Schizophrenia and Its Treatment

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There is an estimated 2.5million Americans diagnosed with schizophrenia (McGuire, 2000). The disease takes many forms but general symptoms of schizophrenia are the hearing of voices, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and confused thinking. People with schizophrenia become disengaged from society. They are unable to function in the expected roles of student, worker, or spouse. The concept of the disease is generally agreed upon by experts, what differs, however, is the prognosis. Is it possible for those with schizophrenia to recover, can they return to society and live full productive, independent lives? There are two differing views on this subject presented in Patrick A. McGuire’s 2000 article “New Hope for People with Schizophrenia. According to McGuire there is a movement of psychologists who disagree with the traditional medical model and are now supporting a new recovery philosophy known as psychosocial rehabilitation. The old treatment models viewed patients with schizophrenia as hopeless cases who needed to be stabilized with hospitalization and maintained with medications. It was believed that these people would have schizophrenia for the rest of their lives with no chance of recovery. The traditional medical model defined a “good outcome” for people with schizophrenia as a total cessation of symptoms with no further hospitalization. This “good outcome” was obtained with the use of tranquilizers such as Thorazine, which made the management of patients easier, but only hid the disease. Within the older model very little attention was paid to the individual patient and their different needs. The old medical model’s “one-size-fits-all” approach was to medicate and if the patient did not get well immediately they were “deemed forever chronic” (McGuire, 2000, p211). The traditional treatment paradigm reports that only about 10 to 20 percent of those with schizophrenia might achieve recovery. In contrast to the medical model of...
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