Schizophrenia

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disease that affects how your brain works. It is a disease that may change how you think, feel, and behave. You may not be able to know what is real and what is not real. Your thoughts may not be clear, or may jump from one topic to another.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

If untreated, your signs and symptoms may get worse. Your illness may make it hard to work or get along with others. It may also change the way you eat and sleep. These changes may make you suffer other illnesses and diseases. Schizophrenia may also damage your brain.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Psychiatric assessment:

Your caregiver will perform a psychiatric assessment. He will ask if you have a history of psychological trauma, such as physical, sexual, or mental abuse. He will ask if you were given the care that you needed when you needed it. He will ask if you have a history of alcohol or drug abuse. Your caregiver will ask if you want to hurt or kill yourself or others. He will also ask about your hobbies and goals, the people in your life who support you, and how you feel about treatment. The answers to these questions help caregivers plan your treatment.

Tests:

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your head. You may be given dye to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

  • EEG: This test is also called an electroencephalogram. Many small pads or metal discs are put on your head. Each has a wire that is hooked to a machine. This machine prints a paper tracing of brain wave activity from different parts of your brain. Caregivers look at the tracing to see how your brain is working.

  • MRI: This scan uses powerful magnets and a computer to take pictures of your head. You may be given dye to help the pictures show up better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.

Medicines:

  • Antipsychotics: These help decrease psychotic symptoms and severe agitation. You may need antiparkinson medicine to control muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness caused by antipsychotic medicines.

  • Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

  • Antidepressants: These help with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  • Mood stabilizers: These control mood swings.

  • Tranquilizers: These increase feelings of being calm and relaxed.

Electroconvulsive therapy:

This is a type of shock therapy, also called ECT. This therapy passes a small amount of electricity to the brain.

Therapy:

  • Assertive community treatment: A team of caregivers and support groups in your community help you with your therapy.

  • Cognitive behavior therapy: This therapy helps you to change certain behaviors. It will help you handle symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.

  • Illness-management skills: This type of therapy teaches you what you can do to help manage your disease.

  • Family psychoeducation: Your family will be part of your therapy.

  • Social skills training: This training helps you learn how to get along with other people.

  • Supported employment: This is a form of therapy where you are placed into a job that fits your skills. It will help give you independence and self-confidence.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Schizophrenia (Inpatient Care)

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