Study aims to improve schizophrenic patients’ quality of life

When the term schizophrenia is discussed, many Americans do not fully understand how the disorder impacts those it strikes. Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, one percent of Americans suffers from the mental disorder. The disorder manifests in a variety of ways and severities and may render those it affects unable to function normally in society.

Individuals suffering from schizophrenia have difficulty thinking clearly and making decisions. They may exhibit behavioral extremes ranging from extreme mania to being in a near catatonic state. Those suffering from Schizophrenia may also experience hallucinations and patterns of scattered or illogical thinking. Obviously, how the disorder manifests makes it difficult for those that suffer from schizophrenia to interact with others or hold a job.

A new study that aims to help schizophrenic patients develop better social and coping skills, offers some hope in managing the disorder. While most treatment plans focus on addressing behavioral symptoms, the study by the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare aims to improve the functionality and overall quality of life for those diagnosed with the disorder.

With no known cause or cure, those impacted by schizophrenia often face a long and frustrating road to managing the disorder with antipsychotic drugs that typically have negative side effects. Unable to work, many rely on much-needed government programs like Social Security Disability to live.

Source: The Washington Post, “Progress for people with schizophrenia,” Jennifer LaRue Huget, Mar. 9, 2012

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