Over the last century, schizophrenia has emerged from being a mental illness that eluded the understanding of physicians to a disease at the forefront of neuroscience research. Often setting in at the brink of adulthood, schizophrenia was once mistaken as a form of madness or a manifestation of evil. However, thanks to ground breaking developments in science and newer schizophrenia drugs, today the disease is better understood. It is perhaps, as treatable as diabetes.
Some symptoms of schizophrenia are the impairment of cognitive abilities, split personality, and drastic mood changes. Most schizophrenic patients claim to hear voices or suffer delusions and respond to them as they would to a real situation. Paranoia and extreme depression, the other classic schizophrenia symptoms, are often a reason for the alarming number of schizophrenic suicides. Therefore, early recognition of schizophrenia symptoms and treatment is imperative.
Despite extensive research, scientists have yet to develop methods of lab diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, in terms of non-diagnostic methods, most schizophrenic patients suffer from abnormalities in brain structure and diminished blood flow to the frontal lobe. The psychological diagnosis of schizophrenia shows patients suffering from signs of attention deficit, weak memory, difficulty in adapting responses, and abnormal eye movements.
The treatment for schizophrenia is a combination of counseling and drugs. Schizophrenia drugs are a lifelong commitment; at best, they control the outbursts of psychosis. Antipsychotic schizophrenia drugs have been used since the 1950s to curtail psychosis and to deter relapses. Some of these were fluphenazine, haloperidol, and chlorpromazine. These drugs were notorious for their degenerative side effects. Since the 1990s, many newer generation schizophrenia drugs have been developed. Fortunately, these drugs do not have many of the side effects of the older generation of schizophrenia drugs.
The top five drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia drugs in this category are:
Even with the availability of such effective drugs, the first step in the treatment of schizophrenia is to make patients accept their illness and eliminate triggers that promote psychosis. A bigger aspect of the treatment is social inclusion; providing a normal familial environment where the schizophrenic patient does not feel isolated.
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