As we have seen the symptoms or rather the results, of Schizophrenia can be life disheartening, depressing and take an emotional toll on the patients and their family. The person is unable to interact within the community and family, express him or herself well and hence unable to continue with his work and social life. Since this is likely to be a life-long condition it is important that every family has, ample schizophrenia education to enable them to detect early symptoms, seek early medical intervention, and be well adapted to help the patient cope with the condition. Just like any other health condition, early diagnosis implies that the condition is less severe and the medical intervention is likely to work better and faster. Currently, though there is no cure, there are successful treatments to ensure that many schizophrenic patients lead satisfying and independent lives.
An approximate 2.4 million United States adults, or basically 1.1%, of the U.S. population aged 18 years and above are diagnosed with schizophrenia each year. In men, it manifests itself in their early twenty’s while in women it manifests itself in their late twenties or early thirties. However, both men and women are equally affected. Being a mental disorder that is usually characterized by the disintegration of the thinking process and emotional responsiveness, Schizophrenia is among the most chronic and severe lifelong brain disorders, especially if not diagnosed early enough. It leads to both occupational and social. (NHMI, 2010).
The complexity of schizophrenia does not make it any easier for the patients. Unlike most mental diseases, schizophrenia is not synonymous with multiple or split personality disorder and most people with it are not violent or dangerous. They simply reside with families, on their own, or in group homes. Schizophrenia diagnosis is dependent on the person’s observed behavior and self-reported experience. However, most people living with a schizophrenic person barely notice that they have a serious mental condition and hence dismiss their symptoms as being paranoid, bizarre delusions, mere hallucinations, disorganized thinking or speech or bizarre delusions. Schizophrenia interferes with a person’s ability to manage emotions, distinguish reality from fantasy, think clearly, relate to others, and make decisions. Nevertheless, just like many mental conditions, schizophrenia has no cure and it is therefore important that all Americans are well versed with the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, prognosis and management of schizophrenia so that they are well aware of the hazardous health, social, and occupational effects that the disease causes and pay attention to the persons living around them to ensure that steps towards earlier medical intervention which can inhibit the progression of the disease and save a patient’s life are taken (NHMI, 2010).
The client (M.J) which I cared for was a 52 year old female. She was unemployed, single, under weight and staying alone in her apartment. She smokes cigarettes, one pack per day. Her sister staying in Maryland was supportive to her. Moreover, her sister was a source of support after discharge. Her mother was bipolar. She also had a history of Asthma. She is also a Hepatitis C carrier.