Schizophrenic patients occupy more hospital beds than any other illness including cancer, heart disease, and stroke combined. The annual cost of this condition is roughly $48 billion when factoring in medical treatment, Social Security payments, and wages lost due to the disorder.
As with all mental illness, Schizophrenia is the outcome of body-mind-spirit disturbances caused by emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, and energetic influences. These all affect each other and cannot be isolated.
Schizophrenia is a condition with a wide variation of symptoms that are characterized by disordered thinking, behavior and feelings, and generally occurs in women between the late twenties to early thirties. Symptoms are divided into the categories of positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disorganized thinking and speaking, and disorganized or catatonic behavior. Negative symptoms include the lack of emotional expression, lack of energy or initiative, lack of pleasure or interest in previously enjoyable things, poverty of speech, and attention deficit disorders. People with schizophrenia are often diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and vice versa.
The limbic system and associated neurotransmitter functions of the brain are the primary target in the treatment of schizophrenia. Medications prescribed include antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, antidepressants, and tranquilizers. These medications manipulate neurotransmitter function. Side effects of these medications range from dry mouth, blurred vision, drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasm, and tremors. They can also cause side effects that resemble psychotic symptoms.
A severe long-term effect of these neuroleptic drugs is a condition called tardive dyskinesia (TD) and is characterized by involuntary muscle movement which most often involves the limbs, mouth, tongue, eyes, and other parts of the face. Involuntary grimaces, tongue protrusions, lip smacking, and chewing are typical manifestations of TD. It can be a permanent disability even after the drug has been discontinued.
Schizophrenia is a complex condition and no single therapeutic measure can reverse it in everyone. Recovery involves identifying and correcting the existing imbalances of each individual, which vary between people as the combination of factors differs from person to person. It requires the re-balancing of the body, mind and spirit through various holistic remedies.