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Schizophrenia – an invisible yet omnipresent reality in America

Posted on 05-17-17 in Schizophrenia

“They’ve injected me with some kind of weird drug because they hate me,” whined 26-year-old Aaron (name changed) of New York, speaking to his mother on the phone. “These scheming guys here simply want me out of their way so that I’m not a threat to them,” It was the fourth time during the last one week that Margie (name changed), 51, was down after she hung up on the phone. Her son has been complaining too often about people conspiring against him at work. A master’s degree holder from Columbia University, he was headhunted by a hi-tech startup firm in the Silicon Valley and was entrusted with several key responsibilities whereas many of his co-workers didn’t even have a college degree.

Each time, Aaron sounded even lower on the phone. His voice no longer had the same enthusiasm and humor as before. Instead, he complained of not being able to concentrate due to fear of others attempting to grab his position. Further, he even began calling his mother from payphones because he suspected several entrepreneurs in California were tracking his phone calls to steal his innovative business ideas. One by one, all these unbelievable concoctions convinced Margie that something was wrong with her son.

Influenced by perceived rumor-mongering over a period of time, he had bottled up a cartload of negative emotions and insecurities which led to disorganized thinking patterns and hallucinations of an imaginary calamity. In the midst of mental chaos, the never-ending work pressure took a heavy toll on his well-being, exacerbating his levels of delusional paranoia. His mental condition had slowly turned a once high-performing business analyst at a fast-growing software company to a wreck, increasing his dislike for the workplace.

One day, the doorbell rang, and when Margie ran to open the door. “Mom, I don’t want to be there,” moaned Aaron in a slurring tone. “They’re coming with guns to get me, I can hear their thumping footsteps,” he muttered as he entered the house staggeringly. Seeing his paranoid behavior, disheveled hair and disoriented gaze, Margie knew at once her son was in desperate need of psychiatric help. She realized that so far she had failed to recognize a grave problem.

Aaron is not the only one who is battling chronic impairments in thought processes, perceptions, and emotional responsiveness. There are millions of American grappling with similar conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that about 1.1 percent of adults in the United States struggle with schizophrenia, which has its own way of deluding even the merriest of people into believing that their lives are worthless and deplorable. Everyone occasionally experiences negative emotions, but when an individual is consumed by irrational negativity such that it begins to interfere with daily life, it may need expert advice. Constant battles with mental delusional afflictions sap away their energy, leaving them feeling helpless and miserable most of the time. Activities which once gave pleasure, seem completely taxing, leading to problems in daily life functioning. Under such circumstances, only professional treatment and support is the way ahead.

FDA approves new drug for schizophrenic kids

Although schizophrenia is a challenging disorder of the mind and brain, it is also a treatable condition. Neuroscientific researches undertaken in the past suggest that individuals battling schizophrenia could have a gray matter loss of up to 25 percent in the brain, particularly in the temporal and frontal lobes. According to the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of Alliance (SARDAA), schizophrenia is one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S., with around 3.5 million patients. A research indicates around 75 percent of the individuals generally tend to develop the illness between 16 and 25 years of age.

Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug for oral administration in adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 who are diagnosed with schizophrenia. Latuda (lurasidone HCl), manufactured by Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc., is the key to not only treat adults with schizophrenia, but also those suffering from bipolar depression (the lows or depressive phase of bipolar disorder). Promising results from a six-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled study examining the effect of the drug on three groups of adolescent patients who were administered varying doses of the medicine each day led to the approval of the drug. Lurasidone HCl is an unconventional antipsychotic which works by acting on specific substances in the brain.

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for the problem. As symptoms can be different for each individual, a customized treatment plan based on the patient’s needs is the best possible way for reinstating a good life. Experts believe that a combination of antipsychotic medicines and psychotherapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and assertive community treatment (ACT), along with help and encouragement from support groups to gain insight into their medical condition and beat isolation go a long way in treating the disorder.

A message from Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health’s schizophrenia treatment centers offer several behavioral treatment programs for men and women affected by mental disorders such as schizophrenia. Upon admission, the patients are thoroughly assessed via medical, biopsychosocial and psychiatric evaluations to accurately diagnose their condition and identify any underlying conditions. They are then accordingly prescribed the best treatments for schizophrenia.

As part of their individualized treatment plans, patients at Sovereign Health facilities receive evidence-based therapy and interventions, including individual psychotherapy, group therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which can benefit patients by teaching them how to cope with their symptoms. Sovereign Health’s treatment centers offer customized treatment options tailored to individual needs.

If you or your loved one is battling schizophrenia or any other mental health disorder, get in touch with Sovereign Health to gain access to our latest and innovative treatment methods. You may call at our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know about the best treatment for schizophrenia available at our state-of-the-art centers.