Caring for Schizophrenia

Introduction
Schizophrenia is a health condition that impairs a person’s psychological and social wellbeing. Typically, this illness exhibits positive signs such as paranoid delusions, and hallucinations (Mishra, et al., 2017). The patient may also show negative signs such as social withdrawal, loss of will, flattened affect, and loss of sense of pleasure. The focus of this paper is to illustrate how to take good care of a schizophrenia patient.

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Taking care of Schizophrenia Patients
Schizophrenia is a challenging condition to handle due to its complex and incomprehensible causes. The process of caring for individuals suffering from this condition include combining medical treatment and psychological interventions, given the different degree that each option has to restore the wellbeing of the patient.

Treatment options
Once a medical diagnosis, which include physical examination, tests and screening, and psychiatric assessment confirm that one is suffering from schizophrenia, he/she is subjected to a lifelong treatment that continues even after subduing the negative and positive symptoms of the condition (Fitryasari, Yusuf, Nursalam, & Nihayati, 2018). The primary reason for recommending a continued treatment process is to ensure that the condition is fully placed under the required control. In extreme cases, the patient might be recommended for hospitalization. As a care taker of a schizophrenia patient, it is worth to make follow up and ensure that the patient’s treatment team includes at least a psychologist for the patient’s psychological wellbeing, a social worker who should ensure restoration of the patient’s lost social interaction, a psychiatric nurse who will be responsible for taking care of the patient, and a case manager to ensure appropriate coordination of the treatment team.
The most commonly prescribed medication is antipsychotic drugs due to the belief that they stabilize the neurotransmitter dopamine of the brain. When administering antipsychotic drugs, the primary focus is aligned with effective management of the condition’s symptoms at the lowest dose. The desired results are achieved through administering different drugs in different doses interchangeably. At times, the treatment team may be coerced to combine more than one drug, something that is normal, especially if the patient’s condition resists the prescribed medication. Most patients tend to resist treatment due to the adverse effects brought about by antipsychotic drugs. However, it is advisable that the patient receives medication using other options, which include injections.
Second-generation antipsychotics poses minimal risks as compared to first-generation. Some of the recommendable second-generation antipsychotic drugs include Aripiprazole, Asenapine, Cariprazine, and Clozapine. These drugs are expensive; hence, the reason some people prefer first-generation antipsychotic drugs such as Chlorpromazine, Fluphenazine, Haloperidol, and Perphenazine. One important note to make when going for first-generation medication is that they have the potential to make the patient develop tardive dyskinesia, which is a movement disorder that sometimes, tend to be irreversible.

Psychological intervention
Appropriate recovery of a schizophrenia patient relies on adequate provision of psychotherapy and psychosocial therapy during medication. Psychotherapy can be provided individually by teaching a patient to differentiate between the reality and fiction. The patient can also be provided with cognitive behaviour therapy, which is pivotal in enhancing thoughts and behaviour so that it becomes possible for the patient to handle imaginary voices and hallucinations. Psychotherapy can also be provided in the form of cognitive enhancement therapy, which works by improving the patient’s ability to identify social cues, enhance memory and be able to organize thoughts.
Psychosocial therapy is provided to patients who show improvement during psychotherapy, prompting the need to help them learn and cope in the community. One of the psychosocial therapy include social skills training to enhance the patient’s interaction and communication capabilities. Also, it might be essential to rehabilitate the patient so that he/she can receive support in handling problems. Besides, it helps the patient to join self-help groups such as community care and outreach centres, which are essential in enhancing a patient’s social skills (Kerkemeyer, et al., 2015). A patient who might be experiencing an episode of psychosis can be provided with coordinated specialty care. This intervention is used to manage the condition at its early stages, given that it is a team approach that is administered as a combination of psychological therapies and drugs in a bid to achieve appropriate long-term outcomes.
Assertive community treatment is another psychosocial intervention that provides proactive solutions to problems through personalizing treatment and care services, which include appropriate tackling of life challenges that a patient might get exposed to. Also, a patient can be subjected to social recovery therapy, which can enable the patient to set life objectives and gain a sense of optimism, as well as positive propensity about himself/herself and towards others.

Conclusion
Schizophrenia is a condition that alters the normal functioning of a person’s mental capability. Specific causes to this conditions are not clear. However, various treatment options are inexistence as illustrated in this paper. Given that medication alone might not be sufficient to ensure positive recovery outcomes, it is blended with psychological interventions such as psychotherapy and psychosocial therapy as discussed in the essay. Appropriate administering of these two options can improve a schizophrenia patient’s wellbeing.

References


Fitryasari, R., Yusuf, A., Nursalam, T. R., & Nihayati, H. E. (2018). Original Article: Family members’ perspective of family Resilience’s risk factors in taking care of schizophrenia patients. International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 255-261.

Kerkemeyer, L., Mostardt, S., Biermann, J., Wasem, J., Neumann, A., Walendzik, A., & Wobrock, T. (2015). Evaluation of an integrated care program for schizophrenia: concept and study design. European Archives of Psychiatry & Clinical Neuroscience, 155.

Mishra, A., Sai Krishna, G., Sravani, A., Kurian, T. D., Kurian, J., Ramesh, M., & Kishor, M. (2017). Impact of pharmacist-led collaborative patient education on medication adherence and quality of life of schizophrenia patients in a tertiary care setting. Bulletin of Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, 345.

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