Rehabilitation Of Schizophrenia

Rehabilitation Of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is diagnosable psychological disorder which results in the patient suffering from paranoid and unreasonable fears and beliefs in what would be considered normal situations, thereby preventing the individual from functioning in a socially acceptable manner (Schactner D.L., Gilbert D.T, Wegner D.M., 2010, p.519). This disorder has normally been treated the same as many other psychological disorders where the use of medication is used to sedate the responses that are deemed to be socially unacceptable. This practice of using pharmaceutical drugs has not always been found effective and sometime has no effect at all. Recently attempts to rehabilitate a patients mind, rather than sedate it with medication has brought mixed reviews (Silverstein S.M., Wilkniss S.M., The Future of Cognitive Rehabilitation of Schizophrenia, 2004).

During the experiment patents were asked to perform basic tasks that are known to increase cognitive ability such as simple memory and attention exercises for a specific length of time and then re-evaluated. Amongst spate studies conflicting results emerged either reporting no improvement or small improvement across approximately half of the patients but no substantial improvements. These improvements would not currently be a satisfactory replacement for the current medication currently distributed as the patients still displayed behaviour and beleifs that would be detrimental in society. This is despite the fact that medication reportedly only shows positive effects in 40 percent of all cases (Silverstein, & Wilkness, 2004).

The basis for attempting to lessen the effects of Schizophrenia through cognitive rehabilitation is the belief that it is cause through lower levels of cognitive abilities and that by training a patient’s brain medical professionals can lower the effect being felt by the individual (Silverstein, & Wilkness, 2004). This is believed due to some of the symptoms examined to diagnose this disorder, such as disorganization that is linked to cognitive ability (Schactner, Gilbert, & Wegner, 2010).

While current methods of cognitive training have proven to be less effective than desirable the research has led to speculation that new and improved techniques that focus on key areas could be potential cures for this psychological disorder. The main areas identified have been making strong connection between the patient and the tasks at hand, helping the patient focus on memory and problem solving tasks and individual intervention on a regular basis to ensure the rehabilitation is being administered properly. However until this research is furthered and proven the best alternative to ensuring the sufferers are not putting themselves or others in danger remains medication and in a large number of cases isolation from the general public.

Citations

Schactner, D.L, Gilbert, D.T, & Wegner, D.M. (Ed.). (2010). Psycology 105. New York, NY: Worth Custom Publishing.

Silverstein, S.M, & Wilkniss, S.M. (2004). The future of cognitive rehabilitation of schizophrenia. 1-14.