What If I Am Not Happy With My Treatment
If you are not happy with your treatment you can:
- talk to your doctor about your treatment options,
- ask for a second opinion,
- get an advocate to help you speak to your doctor,
- contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service and see whether they can help, or
- make a complaint.
There is more information about these options below.
You should first speak to your doctor about your treatment. Explain why you are not happy with it. You could ask what other treatments you could try.
Tell your doctor if there is a type of treatment that you would like to try. Doctors should listen to your preference. If you are not given this treatment, ask your doctor to explain why it is not suitable for you.
A second opinion means that you would like a different doctor to give their opinion about what treatment you should have. You can also ask for a second opinion if you disagree with your diagnosis.
You dont have a right to a second opinion. But your doctor should listen to your reason for wanting a second opinion.
An advocate is independent from the mental health service. They are free to use. They can be useful if you find it difficult to get your views heard.
There are different types of advocates available. Community advocates can support you to get a health professional to listen to your concerns. And help you to get the treatment that you would like.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service
You can find out more about:
What Are Schizophrenia Causes Is Schizophrenia Hereditary
One frequently asked question about schizophrenia is if it is hereditary. As with most other mental disorders, schizophrenia is not directly passed from one generation to another genetically, and there is no single specific cause for this illness. Rather, it is the result of a complex group of genetic and other biological vulnerabilities, as well as psychological and environmental risk factors. Biologically, it is thought that people who have abnormalities in the brain neurochemical and lower brain matter in some areas of the brain are at higher risk for developing the condition. Other brain issues that are thought to predispose people to developing schizophrenia include abnormalities in the connections between different areas of the brain, called default mode network connectivity. Recent research is emerging that implicates potential abnormalities in the transmission of the brain neurochemical glutamate as a risk factor for having schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is thought to have a significant but not solely genetic component. People who have immediate family members with psychosis are more vulnerable to developing schizophrenia compared to people who do not have such a family history. Genetically, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have much in common, in that the two disorders share a number of the same risk genes. However, the fact is that both illnesses also have some genetic factors that are unique. There are some genetic commonalities with schizophrenia and , as well.
The Search For Progressive Brain Changes
Researchers have sought to identify structural brain changes in schizophrenia since the time of Kraepelin. Postmortem and pneumoencephalographic studies, provided support for the presence of atrophic brain changes in some patients with chronic schizophrenia. However, the opportunity to systematically investigate brain structure emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Computed tomography revealed that patients with schizophrenia on average had larger intracranial cerebrospinal fluid volumes, including larger lateral ventricles, and cortical sulci., Subsequent MRI studies demonstrated widespread deficits in gray matter volumes, and white matter volumes. The magnitude of these group differences was observed to be greater for more chronically ill patients. From the outset, both CT and MRI studies sought to demonstrate associations between illness duration and the magnitude of CSF and gray matter volumes, but with little success.,
How Is Schizophrenia Treated
Managing schizophrenia is a lifelong process. It can’t be cured. But symptoms can often be managed with medicine and therapy. Often, more than 1 method is needed. Types of treatment that may be helpful include:
Antipsychotic medicines. These are the main medicines used to reduce the most troubling symptoms such as delusions and paranoia.
Other medicines. These may include antidepressants or other mood stabilizers.
Therapy. Individual and family therapy .
Training. These may include learning social skills, job skills, or structured activity.
Self-help and support groups.
Early treatment and supportive services helps affected people live productive lives. It’s very important to take medicines exactly as prescribed and to keep taking them even if you feel better. Many people may still have some symptoms, even with treatment. At times, symptoms may get worse and treatment will need to be adjusted.
Always see your healthcare provider for more information.
What Myths Are There About Schizophrenia
There are some myths or mistaken beliefs about schizophrenia which come from the media. For example,
- Schizophrenia means someone has a split personality
This is not the case. The mistake may come from the fact that the name ‘schizophrenia’ comes from two Greek words meaning ‘split’ and ‘mind’.
- Schizophrenia causes people to be violent
Research shows that only a small number of people with the illness may become violent. The same way as a small minority of the general public may become violent.
People with schizophrenia are far more likely to be harmed by other people than other people are to be harmed by them. But as these incidents can be shocking, the media often report them in a way which emphasises the mental health diagnosis. This can create fear and stigma in the general public.
