Mental Illness And Substance Abuse

1133 Words Dec 8th, 2015 5 Pages
Abstract Families who are dealing with members who have mental illness and substance abuse face many problems. Particularly schizophrenia is characterized by delusional thoughts, seeing and hearing things that others don’t see or hear, loss of emotional expression and problems with cognitive skills and motivation (Elements, 2014). In some cases schizophrenia can cause the onset of substance abuse, in other cases substance abuse can mimic symptoms of schizophrenia. Medications such as antipsychotics can assist individuals with the symptoms of schizophrenia as long as they are properly diagnosed. Yet antipsychotics are proven to have significant side effects, some even life threatening (Muench & Hamer 2010). A cycle can then begin to occur with individuals who are using substances to self-medicate. The purpose of this paper is to determine and explain the cycle that can occur with individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia who self-medicate with substances as well as the cycle of antipsychotics. Treatment will be discussed in the scope of treating the whole family.
Keywords: mental illness, schizophrenia, antipsychotics, typical, atypical, substance abuse, cycle, self-medicate, treatment

INTRODUCTION
Schizophrenia is an illness that is chronic, severe and debilitating (NIMH, 2015). It is characterized by delusional thoughts, seeing and hearing things that others don’t see or hear, loss of emotional expression and problems with cognitive skills and motivation…
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