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Found 5 results

  1. emptyman

    Here we go again?

    Seems the voices are back. As well as some sort of depression. Those were always related in my case. Might be schizoaffective disorder, not my "official" diagnosis (schizophrenia), but I don't really care, that would not change a thing. The voices keep whispering, telling me what to do, making comments, repeating my own thoughts. I have no trouble ignoring them in most cases. It's not that bad they tell me to commit suicide, as it is just some artificial creation of my brain - not scared or anxious in that case. Feeling that I really don't want to live is much worse. I consider it as a constant, personal opinion. I can't remember a time in my life without such thoughts somewhere at the back of my head. I hate myself, hate my mind, looks. Even when such thoughts are out of focus, I consider that an illusion. Feels like they are always with me, as I mentioned. I cannot move on with my life. And I don't think I really want to. I'm seeing my doctor in a couple of days, but seems all I will get is another pointless advice like "you seem to feel lonely, try to find someone". So I'm totally sick of myself, sick of the world and life, and then, when IF I find someone I'm instantly cured. Seems perfect, I'm in. Oh, wait, I actually tried that. Even girls with similar disorders, depressed, taking meds, would get sick of me in just a few months (if not weeks). And the reason would be they could not stand how depressed I was, how ironic. I should fix myself and then try any relationship, in that order. Not sure what I wanted to achieve with this post. No relief. Thanks for reading, if anyone.
  2. Overview of Schizophrenia What Is It? Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disease. Approximately 1 percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime – more than 2 million Americans suffer from the illness in a given year. Although schizophrenia affects men and women with equal frequency, the disorder often appears earlier in men, usually in the late teens or early twenties, than in women, who are generally affected in the twenties to early thirties. People with schizophrenia often suffer terrifying symptoms such as hearing internal voices not heard by others, or believing that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. These symptoms may leave them fearful and withdrawn. Their speech and behavior can be so disorganized that they may be incomprehensible or frightening to others. Available treatments can relieve many symptoms, but most people with schizophrenia continue to suffer some symptoms throughout their lives; it has been estimated that no more than one in five individuals recovers completely. This is a time of hope for people with schizophrenia and their families. Research is gradually leading to new and safer medications and unraveling the complex causes of the disease. Scientists are using many approaches from the study of molecular genetics to the study of populations to learn about schizophrenia. Methods of imaging the brain’s structure and function hold the promise of new insights into the disorder. What Causes Schizophrenia? There is no known single cause of schizophrenia. Many diseases, such as heart disease, result from an interplay of genetic, behavioral, and other factors; and this may be the case for schizophrenia as well. Scientists do not yet understand all of the factors necessary to produce schizophrenia, but all the tools of modern biomedical research are being used to search for genes, critical moments in brain development, and other factors that may lead to the illness. Is Schizophrenia Inherited? It has long been known that schizophrenia runs in families. People who have a close relative with schizophrenia are more likely to develop the disorder than are people who have no relatives with the illness. For example, a monozygotic (identical) twin of a person with schizophrenia has the highest risk – 40 to 50 percent – of developing the illness. A child whose parent has schizophrenia has about a 10 percent chance. By comparison, the risk of schizophrenia in the general population is about 1 percent. Scientists are studying genetic factors in schizophrenia. It appears likely that multiple genes are involved in creating a predisposition to develop the disorder. In addition, factors such as prenatal difficulties like intrauterine starvation or viral infections, perinatal complications, and various nonspecific stressors, seem to influence the development of schizophrenia. However, it is not yet understood how the genetic predisposition is transmitted, and it cannot yet be accurately predicted whether a given person will or will not develop the disorder. Several regions of the human genome are being investigated to identify genes that may confer susceptibility for schizophrenia. The strongest evidence to date leads to chromosomes 13 and 6 but remains unconfirmed. Identification of specific genes involved in the development of schizophrenia will provide important clues into what goes wrong in the brain to produce and sustain the illness and will guide the development of new and better treatments. Is Schizophrenia Associated With A Chemical Defect In The Brain? Basic knowledge about brain chemistry and its link to schizophrenia is expanding rapidly. Neurotransmitters, substances that allow communication between nerve cells, have long been thought to be involved in the development of schizophrenia. It is likely, although not yet