just a few voices in your mind, it's a mental illness that needs to be addressed properly.
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First of all, Schizophrenia has many signs/symptoms that may differ from person to person. The symptoms are broken down into two categories: positive and negative. The positive or hard symptoms are hallucinations, perseveration, delusions, and flight of ideas. Hallucinations are false sensory perceptions that do not exist but the patient may think the hallucinations are real. Perservations is a single idea or repetition of certain sentences. Delusions are fixed false beliefs that are not in reality. Lastly, flight of ideas is a continuous flow of verbalization which the person can not stay on one topic. The negative or soft symptoms are asociality, inattention, catatonia, and anhedonia. Asociality is when the person has social withdrawal or no relationships. Inattention is the inability to focus on one topic even if the topic is important. Cataonia is psychological periods of agitation. Lastly, anhedonia is a feeling of no joy or happiness from life.
Secondly, schizophrenia needs to be treated to keep the patient and others around them safe. Schizophrenia is not curable but proper treatment is the only way to manage the mental illness. Treatments may vary by the persons symptoms and even how they are triggered. Schizophrenia may be treated by different types of psychotherapy. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is one type that can be used. CBT is used to change the person's way of thinking. For instance it helps with hallucinations. The person may realize the hallucinations are not real after going to CBT. Individual psychotherapy is used to teach the patient how to do deal with their thoughts. This type of therapy helps the patient with their everyday life. Cognitive enhancement therapy (CET) is to help the patient recognize the triggers before they have an episode. CET helps with memory and help their thought processing. Another way to treat schizophrenia is through psychosocial therapy. Psychosocial therapy may include rehabilitation, social skills, group counseling, and even family education. People who are diagnosed with schizophrenia may have a hard time with treatment or even accepting the fact they have a mental illness. Group therapy helps the patient understand they are not the only person who has this type of illness and will have support through their treatment. Social skills help the patient communicate better. Antipsychotic drugs is another way of treating schizophrenia. There are second generation antipsychotics and first generation antipsychotics that can be used. Second generation usually have less side effects. A few examples of second generation antipsychotics are Clozapine and Asenapine. First generation are used to block dopamine. The downfall of first generation are the side effects that come along with taking the medication. A few examples of first generation antipsychotics are Thorazine and Loxatine. Lastly, electroconvulsive therapy is also used for treatment. ECT is used to shock the brain. ECT is normally the last treatment to use when medications no longer work.
Furthermore, the goal for the patient is very important. Safety is the first goal for the patient. For a person who has schizophrenia they may try and harm themselves or even others. Making sure the patient and others around them are safe is always the first goal. Establishing a therapeutic relationship with the patient. The patient may have a hard time trusting others. The nurse has to be patient and understanding of what the patient is going through. The nurse should read the patients body language because the patient may not talk at all until a bond has been built. Assess carefully how the patient reacts to questions and even touch.
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Lastly, the question I ask myself is the current practice the best practice. I think there could be better practice. I think that therapy does help to a certain extent. Therapy to me only helps you understand what is going on mentally. Just because you understand the whole concept of the disorder does not make your brain stop from getting triggered. Medications to me are more effective because of the chemicals that are helping your body. New treatments are being created everyday for different types of illnesses and for different types of people. For example, “Inhalation is the preferred treatment method for acute agitation among Danish and Swedish patients with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia”(Jørgensen, 2017). I think this would be very effective because some people may forget to take their medication or may not want to make time to go to therapy. If their treatment was inhalation it would be easy for the patient and would not be an agitation to them. All in all, I think there could be a better practice.
- Jørgensen, T. R., Emborg, C., Dahlen, K., Bøgelund, M., & Carlborg, A. (2017). Patient preferences for medicine administration for acute agitation: Results from an internet-based survey of patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia in two Nordic countries. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 23(1), 30-38 doi:10.1080/13548506.2017.1323108. Retrieved from
- Schizophrenia Treatment: Types of Therapy and Medications for Treating Schizophrenia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/schizophrenia-therapy#1
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