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- The earliest psychiatric symptoms exhibited by Bill occurred way before he was ever seen by a mental health professional. His sister Colleen clearly was worried about his sanity for a reason–namely his “frequent daydreaming, talking to himself, or saying things that made no sense.” I see this as a terrible initial evaluation of the patient. Considering his history, his symptoms, as well as the evasive and enigmatic symptoms he displayed during therapy were all very early signs that Bill’s situation was drastically going downhill–his brother-in-law feared Bill being around the children. Taking all these things into account, Bill always exhibited psychiatric symptoms, they just were not recognized. It is very hard to say when he first started experiencing hallucinations, because if he was previously seen speaking to himself, and saying nonsensical things, than they were probably a hallucination or delusion of some sort. Psychiatric medication never has the same effect on one person that is has on another. Though on the whole overused and overprescribed, the line between necessary and unnecessary unfortunately becomes very thin. Schizophrenia can worsen very quickly, possibly endangering the person as well as the people around them. The current “Dr. House” approach to psychiatric medication is simply to medicate, and if it works, than you have a diagnosis. In most cases psychotherapy can take the place of this, however, with regards to schizophrenia, the use of some mood stabilizing agent is recommended if there is even a slight chance.
- Other than medication, there are many things a schizophrenic can do in a regular environment to improve their situation. Psychotherapy is absolutely essential for the schizophrenic–it brings problems to the surface, and can stop the illness from becoming worse. It can also help with the detachment issue so common in schizophrenics. The other important thing outpatient is support groups. Very often people in similar situations can come together, and share experiences. This helps the patient feel less isolated–key in a schizophrenic.