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Schizophrenia Clinical Essay
Mental Health Nursing (Rasmussen College)
Thoughts on Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can lead to someone have a sense of altered reality. The symptoms of Schizophrenia can include hallucinations, delusions, abnormal motor behaviors, and disorganized thoughts. As we know hallucinations are where the patient either hears or sees something that is not real or actually occurring. Delusions are when the patient believes that people are out to harm them, they have a super ability, or someone is in love with them. Patient’s with Schizophrenia often times talk in partial or incomplete sentences or words. In conjunction with all of the other symptoms, patients with Schizophrenia can present with abnormal motor movements. These can include a lack of response, excessive movements, this is due to their behavior not being focused on one goal. Other symptoms I did not discuss are what is called negative symptoms. These range from neglecting self-care such as hygiene, to not making eye contact when speaking and speaking very monotonal.
In the documentary we watched in class, patient’s with schizophrenia discussed their own personal journey and diagnosis. Treatments that worked for them and those that did not. Many of the patients were on Lithium and I believe Clozapine. When talking about Lithium it is important to know the safe blood level of the medication which is between 0.6 to 1.2 mEq/L. Should it go any higher than 1.2 that indicated that the patient has Lithium toxicity. The symptoms they experience are solely based on how much Lithium is in their blood. Less severe side effects include thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth, weight gain or loss, and hand tremors. From what was observed in the documentary, none of the patient’s had experienced Lithium toxicity.
Also, in the documentary there was a man, who, of course has Schizophrenia. He spent 5 days in the center and was allowed to go home for the weekend. Before he was even able to leave, he had to verbally explain what medications he was on, and how often he took them.
When he got home, his mother took the mediation for him. She then began to talk about how he was as a child. She stated that as a child he had a hard time getting along with his two brothers. His brothers then recounted about times that he had bitten them, hit them, and even tried to kill him. This really opened my eyes to what the family of someone with a mental disorder such as Schizophrenia really goes through. I cannot imagine having a sibling who bites, hits, and even tries to stab me as kids. This goes to show that their families are like no other, incredibly strong. I can also not imagine the struggle it must have been for his mother to put her son in a center and only see him on the weekends and days she is able to go and visit him.
Not only is it a struggle for the family, but also for the patient themselves. They are the ones dealing with the unpredictable moods and mania. Going through different trials of medications that may or may not work. Not to mention being stigmatized by society, as they are portrayed as dangerous people in the media. Through research for my other courses I have learned a great deal about Schizophrenia. The way it is portrayed in the media is horrible, they are shown as dangerous, unstable people who kill. They are predominately white male characters in the media with schizophrenia, but it is something that can affect both men and women. It can even present in teens with non-stereotypical symptoms that are seen in adults. In teens there will be a lack of delusions, but they are more likely to have hallucinations. I personally have never seen a teenager in a movie be diagnosed with Schizophrenia or have it. I believe if the media didn’t make people with this mental disorder out to be dangerous, it could greatly help with the stigma around it, and allow room for others to understand what they and their families are going through.
Overall, I enjoyed the documentary on Schizophrenia, it was incredibly eye opening, especially, since this quarter we did not get the chance to speak with any real patients. I feel
watching videos on real people with the disorder we are covering that week really helped lock in what it would be like if we were actually in a facility, interacting with patients for clinical.
Should I ever run into or have a patient with Schizophrenia, I now know that I will not judge them prematurely, as they are truly not in control of what or how they react to certain things. I will know how difficult it is for them and their family, as well as how incredibly careful and mindful I will have to be when administering their medications as there is such a narrow therapeutic window.