Treatment for Schizophrenia

• Schizophrenia is a disease that is managed rather than cured. Although it may be effectively treated with medication and help from many quarters, it is usually a chronic disorder and the risk of a relapse is always present. After a first about of a schizophrenic illness, many people will be unable to pursue the job they were doing at a high level and many are at risk of becoming less functionally able than they were.
• Although family and friends are the first to realize that the person has a mental problem, the sufferer is often relived to get medical assistance. If the person has sought help early, then medication may be enough, with family support, to restore a good level of normal functioning. Frequently, however, the first time the problem is faced head-on is when a crisis has occurred. The person may refuse to talk, or eat, or is constantly in fear, or is hearing voices. Under these circumstances, a doctor may feel that the person with schizophrenia requires hospitalization. The sufferer may have to be committed to hospital involuntarily under the mental health Act, after assessment by a consultant psychiatrist and approved social worker. In these circumstances, the safety of the sufferer and those around him is of paramount importance. During the early days in hospital strong sedation may be necessary to prevent dangerous situation arising and to enable the sufferer to sleep. Quite quickly people with schizophrenia view hospital as a safe place and agree to stay there voluntarily while receiving treatment.
• On discharge a sufferer will need support from friends, relatives and often community psychiatric nurses. Talking to others with the illness and with community psychiatric nurses may be of great help. Doctors and psychiatrists will be available if relatives need assistance. Rehabilitation and adjusting to life back in the community take varying lengths of time, which is true of any illness.
Exercise is a very good relaxant and a way of helping restore normality. Relaxation therapies, especially tapes and music, yoga, aromatherapy, reflexology, and Indian head massage may also be of great benefit.

PMS and IBS

PMS + IBS =Misery

A PERIOD OF RETREAT – For some women, the beginning of a period can signify not just headaches and cramps but also hourly trips to the loo. Experts believe the hormonal shift that triggers bleeding is probably responsible for the bout of busy bowels.
Before a period, a woman’s body pumps out prostaglandins-hormone like chemicals that make smooth muscles (like those in the uterus) contact. That prostaglandin spike is great for sloughing off uterine tissue, but not so fun when it contracts the intestines and causes symptoms similar to irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). One solution is the pelvic exercises that are typically prescribed for pregnant women. If they does not work, pop an ibuprofen as directed the day before your period (when prostaglandin levels start to peak). The painkiller will help keep levels low- and temper the side effects. Also helpful: Less stress, caffeine, and alcohol, and more healthy food and exercise.

Related Links: Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder PDD
Depression in Women
Postpartum depression

Body Image

The body image or body schema is a person’s subjective representation against which the integrity of his body is judged and the movement and positioning of its parts assessed. Specific abnormalities of the body image arise in neurological disorders. These abnormalities include the awareness of a phantom limb after amputation, unilateral lack of awareness or neglect(usually following stroke), hemisomatognosia (the person feels, incorrectly, that a limb is missing), and anosognosia (lack of awareness
of loss of function often of hemiplegia). These abnormalities are described in textbooks of neurology and in the textbook of neuropsychiatry by Lishman (1998).
Distorted awareness of size and shape of the body occurs occasionally in healthy people when they are tired or falling asleep. The experience, which
includes feelings that a limb is enlarging, becoming smaller, or otherwise being distorted, occurs also in migraine, as part of the aura of epilepsy, and after taking LSD. Changes of shape and size of body parts are described by some schizophrenic patients. Except for some schizophrenics, the person is aware that the experience is unreal. Coenestopathic states are localized distortions of body awareness, for example, the nose feels as if it is made of cotton wool.
A general distortion of the body image occurs in anorexia nervosa: the patient is convinced that he is fat when in fact he is underweight, sometimes to the point of emaciation.
The reduplication phenomenon is the experience that the body has doubled, or that part of the body has done so, for example, that there are two left arms. The experience is reported very occasionally in migraine, temporal lobe epilepsy, and schizophrenia.

Psychogenic Amnesia

Psychogenic amnesia is thought to result from an active process of repression which prevents the recall of memories that would otherwise evoke unpleasant emotions. The ideas arose from the study of dissociative amnesia, but the same factors may playa part in some cases of organic amnesia, helping to explain why the return of some memories is delayed longer than others.

