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Schizophrenia’S Effects On The

Schizophrenia’s effects on the population has a global prevalence. It is has become more common and life-changing than other chronic illnesses that plague humans. Those diagnosed with this disease meet challenges that include side effects, adherence, and costs. Treatments are given to offset the symptoms. A number of second-generation antipsychotic medications are prescribed as opposed to first line generation medications because of the side effects. Side effects prevent adherence causing a domino effect. The outcomes spiral downhill as some patients make unwise choices that can be detrimental or lead to fatalities. This is similar to many responses to an alternative procedure that passes electric currents through a patient’s brain to reverse some symptoms. The life-changing effects of schizophrenia affect patients and family members.

Schizophrenia Effects and Treatment

Schizophrenia is a psychological disease portrayed by severe impairments in thinking, emotions, and behaviors (Franzo, 2014). This is a mental health disease that affects one percent of global population (Franzo, 2014). It is now more prevalent than diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer disease (Arango, Kapur & Kahn, 2015). The English term schizophrenia is derived from the Greek words “split mind” (Arango et al., 2015). This is noticeable as individuals may experience loose associations, hallucinations, and delusions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the effects and treatment for schizophrenia. There are several known treatments for schizophrenia, but this paper will only discuss two treatments, which are medication and an alternative, electroconvulsive therapy, psychotherapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation.

I know the consequences this condition all too well. My first cousin, who was like a brother to me, suffered from the disease. My family and I were unaware of his suffering because he kept the diagnosis hidden from many. I suspected something was wrong because at times he did not behave like his typical self. My family and I found out about the disease after it was too late for us to step in with any solutions that we could possibly provide for him. Due to his mental illness, he was killed last year. He refused to come out of his girlfriend’s apartment and authorities rushed in and shot him over 76 times. He was one semester away from graduating with a biology major from Tuskegee University. He was very smart, articulate, and a great college athlete. He was diagnosed with the mental health disease eight months before his death. Now, I am left wondering what other treatment options were available that could have helped him before his tragic death and that can be available for those who suffer from schizophrenia.

The first treatment involves antipsychotic medications such as clozapine, risperidone, and quetipine. These second-generation antipsychotic medications are often used as a first line treatment. Sometimes schizophrenia patients do not like the side effects of the first line generation medications such as molindone or loxapine. Therefore, second generation medication are used initially (Arango et al. 2015). Protocol is to rule out substance abuse and brain tumors before beginning treatments schizophrenia (Arango et al., 2015). Choosing the right medication for each patient is based on multiple factors that include cost, the number of less side effects, and the extent of the side effects. Adherence is an issue that is key to preventing schizophrenia outbreaks. Reports have indicated that a high percent of patients have a 50% chance of relapse due to non-adherence after the first year of being diagnosed (Arango et al., 2015). The initial diagnosis of schizophrenia is a life-changing event for the patient and their family. This is what happen to my cousin, it was shared by those who were aware of his diagnosis that he stopped taking his medication because he did not like the side effects. Another factor was the cost of the medication. A month’s supply of just one prescribed medicine cost him $800. In addition to pricey prescriptions, costs prevented him from seeking follow up care because he did not have health insurance to cover his treatments. It was also learned that because of his age he did not want the stigma of being labeled crazy.

A second treatment is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), a procedure performed under general anesthesia, emits small electric currents through the brain, intentionally triggering a brief seizure (Mayo Clinic, 2017). This alters the chemistry of the brain to quickly reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses. (Zheng, et al., 2016; Mayo Clinic, 2017). ECT is most effective and used more often as some patients are unable to handle the reactions or side effects of the first and second treatment options (Mayo Clinic, 2017). Although ECT is effective, the preference of patients may anything other than having electric currents going through their brains. This option was not presented to my cousin, so I am unsure if he would have been receptive to this treatment.

A third treatment is psychotherapy, which is treating mental health issues by talking to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or someone with a mental health licenses. In psychotherapy, you gather information on your condition, and you also learn about your mood, feelings, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy helps you understand how to control your life and reaction to certain situations in your life. There are many psychotherapies, each one has its own treatment plan.

A fourth treatment is transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is, a noninvasive neurostimulation technique that uses alternating magnetic fields to induce electrical current in the cortex of the brain. Neuronetics used a TMS device in 2008. It was approved by the FDA for its use to treat patients. The device was approved using the following stimulation parameters: 120-percent motor threshold, 10Hz, 4 seconds on, 26 seconds off. Unlike electroconvulsive therapy, no anesthesia is required when administering TMS.


Schizophrenia is a devastating disease that effects patients and their families. It alters the patient life and can have lasting effects on the family as well (Franzo, 2014). There is a need for improved medications. The improvements should be focused on prescribing medication that have fewer side effects, the provision of better treatment programs, and lower costs along with education for unknowledgeable family members. The latter improvement can help loved ones deal the effects that come along with being diagnosed with schizophrenia. The effects and treatments for this disease exists. The concern is identifying which is best with the beneficial and better outcomes for those struggling with the mental illness. References

Arango, C., Kapur, S., & Kahn, R. S. (2015). Going beyond ‘trial-and-error’ in psychiatric treatments: OPTiMiSE-ing the treatment of first episode of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 41(3), 546-548. doi:10.1093/schbul/sbv026

Cole, J. C., Bernacki, C. G., Helmer, A., Pinninti, N., & Oreardon, J. P. (2015). Efficacy of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the treatment of schizophrenia: A review of the literature to date. Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience, 12(7), 12-19.

Franzo, S. L. (2014). Psychology (5th ed.). Redding, CA: BVT Publishing.

Mayo Clinic (2017). Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). (2017). Retrieved from http; //

Psychotherapy. (2016, March 17). Retrieved June 16, 2017, from

Zheng, W., Cao, X., Ungvari, G. S., Xiang, Y., Guo, T., Liu, Z., Xiang, Y. (2016). Electroconvulsive therapy added to non-clozapine antipsychotic medication for treatment resistant schizophrenia: Meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. PLoS ONE, (6) doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156510

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I’m a freelance writer with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. My work has been featured in publications like the L.A. Times, U.S. News and World Report, Farther Finance, Teen Vogue, Grammarly, The Startup, Mashable, Insider, Forbes, Writer (formerly Qordoba), MarketWatch, CNBC, and USA Today, among others.