What Are The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia And How Is It Diagnosed
How is schizophrenia diagnosed?
Only a psychiatrist can diagnose you with schizophrenia after a full psychiatric assessment. You may have to see the psychiatrist a few times before they diagnose you. This is because they need to see how often you are experiencing symptoms.
There are currently no blood tests or scans that can prove if you have schizophrenia. So, psychiatrists use manuals to diagnose schizophrenia and other mental illnesses.
The 2 main manuals used by medical professionals are the:
- International Classification of Diseases which is produced by the World Health Organisation , or
- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual which is produced by the American Psychiatric Association .
NHS doctors use the ICD-10.
The manuals explain which symptoms should be present, and for how long for you to receive a diagnosis. For example, according to the NHS you need to be hearing voices for at least 1 month before you can be diagnosed. Mental health professionals may say you have psychosis before they diagnose you with schizophrenia.
What is the future of diagnosis in schizophrenia?There are many research studies being conducted across the world on how to better diagnose schizophrenia. For example, a recent study found through looking at images of the brain, there may be different sub-types of schizophrenia.
What are the symptoms of schizophrenia?
The symptoms of schizophrenia are commonly described as positive symptoms or negative symptoms. This doesnt mean that they are good or bad.
The Default Mode Network
When weâre just hanging out — the dishes are done, weâve finished our homework, or we’ve completed a tough project at work — our thoughts are free to roam. This âdefault modeâ allows us time to daydream, reflect, and plan. It helps us to process our thoughts and memories. Scientists call this the default mode network. When weâre not focused on a given task, it âlights up.”
If you have schizophrenia, your default mode network seems to be in overdrive. You may not be able to pay attention or remember information in this mode, one study shows.
How Our Helpline Works
For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the PsychGuides.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.
We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you.
Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither PsychGuides.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.
For more information on AACs commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page.
If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse or visit .
Do You View Schizophrenia As A Progressive Brain Disease Poll
In other words, do you think we slowly get worse? Or do you think we can get better? The research seems mixed.
- Yes, I think we slowly get worse
- No, I think we can stay the same or even get better
- I dont know
Voted no. Initialy I thought so as my symptoms positive and negative were getting worse but symptoms didnt get worse since being on working meds.
I voted no also. I forgot to click the show who voted on the poll.
I seem to be getting a little better as Im getting older,
But I voted I dont know because maybe I just have better coping skills.
Its a tough call.
No I think that we can remain the same or even get better.
But of course there are some that will get progressively worse over time.
In my case, Im sure Im going to get slowly worse.
Reference: my mom and my older sister. Their minds are completely gone. They are completely encapsulated in psychosis, but they believe that theyre healthier than ever! But theyre so, so wrong.
I really dont want to end up like them. Genetics are a b****.
Scientists dont view it as a progressive brain disease any longer. Regarding cognition some get worse, some get better, and many stay the same.
I voted No, but that is for me personally. Ive gotten a lot better after switching to Lurasidone a couple years ago. I now can work part time at a real job and I just feel better.
I also realize there are treatment resistant schizophrenics that dont do so well.
What If I Am A Carer Friend Or Relative
It can be distressing if you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who has schizophrenia. You can get support.
How can I get support for myself?
You can do the following.
- Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
- Speak to your relatives care team about family intervention. For more information about family intervention see the further up this page.
- Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
- Ask for a carers assessment.
- Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
- Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.
What is a carers assessment?NICE guidelines state that you should be given your own assessment through the community mental health team to work out what effect your caring role is having on your health. And what support you need. Such as practical support and emergency support.
The CMHT should tell you about your right to have a carers assessment through your local authority. To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.
How do I get support from my peers?You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525. They will search for you.
How can I support the person I care for?
You can do the following.
There is no definition for what high risk means. It could include:
How Will A Family Member With Schizophrenia Act
You may notice schizophrenia developing between adolescence and the age of 40, which is the most common time that it first appears. However, children and older adults can also develop schizophrenia. If your loved one had been ill for a long period of time, this can be a precursor to schizophrenia. You may notice the first episode if the patient seeks help when delusions or hallucinations trigger unusual behavior. Patients who seek help have a good chance of recovering from the episode within a few months.
What Are The Types Of Schizophrenia
There are different types of schizophrenia. The International Classification of Diseases manual describes them as below.
- Pranks, giggling and health complaints.
