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Diagnosing and Treating Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a complicated psychological disorder, affecting nearly 3 million Americans. However once diagnosed many of the symptoms of this illness are treatable.

Schizophrenia is a chronic severe and disabling psychiatric disorder that are fixed about 1% of all people. The symptoms of this disease like hallucination, delusions and phantom voices can be very scary for both patient and their loved ones. Treatment is available in many people with a disorder now lead relatively mainstream lives. The symptoms associated with Schizophrenia are divided into 2 categories POSITIVE SYMPTOMS and NEGATIVE SYMPTOMS. Positive symptoms are those symptoms that schizophrenic patients exhibit. Negative symptoms, which are the normal emotions and behaviors. Positive symptoms include, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, and bizarre behavior. Negative symptoms include loss of energy, loss of pleasure, flat emotional responses and poverty of speech.

People with Schizophrenia are not especially prone to violence, preferring in fact, to be left alone. Positive symptoms like hallucinations and disorganized speech are the easiest to spot. These symptoms are rarely seen in healthy people and usually involve a loss of contact with reality. Negative symptoms may be more difficult to detect, the person could be simply shy. Also the negative symptoms include lack of interest in life, is not always easy to distinguish from depression.

Treatments for Schizophrenia, focus on eliminating symptoms. Anti-psychotic drugs are most effective in eliminating positive symptoms. The numerous anti-psychotics available are Thorazine and Haldol. Although often effective, these medications can have some serious side effects, involuntary movement of the mouth and tongue which can be irreversible. The medications called Atypical Anti-psychotics (prexa) are also effective in treating symptoms of Schizophrenia and they do not typically have the side effects. Ofcourse they are not without their own problems. Everyone respond differently to anti-psychotics, but hallucinations usually improve within days and delusions within a few weeks. Medications should be combined with psychosocial therapies to address the negative symptoms of schizophrenia.

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