Schizophrenia is among many psychiatric disorders that have been identified my medical professionals. It is a disorder which is characterized by hallucinations, loss of reality, improper reasoning as well as poor social and occupation functioning. A person’s emotions are also affected as it is a psychiatric disorder.
Although research has been conducted, the exact cause of the problem is not actually known. However, the available research illustrates that there is enough evidence to suggest that genetics may have a great role to play in the whole issue.
It manifests mostly in the adolescence stage and it affects men and women equally. The prevalence rate of the disease is around 1% in the whole world and despite the fact that its rate is higher among the poor; there is no much difference from one culture to another (Bustillo, 2008). There is a lot of information on schizophrenia and this essay shall narrow down to signs and symptoms as well as to the main methods of treatment. In addition, the essay shall also focus on the roles of a biopsychologist and neuroscientist in the research.
In the View of the fact that schizophrenia is a chronic illness, it progresses in different phases. In many instances, patients seek treatment after experiencing symptoms for a period of one or two years. The first phase is referred as premorbid phase and is characterized by symptoms such as coping difficulties, anhedonia as well as different perception problems. However, it is important to note that in many cases, such symptoms are too mild to be noticed.
The next phase is known as the prodromal phase and is characterized by subclinical symptoms like disorganization, irritability, disorganization and perceptual distortions, to mention just a few. The middle phase is characterized by the same symptoms but they are usually more severe. In the last phase, the disease may stabilize or start all over again (Bustillo, 2008).
Upon diagnosis, there are several ways that can be used to treat the disorder which are inclusive of antipsychotic drugs, rehabilitation and psychotherapy. The main aim of treatment is to reduce not only the symptoms, but also to enable the patient to continue functioning normally.
The antipsychotic drugs are divided in to two categories; conventional antipsychotics and second generation antipsychotics. The second generation antipsychotics are more advantageous in relation to their efficacy and also due to the fact that they contain less adverse effects.
Nonetheless, it is important to note that they are also associated with a greater risk of a metabolic disorder like hypertension and insulin resistance. The choice of drugs depends on patient’s response to drugs, effects and administration requirement. Even the conventional antipsychotics have effects which are inclusive but not limited to, stiffness of the muscles, weight gain and sedation (Bustillo, 2008).
According to American Psychiatric Association (2006), behavioral therapy is very effective in treatment of the disorder especially due to the fact that it is a chronic illness. In this type of a treatment, the disorder is viewed as a problem behavior which may be influenced by environmental factors like the relationships in the family of origin.
Behavioral family therapy is therefore an effective method of treatment and is usually aimed at reducing or eliminating severity of the disorder. This is due to the fact that research has indicated that negative behaviors that are directed to the victims by their family members contribute greatly to the severity of the symptoms. It is therefore clear that if such behaviors can be dealt with, the problem can be solved.
Neuroscientist and biopsychologists are very significant in the research of various psychiatric disorders like the Schizophrenia. Neural scientists conduct research on psychiatric diseases in human beings at either molecular or cellular level.
In addition, they study the neural psychopathology of various diseases and also conduct genetic studies to investigate their interaction with environmental and other factors related to psychiatric disorders. On the other hand, biopsychologist conducts study of the behaviour of the brain in relation to perception, cognition and feelings to name just a few.
Therefore, it is clear that both a neural scientist and a biopsychologist need to work together not only during treatment procedures but also in research. This is due to the fact that it is through research that better methods of treatment are discovered. More research is required on schizophrenia especially due to the fact that the medications available contain a lot of negative effects.
American Psychiatric Association. (2006). American Psychiatric Association practice guidelines for the treatment of psychiatric disorders: Compendium 2006. Washington: American Psychiatric Pub.
Bustillo, J. R. (2008). Schizophrenia. Retrieved October 14, 2010, from http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec15/ch202/ch202e.html