- Usually diagnosed in adolescents or young adults.
- Unusual movements, often switching between being very active and very still.
- You may not talk at all.
- Negative symptoms are prominent early and get worse quickly.
- Positive symptoms are rare.
Your diagnosis may have some signs of paranoid, hebephrenic or catatonic schizophrenia, but doesnt obviously fit into one of these types alone.
This type of schizophrenia is diagnosed in the later stages of schizophrenia. You may be diagnosed with this if you have a history of schizophrenia but only continue to experience negative symptoms.
There are other types of schizophrenia according to the ICD-10, such as.
- Cenesthopathic schizophrenia. This is where people experience unusual bodily sensations.
- Schizophreniform. Schizophreniform disorder is a type of psychotic illness with symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. But symptoms last for a short period.
Symptoms meet the general conditions for a diagnosis, but do not fit in to any of the above categories.
How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed
If symptoms are present, your doctor will perform a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose schizophrenia, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests such as or scans or blood tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of your symptoms.
If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, healthcare professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for schizophrenia. The doctor or therapist bases his or her diagnosis on the persons report of symptoms, and his or her observation of the persons attitude and behavior.
The doctor or therapist then determines if the persons symptoms point to a specific disorder as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is the standard reference book for recognized mental illnesses. According to the DSM-5, a diagnosis of schizophrenia is made if a person has two or more core symptoms, one of which must be hallucinations, delusions, or disorganized speech for at least one month. The other core symptoms are gross disorganization and diminished emotional expression. Other DSM-5 criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia include:
Is Schizophrenia Really A Brain Disease
In spite of over a hundred years of research and many billions of dollars spent, we still have no clear evidence that schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders are the result of a diseased brain. Considering the famous PET scan and MRI scan images of âschizophrenicâ brains and the regular press releases of the latest discoveries of one particular abnormal brain feature or another, this statement is likely to come as a surprise to some, and disregarded as absurdity by others. And yet, anyone who takes a close look at the actual research will simply not be able to honestly say otherwise. And not only does the brain disease hypothesis remain unsubstantiated, it has been directly countered by very well established findings within the recovery research, it has demonstrated itself to be particularly harmful to those so diagnosed , and is highly profitable to the pharmaceutical and psychiatric industries .
Deconstructing the Myths of Madness
The claim I am making here clearly runs counter to the mainstream understanding of schizophrenia, but we find that itâs a relatively straightforward task to back up this claim. We simply need to take the time to extract the actual research findings from the unsubstantiated assumptions and propaganda that are so often used to back up the brain disease hypothesis. Iâll go through the largest of these here:
Hypothesis #1:Â Schizophrenia is caused by a biochemical imbalance within the brain
Stress And The Hypothalamic
The elevated glucocorticoid levels associated with chronic stress that patients with schizophrenia manifest may also contribute to the smaller brain tissue volumes observed. Effects of stress and glucocorticoids on hippocampal and ventricular volumes have been demonstrated in animal models and in humans with Cushings syndrome, and these are known to be at least partially reversible., In patients with a FEP, cortisol levels have been found to be raised and to correlate inversely with hippocampal volumes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.
is a severe and debilitating brain and behavior disorder affecting how one thinks, feels and acts. People with schizophrenia can have trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy, expressing and managing normal emotions and making decisions. Thought processes may also be disorganized and the motivation to engage in lifes activities may be blunted. Those with the condition may hear imaginary voices and believe others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.
Most people with schizophrenia suffer from symptoms either continuously or intermittently throughout life and are often severely stigmatized by people who do not understand the disease. Contrary to popular perception, people with schizophrenia do not have split or multiple personalities and most pose no danger to others. However, the symptoms are terrifying to those afflicted and can make them unresponsive, agitated or withdrawn. People with schizophrenia attempt suicide more often than people in the general population, and estimates are that up to 10 percent of people with schizophrenia will complete a suicide in the first 10 years of the illness particularly young men with schizophrenia.
What Can I Expect From Schizophrenia
If you have schizophrenia, you should know that the course of this brain disease varies greatly. can often control your symptoms. If you take your medication exactly as directed, you will likely have a mild type of the disease. In that case, you will have only one or two relapses in total by the age of 45 and will show only minor symptoms. If you have moderate schizophrenia, you will likely have several major relapses by the age of 45, plus symptoms during stressful times, and you will have persistent symptoms between relapses. This often results from taking your medication most, but not all, of the time. Not taking medication at all or dropping out of treatment often causes a severe and unstable course of the disease. If you have this type, you will only be stable for a short period of time between relapses. You may have serious symptoms and need help with your day-to-day life.