False Memory Syndrome

It is a matter of dispute whether memories can be repressed completely but return many years later. The question arises most often when memories of
sexual abuse are reported during psychotherapy by a person who had no recollection of the events before the psychotherapy began, and the events
are strongly denied by the alleged abusers. Many clinicians consider that these recollections have been ‘implanted’ by overzealous questioning, others
contend that they are true memories that have previously been completely repressed. Those who hold the latter opinion point to evidence that memories of events other than child abuse can sometimes be completely lost and then regained and also that some recovered memories of child abuse are corroborated subsequently by independent evidence (see Brewin 2000 for a review of the evidence). Although the quality of the evidence has been questioned, the possibility of complete and sustained repression of memories has not been ruled out.
However, it seems likely that only a small minority of cases of ‘recovered memory syndrome’ can be explained in this way.

Minimal Brain Dysfunction

The theory of minimal brain dysfunction 

The observation that defined brain damage was associated with psychiatric disorder led to the suggestion that lesser degrees of damage, insufficient
to cause definite neurological signs, could account for otherwise unexplained disorders. The term minimal brain damage was suggested, but was later changed to minimal brain dysfunction after repeated failures to find evidence of any structural changes. 

It was suggested that this brain dysfunction originated in damage at birth and for a time the phrase ‘a continuum of reproductive casualty’ (Pasamanick and Knobloch 1966) was used to express this notion. There is an association between histories of abnormal pregnancy, prematurity, and birth asphyxia on the one hand, and psychiatric disorder on the other, but the former factors are also associated with social disadvantage which could be the real cause of the psychiatric disorder. Whilst the concept of minimal brain damage (or dysfunction) has been abandoned, the role of established brain damage is well recognized. 

Andropause, Male Menopause

Eventually, each man’s journey is unique, shaped by his hopes, his relationships, his blood pressure and the angle of his dangle. To be sure, the intensity of the mid-life passage varies greatly. For some men, it’s a dark ordeal that includes depression and is best navigated by a doctor. For most, it’s less perilous but still needing correction by a change in attitude. Either way, self-medication with bourbon is a bad idea. 

While andropause can be treated by Testosterone Replacement Therapy, some self help recommendations are: Find new ways to relieve stress; eat a nutritious, low fat, high fibre diet; get plenty of sleep; exercise regularly; talk about what you are going through; limit your alcohol and caffeine intake; drink lots of water. Besides that, at the end of the day. it might best help to take solace in what some smart aleck once said: “Age – something that doesn’t matter unless you are cheese.” 

Have fun on our forums. You got to love it 

Vascular Dementia

In the past, the dementia caused ny cerebrovascular disease was referred to as ‘atherosclerotic’ psychosis. Following the separation of distinct syndromes of psychiatric disorder in late life, it become apparent that dementia was often associated with multiple infaracts of varying size. mostly caused by thromboembolism from extracranial arteries and Hachinski (1974) suggested the now superseded term multi-infarct dementia (MID). 

Recent research has shown that patients with multi-infarct dementia are a subgroup of a larger group of patients with dementia due to vascular disease, and the term vascular dementia is now preferred. The pathogenic mechanisms are very varied, and include large or small vessel arteriosclerosis, embolus, vasculitis, amyloid angiopathy and intracranial haemorrhage. 

Related: Pick’s disease, Parkinsons disease, Organic mental disorder 

Listening Depression

Don’t you think it’s hard? To listen to people tell you to cheer up, smile, and let go of your depression. I find it unbearable, and not because i think they don’t care because i feel they do, but more because they don’t understand. When you’ve been sad for so long it becomes dependable. And you find it hard to remember what it was like not being lonely. But if i think about it, my sadness has always been there for me, not once has it let me down. So why rely on the happiness you once had if it abandoned you so easily. What if you don’t want to be that way because you don’t want to have to try again. Because setting yourself up for the fall…it’s so much harder than falling. Because then when you’re down you know you were right all along.
Find more on Depression help, support and importance of listening. 

Also check out the symptoms of depression 

From–MekuraTenshi (11/19/2005 22:07:17 -0700) 

Disorders of attention and concentration

Attention is the ability to focus on the matter in hand. Concentration is the ability to maintain that focus. The ability to focus on a selected part of the information reaching the brain is important in many everyday situations e.g. when conversing in a noisy place. It is also important to be able to attend to more than one source of information at the same time, e.g. when conversing while driving a car. 

Attention and concentration may be impaired in a wide variety of psychiatric disorderes including depressive disorders, mania, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and organic disorders. Therefore the finding of abnormalities of attention and concentration does not assist in diagnosis. Nevertheless, these abnormalities are important in management; e.g. they affect patient’s ability to give or recieve information when interviewed and can interfere with a patient’s ability to work, drive a car or take part in leisure activities.