Schizophrenia is a disease of the brain, the cause of which is not
known. The exact problem in the brain is only partially
understood. In this condition a physical ailment creates a serious
mental problem. The treatment is aimed at reducing the symptoms
and managing the disease.
A person suffering from schizophrenia
thinks that he is a special person, a cut above the rest, and so
everyone is trying to do him in. He or she suffers from
hallucinations and delusions. His thought process is disorderly
and becomes far removed from reality.
Anti-psychotic drugs have been used for quite some time and are
the first line of treatment for schizophrenia. The early drugs,
like clozapine, were as effective as the newer ones. But their
side effects were more severe than the newer drugs like
risperidone and olanzapine. There are many more drugs under
development. These drugs are very effective in preventing
hallucinations and delusions. When the symptoms disappear it is
important that the drug is tapered down slowly, to prevent
relapse. Later in the treatment of schizophrenia, anti-depressive,
anti-anxiety and anti-convulsive medications may be necessary to
treat other symptoms, like bipolar mania and the side effects of
the primary treatment.
Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) is a treatment given by highly
trained health professionals. It is given under general anesthesia
and muscle relaxants. It does not cause pain or cause the body to
convulse. The shock given in the brain causes a seizure in the
brain. Though the exact mode of the cure is not known, it is
believed that the electrochemical changes that the shock creates
help the patient.
Medication for schizophrenia is normally supported by
psychotherapy. Proper psychiatric care, family support and group
therapy are some of the treatment options that are very effective.
Researchers are still working to find the root cause of
Schizophrenia. Possible causes include bad genes, as the disease
tends to run in families. The National Institute of Mental Health
is sponsoring drugs that may able to cure schizophrenia, not just