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Schizophrenia: Treatment And The Role Of The Social Worker

1946 words - 8 pages

Even with the advancements in science and the new technologies available, the causes of schizophrenia are still unknown. In 1911 a Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, developed the term schizophrenia. “This word comes from the Greek roots schizo (split) and phrene (mind) to describe the fragmented thinking of people with the disorder” (Johns Hopkins Medicine). By developing the term schizophrenia, it allowed others to better understanding the disorder and move away from linking it to the common misunderstanding of having multiple or split personalities. Although this does not give us an understanding of the causes of the disorder, it does help to clarify and assist with classifying people with the symptoms associated with the disorder (Johns Hopkins Medicine).
Experts, researchers, and scientists have come to believe that schizophrenia is potentially caused or influenced by a few factors: genes and environment as well as different brain chemistry and structure.
Over time the broader term of schizophrenia has also been further divided into five categories or subtypes which include: paranoid type, disorganized type, catatonic type, undifferentiated type, and residual type. These subtypes are delineated based on the persons presenting symptoms and the hope is to give a better understanding of the causes of the disorder itself (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).
Symptoms of schizophrenia are also referred to in terms of positive and negative. Positive symptoms are symptoms that are present in an individual that are not typically present, for example hallucinations or delusions. Negative symptoms are symptoms that are absent in an individual that are typically present, for example a decline in personal hygiene or loss of interest/enjoyment in activities previously enjoyed (Preston, O'Neal & Talaga, 2010).
When discussing treatment of schizophrenia, antipsychotic medication has become a critical component of treating the disorder. Other medications are also used to assist with treating other symptoms of the disorder or side effects of the prescribed medication. Medications may be given to help alleviate or reduce anxiety, aggression, agitation, and other positive or negative symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Medications will not cure the disorder, but will assist the person with functioning better on a day to day basis. Once the symptoms begin to reduce or subside, the individual may become more open to other treatment options as well as increase the effectiveness of the other treatments (Preston, O'Neal & Talaga, 2010).
Other interventions and treatments that may be introduced once the individual is stable enough on medication to be receptive and benefit from these treatments include: individual therapy, group counseling, family counseling, vocational rehabilitation/training, social skills training, and daily living skills training. It is also important to provide the family with support, education, and the proper...

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