Is Schizophrenia A Brain Disease
This is crucial for schizophrenia as it is believed that with every psychotic episode, increased damage is done to the brain. While no cure exists for schizophrenia, it is treatable and manageable with medication and behavioral therapy, especially if diagnosed early and treated continuously.
Likewise, can a brain scan show schizophrenia? Different abnormalities in brain anatomy match certain symptoms of schizophreniaand not others. Researchers say the discovery, based on MRI scans of 36 healthy people and 47 people with schizophrenia, offer more evidence that schizophrenia is a heterogeneous group of disorders rather than a single disorder.
Similarly, what happens in the brain of a person with schizophrenia?
In a brain with schizophrenia, far more neurotransmitters are released between neurons , than are in a normal brain . Dopamine is further implicated by the fact that a schizophrenia-like psychosis can be induced by abusing amphetamines, which act on dopamine pathways.
Is schizophrenia a real disease?
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe mental disorder that affects the way a person thinks, acts, expresses emotions, perceives reality, and relates to others. Though schizophrenia isn’t as common as other major mental illnesses, it can be the most chronic and disabling.
Facts You Should Know About Schizophrenia
- is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness that affects about 1% of the population — more than 2 million people in the United States alone.
- With the sudden onset of severe psychotic symptoms, the individual is said to be experiencing acute psychosis. Psychotic means out of touch with reality or unable to separate real from unreal experiences.
- There is no known single cause of . As discussed later, it appears that genetic and other biological factors produce a vulnerability to schizophrenia, with environmental factors contributing to different degrees in different individuals.
- There are a number of various schizophrenia treatments. Given the complexity of this disorder, the major questions about the illness are unlikely to be resolved in the near future. The public should beware of those offering “the cure” for schizophrenia.
- Schizophrenia is one of the psychotic, also called thought-disordered, mental disorders and affects a person’s thoughts, behaviors, and social functioning.
- disorganized speech or behavior.
Conditions That Can Seem Like Schizophrenia
is a mental illness that affects how you think and behave. The symptoms of schizophrenia include:
- Psychotic symptoms including , hearing voices, or believing someone or something is out to get you
- Negative symptoms such as a lack of interest or an inability to take pleasure in daily activities and spending time with others
- Cognitive symptoms including trouble focusing and making decisions
Many of the symptoms of schizophrenia are also symptoms of other conditions. Because of this, people often get misdiagnosed.
Other disorders and conditions that are sometimes mistaken for schizophrenia include:
Schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder causes many of the symptoms of schizophrenia, like . But people with schizoaffective disorder also have periods of or periods where they feel extremely energized or happy . Thatâs not usually the case with schizophrenia.
Schizoid personality disorder. A person with schizoid personality disorder avoids social situations and interacting with others. They usually have a hard time feeling and expressing emotions. Even though schizoid personality disorder sounds a lot like schizophrenia, people who have schizoid personality disorder donât have delusions or .
Is It Possible To Recover From Schizophrenia
Many people who live with schizophrenia have recovery journeys that lead them to live meaningful lives.
Recovery can be thought of in terms of:
- clinical recovery, and
- personal recovery.
What is clinical recovery?
Your doctor might have talked to you about recovery. Some doctors and health professionals think of recovery as:
- no longer having mental illness symptoms, or
- where your symptoms are controlled by treatment to such a degree that they are not significantly a problem.
Sometimes this is called clinical recovery.
Everyones experience of clinical recovery is different.
- Some people completely recover from schizophrenia and go on to be symptom free.
- Some who live with schizophrenia can improve a great deal with ongoing treatment.
- Some improve with treatment but need ongoing support from mental health and social services.
What is personal recovery?
Dealing with symptoms is important to a lot of people. But some people think that recovery is wider than this. We call this personal recovery.
Personal recovery means that you can live a meaningful life.
What you think of as being a meaningful life might be different to how other people see it. You can think about what you would like to do to live a meaningful life and work towards that goal.
Below are some ways you can think of recovery.
What can help me recover?
You may want to think about the following questions.
The following things can be important in recovery.