Schizophrenia Treatments

Topics: Schizophrenia, Antipsychotic, Dopamine Pages: 2 (1232 words) Published: May 4, 2015
The two most common treatments used for schizophrenic patients are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and anti-psychotic drugs. The Medical Model (MM) of treatment proposes that the causes of schizophrenia are physical (biochemistry/neuroanatomy) therefore, the treatment should also be physical. The MM recommends direct manipulation of biological process to treat schizophrenia. Anti-psychotic (AP) drugs are designed to reduce the effects of the neurotransmitters which are believed to be the cause. There are two forms of AP drugs: conventional and atypical. Conventional AP drugs, such as phenothiazine, can reduce the amount of available dopamine receptors by blocking them; drugs such as chlorpromazine reduce acute positive symptoms such as hallucinations. Conventional AP drugs have shown to help patients with schizophrenia to lead relatively normal lives however, they do not alleviate all symptoms. Atypical AP drugs are thought to reduce serotonin levels, though some researchers believe they also act on dopamine receptors, particularly D2 receptors, and have been found to effectively reduce symptoms (Julien, 2005), especially negative symptoms, such as loss of motivation, which conventional AP drugs do not alleviate (deLima, 2005). Drugs have shown to help a patient’s everyday life and reduce the mental strain, but they can have side effects. Conventional AP drugs can cause symptoms such as stiffness and, more seriously, Tardive-dyskinesia, which involves the uncontrollable sucking and smacking of the lips, and occurs in around 30% of those on the drugs (Gualtieri, 1991). Moreover, drugs such as Clozapine have potential life threatening side effects such as damage to the immune system, thus their use is questionable and raises the ethical issue of protection from harm. Windgassen (1992) found a significant number of patients reported negative side effects and many patients had become reluctant to take the drugs, thus some patients were given a long lasting...
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