Schizophrenia

Diagnosis 

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder whose features may include hallucinations (perception), delusions (thinking), catatonia, flat affect, and disorganized speech and/or behavior. 

In order to receive the diagnosis, the client must, for a period of six months, exhibit at least two of the above behaviors, unless the delusions or hallucinations are bizarre, in which case only one of these behaviors is necessary for diagnosis. Subtypes of schizophrenia are as follows: disorganized, catatonic, paranoid, undifferentiated (actively psychotic but not in the first three classes), and residual (not in an active phase, but still manifesting psychopathology).   

Treatment

The treatment for schizophrenia usually has as its chief goal the relief of symptoms rather than a cure. Another goal is the improvement of the patient’s quality of life as well as that of their relatives and loved ones. Antipsychotic medications referred to as neuroleptics are commonly administered to reduce the symptoms. These antipsychotics are divided into first generation and second generation categories. The first generation group includes, among others, Thorazine, Stelazine, and Haldol. Some of the more widely used of the newer or atypical second generation drugs for schizophrenia are Abilify, Seroquel, Risperdal, and Geodon. Psychotherapy integrated with pharmacological therapies is highly recommended.