Introduction to Psychology Assessment
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According to Mayo Clinic, Schizophrenia is a disorder of the brain which abnormally interpret reality. This study focuses on the overview of schizophrenia such as causes and symptoms along with its risk factors and treatment and an explanation on why this mental illness is considered to be difficult to treat and also discussion has been done about the diagnostic systems and methods of prevention.
Meaning of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by continuous disorganized thought. It may result in a mixture of hallucination and delusion which affect the daily functionality of normal lives. It involves a range of problems associated with the thinking, emotions and behaviour of a person (Bercovich et al., 2020). The symptoms and sign may vary however there are basic symptoms that may be categorized as below.
Symptoms of schizophrenia
This generally involves seeing and hearing things that do not exist and the person suffering from schizophrenia will likely feel it as a normal experience. Hearing voices are the most common form of hallucination however there can be in any sense a hallucination can occur (Gagné et al., 2020).
Delusions are commonly a false belief which is not present in the real world. For example, a belief that a person having an exceptional quality or a feeling that a catastrophe is about to occur.
A person suffering from schizophrenia lack effective communication which includes speech with a word that is meaningless and cannot be understood.
An individual suffering from schizophrenia often behaves silly and unpredictable which include a complete lack of response, excessive movements and resistance to instructions (Park et al., 2020).
Negative symptoms lack the normal emotional response or thought processes. These symptoms include blunted affect which implies showing off little emotions or flat expressions, lack of speech and inability along with lack of desire to form any relationships. Lack of motivation and apathy is some of the important symptoms (Gipps, 2020). Apathy consists of 50% of the often found negative symptoms which affect the quality of life and the functional results.
It is the most commonly found symptoms of schizophrenia. It occurs much before the actual symptoms occur and can be found in the early stages of childhood. The cognitive symptoms can be social and nonsocial (Correll and Schooler, 2020). Social cognition relates to the understanding of one behaviour and its social environment while non-social cognition refers to neurocognition such as the ability to receive and remember information which includes verbal fluency, problem-solving and processing speed.
According to Marzouk et al., 2020, schizophrenia is considered to be hereditary and about 70% to 80% individual who suffers from schizophrenia have been believed to carry the disease genetically. One of the greatest risk factors that help in the development of schizophrenia is the first family which include parents and siblings however there are cases where there are no hereditary cases.
There are also environmental factors such as lack of oxygen, stress during the prenatal period of the mother and malnutrition in the mother during prenatal development that can lead to schizophrenia (Bechi et al., 2021).
Treatment and prevention
Treatment of individuals suffering from schizophrenia is usually life long which involves a combination of medication such as antipsychotic and anti-tremor medications and different therapies which include the following;
- A support group should be assigned so that the experience and the symptoms can be shared with a person with similar conditions.
- Rehabilitation is another effective therapy to treat the individual suffering from schizophrenia.
- Talk therapy or cognitive therapy must be provided to the individual to eliminate the negative thoughts replacing them with positive thoughts (Green, 2020).
- Mental health education to be provided to the person suffering from schizophrenia.
- Family support is an important aspect of the treatment of schizophrenic patients which helps them to communicate better and effectively and resolve any conflict.
Difficulty in treatment of Schizophrenia
There are numerous challenges or difficulties associated with the treatment of schizophrenic patients and the reason for the lack of treating them is complex and depends on patients to patients and the same has been categorized as follows;
Various factors related to patients demographics, mental and physical function, family history and menopause factors. The low level of education also contributes to a lack of medical adherence (Jaaro-Peled and Sawa, 2020). Furthermore, patients having high age of menopause are likely to have poor medication adherence as well.
Condition related factors
Lack of medical adherence due to polypharmacy or having a psychiatric condition leads to poor medication adherence along with lack of medical screening of schizophrenia may the reason for complexity in treating schizophrenic patients (Gyllenberg et al., 2020).
Antipsychotic medication plays an important role in treating schizophrenia and controlling the symptoms. There is a requirement of effective management of schizophrenia which requires continuous treatment to keep the system under control however non-adherence to this medication can harm patients which include a various range of the patient's behaviour in taking that medication (Imamura et al., 2020). These behaviours include refusal to take treatment or irregular use of the medication doses. The side effect of the medication is another factor that hinders in smooth treatment of schizophrenic patients. The side effects can be sexual and cognitive which tend to reduce the chance of adherence among the patients while taking the medications. The denial among the patients to take those medications as they want to avoid the reality and be in illusions and hallucination as it seems to be a fantasy for the person dealing with schizophrenia (Murray et al., 2020).
The treatment of the mental illness schizophrenia is more complex as it also involves the environmental factors such as lack of support of family member is a factor which affects the most in patients suffering from schizophrenia (Gainsford et al., 2020). The cost of treatment is another external factor that hinders the long-life treatment of the person suffering from schizophrenia.
Clinician related factors
It is estimated that around 50% of the patients suffering from do not take the prescribed medication and this lack of medical non-adherence leads to relapse contribute to a huge economic burden and extra cost of rehospitalization (Byrne et al., 2020).
The above all factors help in analyzing the fact that the treatment of schizophrenia is a complex task which is because of different sets of symptoms associated with this disease. The disease and its treatment are challenging mainly because of the symptoms that are so differently manifested in an individual.
However, the above complexity can be removed to a certain extent by keeping the medication dose simple and addressing the patients concerns about the side effect of the medication. Other strategies should be put in place to help engage the patients to take care of their health such as educating the patient on the mental health condition that they are suffering from which will empower the patient to take the decision related to treatment (Badcock et al., 2020). Another strategy such as providing training on psychosocial skills and training on medical adherence. There should be an active community so that the patients can utilize who are hesitant to go for any medication.
To conclude, Schizophrenia has been identified as a mental illness with a substantial disability and has a 10% risk of suicide. In this study, there has been discussion on the meaning and the nature of schizophrenia and the different symptoms such as positive symptoms which included delusions, hallucination and other symptoms including negative and cognitive symptoms. Along with the symptoms, the risk factors associated with schizophrenia has been discussed such as genetic and environmental which largely contributes to the occurrence of the mental illness schizophrenia. The study also focused on the reason why the treatment of schizophrenia is complex and the reason involves several factors as to why there is complexity in treating schizophrenic patients and these factors are patient-related factors, condition-related factors, medication-related factors, environment-related factors and clinical related factor that hinders in treatment of schizophrenia.
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