Understanding the Phases of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder characterized by recurrent periods of disorganization and delusions. There are two main types of schizophrenia: negative and positive. Negative schizophrenia is characterised by hallucinations, delusions, and social withdrawal; while positive schizophrenia involves unusual beliefs or behaviors with no psychotic symptoms (1). Both forms have different treatment approaches.

Negative Schizophrenia Treatment Approach

The most common approach to treating schizophrenia is medication. Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol, clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine, risperidone, ziprasidone and others are used for the treatment of negative schizophrenic patients (2). These medications have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce delusional thinking in these patients (3). However, antipsychotics do not work well in all cases of schizophrenia.

Some patients respond better to other treatments such as psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (4).

Positive Schizophrenia Treatment Approach

In addition to medication, some positive schizophrenics may benefit from cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and other therapies. CBT is a type of psychological counseling that helps individuals learn new ways of thinking and behaving that will lead them toward less severe symptoms (5). For those who do not respond to medication, family counseling may also help to improve communication within the family and increase the patient’s ability to respond to treatment, which could ultimately lead to improved symptoms (6).

Demographics of Schizophrenia

Recent studies have found that 1.1% of the population suffers from schizophrenia (7). It is most common in late adolescence and early adulthood, with a later onset after the age of 35 (8).

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