This paper will go over the basics of what schizophrenia. The various types of treatments that are available for patients with Schizophrenia will be covered more in depth.
“To be a schizophrenic it is best summed up in a repeating dream that I have had since childhood. In this dream I am lying on a beautiful sunlit beach but my body is in pieces . . . . I realize that the tide is coming in and that I am unable to gather the parts of my dismembered body together to run away. . . . This to me is what schizophrenia feels like; being fragmented in one’s personality and constantly afraid that the tide of illness will completely cover me (Quoted in Rollin, 1980).” (Carole Wade, 2002) Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder where a person suffers from delusions, hallucinations, disturbing behavior, cognitive impairments and disorganized speech. Persons suffering from this disease normally discover they have this disease during their late childhood to their early adulthood.
Schizophrenia is a rare disease and there are very few well known cases of someone suffering from schizophrenia. A famous or well known person that suffers from this uncommon disease is John Nash, known for the movie about his life, A Beautiful Mind. He was a Nobel Prize winning mathematician that currently teaches at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ. Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Syd Barret of Pink Floyd, Lionel Aldridge a superbowl-winning athlete, Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac and Albert Einstein’s son are a few more people that also suffer from schizophrenia. Originally, researchers believed that schizophrenia came from “being raised by an erratic, cold, rejecting mother or from living in an unpredictable environment . . .” (Carole Wade, 2002) Now it is believed that this disorder comes from a genetic problem that affect your brain and is often developed at birth or during a child’s adolescence.
There is currently no known cure for schizophrenia. “Several modes of treatment can, when skillfully applied, reduce the impact of schizophrenic disorders on both the patient and the community.” (Armand M. Nicholi, 1999) There are, however various different modes of treatments available to patients that will assist in controlling the adverse side effects of the disease. These modes include various therapies, medications and treatments. One of the earlier methods of treatments that is not used as often as more current treatments is Insulin-Shock Therapy. This method was first discovered in the early 1920’s and was first used by Dr. Manfred Sakel to treat schizophrenia. In the 1930’s doctors discovered that patients no longer had psychotic-like thoughts after they recovered from their induced coma. Dr. Max Fink explains that “Insulin injections led to two to three hours of low blood sugar levels . . . When blood sugar levels fall precipitously, the brain cannot sustain consciousness and the patients become stuporous. (The sequence of confusion, weakness, awkward walking, slurred speech, and stupor are occasionally seen when diabetic patients have an “insulin reaction,” a sharp fall in blood glucose in response to too large a dose of insulin.)” (Max Fink, 2002)
After the treatment was through the patient would be covered in sweat and sometimes the sheets would be soiled with bodily fluids. The patients were observed to be less aggressive, less hostile and very calm. In the successful treatments, the patients’ delusions and hallucinations were no longer present and they also experienced less obsessive thoughts. Many people view this treatment as dangerous and did not use this method because of the risks involved. This therapy was slowly replaced with Electroconvulsive therapy and is rarely used today.
Electroconvulsive or electroshock therapy is “A treatment involving the use of anesthesia and administration of muscle relaxants and oxygen that produces a convulsion by passing an electrical current...