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Schizophrenic Patients

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My aunt was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 15 years old and had gone untreated for most of her adult life. She has always lived with my grandma and growing up, I remember seeing how easily she became agitated with my grandma in seemingly normal problems and situations., I recall hearing her talk to herself, and I remember how hard it was to explain concepts to her. Because of her escalating symptoms, my grandma and my aunt decided to take the steps to seek treatment so that she can become more independent. Through this, I have seen that there are tools to manage psychotic symptoms and that schizophrenia does not have to define who a person is. Although there is no cure, people with this condition can still have a fulfilling life…show more content…
One tool that doctors have recommended to schizophrenic patients for many years is antipsychotic medications. While this form of treatment has proven to be somewhat effective for some patients, the side effects can be unpredictable. They can range from shortness of breath and weariness to loss of muscle control and tremors. The National Institute of Mental Health recognized this issue and conducted a survey with about 400 schizophrenic patients to determine if there were any other forms of treatment that could be more effective than medication. They split participants into two groups with one being the normal medication-focused treatment and the other being a therapy and family-focused care. The researchers kept the medications on group two as low as possible, and found that this did not negatively affect the patients. The participants in group two actually made greater leaps in recovery in comparison to group one. This was all due to the fact that group two people were given the tools to cope with and address their issues instead of just masking them with medication.
Among mental health consumers, medication remains debatable and individualized. A woman named Maggie who participated in a related study said, “As for medications, I have had every side effect out there, from chills and shakes to lockjaw and lactation” (Carey, Benedict). After starting this new type of treatment,
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While no cure for schizophrenia exists yet, people dealing with this mental disorder have tools available to help them deal with their individual symptoms. As I have witnessed through my aunt’s attempts at recovery, low doses of medication, therapy and support are key to being able to live an independent and rich life. Unfortunately, about 3.2 million Americans today are living with Schizophrenia, and roughly 40 percent of them are untreated. This is due to the fact that a lot of schizophrenic people do not have consistent support systems. They need this because often times they do not know when they are decompensating. Our society has come a long way in overcoming the stigma of mental illness and understanding how schizophrenia affects individuals. It is my hope that those who know a person dealing with schizophrenia educate themselves on this condition so that they can assist the person with treatment. This should lower the number of those who go untreated, are homeless, incarcerated and in crisis. Symptoms of schizophrenia can be managed and with the right treatments, people can live fulfilling and productive
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