certain, that the disorder is associated with some imbalance of the complex, interrelated chemical systems of the brain, perhaps involving the neurotransmitters dopamine and glutamate. This area of research is promising. Is Schizophrenia Caused By A Physical Abnormality In The Brain? There have been dramatic advances in neuroimaging technology that permit scientists to study brain structure and function in living individuals. Many studies of people with schizophrenia have found abnormalities in brain structure (for example, enlargement of the fluid-filled cavities, called the ventricles, in the interior of the brain, and decreased size of certain brain regions) or function (for example, decreased metabolic activity in certain brain regions). It should be emphasized that these abnormalities are quite subtle and are not characteristic of all people with schizophrenia, nor do they occur only in individuals with this illness. Microscopic studies of brain tissue after death have also shown small changes in distribution or number of brain cells in people with schizophrenia. It appears that many (but probably not all) of these changes are present before an individual becomes ill, and schizophrenia may be, in part, a disorder in development of the brain. Developmental neurobiologists funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) have found that schizophrenia may be a developmental disorder resulting when neurons form inappropriate connections during fetal development. These errors may lie dormant until puberty, when changes in the brain that occur normally during this critical stage of maturation interact adversely with the faulty connections. This research has spurred efforts to identify prenatal factors that may have some bearing on the apparent developmental abnormality. In other studies, investigators using brain-imaging techniques have found evidence of early biochemical changes that may precede the onset of disease symptoms, prompting examination of the neural circuits that are most likely to be involved in producing those symptoms. Meanwhile, scientists working at the molecular level are exploring the genetic basis for abnormalities in brain development and in the neurotransmitter systems regulating brain function. How Is It Treated? Since schizophrenia may not be a single condition and its causes are not yet known, current treatment methods are based on both clinical research and experience. These approaches are chosen on the basis of their ability to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia and to lessen the chances that symptoms will return. What About Medications? Antipsychotic medications have been available since the mid-1950s. They have greatly improved the outlook for individual patients. These medications reduce the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia and usually allow the patient to function more effectively and appropriately. Antipsychotic drugs are the best treatment now available, but they do not “cure” schizophrenia or ensure that there will be no further psychotic episodes. The choice and dosage of medication can be made only by a qualified physician who is well trained in the medical treatment of mental disorders. The dosage of medication is individualized for each patient, since people may vary a great deal in the amount of drug needed to reduce symptoms without producing troublesome side effects. The large majority of people with schizophrenia show substantial improvement when treated with antipsychotic drugs. Some patients, however, are not helped very much by the medications and a few do not seem to need them. It is difficult to predict which patients will fall into these two groups and to distinguish them from the large majority of patients who do benefit from treatment with antipsychotic drugs. A number of new antipsychotic drugs (the so-called “atypical antipsychotics”) have been introduced since 1990. The first of these, clozapine (Clozaril®), has been shown to be more effective than other antipsychotics, although the possibility of severe side effects – in particular, a condition called agranulocytosis (loss of the white blood cells that fight infection) – requires that patients be monitored with blood tests every one or two weeks. Even newer antipsychotic drugs, such as risperidone (Risperdal®) and olanzapine (Zyprexa®), are safer than the older drugs or clozapine, and they also may be better tolerated. They may or may not treat the illness as well as clozapine, however. Several additional antipsychotics are currently under development. Antipsychotic drugs are often very effective in treating certain symptoms of schizophrenia, particularly hallucinations and delusions; unfortunately, the drugs may not be as helpful with other symptoms, such as reduced motivation and emotional expressiveness. Indeed, the older antipsychotics (which also went by the name of “neuroleptics”), medicines like haloperidol (Haldol®) or chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), may even produce side effects that resemble the more difficult to treat symptoms. Often, lowering the dose or switching to a different medicine may reduce these side effects; the newer medicines, including olanzapine (Zyprexa®), quetiapine (Seroquel®), and risperidone (Risperdal®), appear less likely to have this problem. Sometimes when people with schizophrenia become depressed, other symptoms can appear to worsen. The symptoms may improve with the addition of an antidepressant medication. Patients and families sometimes become worried about the antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia. In addition to concern about side effects, they may worry that such drugs could lead to addiction. However, antipsychotic medications do not produce a “high” (euphoria) or addictive behavior in people who take them. Another misconception about antipsychotic drugs is that they act as a kind of mind control, or a “chemical straitjacket.” Antipsychotic drugs used at the appropriate dosage do not “knock out” people or take away their free will. While these medications can be sedating, and while this effect can be useful when treatment is initiated particularly if an individual is quite agitated, the utility of the drugs is not due to sedation but to their ability to diminish the hallucinations, agitation, confusion, and delusions of a psychotic episode. Thus, antipsychotic medications should eventually help an individual with schizophrenia to deal with the world more rationally. How Long Should People With Schizophrenia Take Antipsychotic Drugs? Antipsychotic medications reduce the risk of future psychotic episodes in patients who have recovered from an acute episode. Even with continued drug treatment, some people who have recovered will suffer relapses. Far higher relapse rates are seen when medication is discontinued. In most cases, it would not be accurate to say that continued drug treatment “prevents” relapses; rather, it reduces their intensity and frequency. The treatment of severe psychotic symptoms generally requires higher dosages than those used for maintenance treatment. If symptoms reappear on a lower dosage, a temporary increase in dosage may prevent a full-blown relapse. Because relapse of illness is more likely when antipsychotic medications are discontinued or taken irregularly, it is very important that people with schizophrenia work with their doctors and family members to adhere to their treatment plan. Adherence to treatment refers to the degree to which patients follow the treatment plans recommended by their doctors. Good adherence involves taking prescribed medication at the correct dose and proper times each day, attending clinic appointments, and/or carefully following other treatment procedures. Treatment adherence is often difficult for people with schizophrenia, but it can be made easier with the help of several strategies and can lead to improved quality of life. There are a variety of reasons why people with schizophrenia may not adhere to treatment. Patients may not believe they are ill and may deny the need for medication, or they may have such disorganized thinking that they cannot remember to take their daily doses. Family members or friends may not understand schizophrenia and may inappropriately advise the person with schizophrenia to stop treatment when he or she is feeling better. Physicians, who play an important role in helping their patients adhere to treatment, may neglect to ask patients how often they are taking their medications, or may be unwilling to accommodate a patient’s request to change dosages or try a new treatment. Some patients report that side effects of the medications seem worse than the illness itself. Further, substance abuse can interfere with the effectiveness of treatment, leading patients to discontinue medications. When a complicated treatment plan is added to any of these factors, good adherence may become even more challenging. Fortunately, there are many strategies that patients, doctors, and families can use to improve adherence and prevent worsening of the illness. Some antipsychotic medications, including haloperidol (Haldol®), fluphenazine (Prolixin®), perphenazine (Trilafon®) and others, are available in long-acting injectable forms that eliminate the need to take pills every day. A major goal of current research on treatments for schizophrenia is to develop a wider variety of long-acting antipsychotics, especially the newer agents with milder side effects, which can be delivered through injection. Medication calendars or pill boxes labeled with the days of the week can help patients and caregivers know when medications have or have not been taken. Using electronic timers that beep when medications should be taken, or pairing medication taking with routine daily events like meals, can help patients remember and adhere to their dosing schedule. Engaging family members in observing oral medication taking by patients can help ensure adherence. In addition, through a variety of other methods of adherence monitoring, doctors can identify when pill taking is a problem for their patients and can work with them to make adherence easier. It is important to help motivate patients to continue taking their medications properly. In addition to any of these adherence strategies, patient and family education about schizophrenia, its symptoms, and the medications being prescribed to treat the disease is an important part of the treatment process and helps support the rationale for good adherence. What About Side Effects? Antipsychotic drugs, like virtually all medications, have unwanted effects along with their beneficial effects. During the early phases of drug treatment, patients may be troubled by side effects such as drowsiness, restlessness, muscle spasms, tremor, dry mouth, or blurring of vision. Most of these can be corrected by lowering the dosage or can be controlled by other medications. Different patients have different treatment responses and side effects to various antipsychotic drugs. A patient may do better with one drug than another. The long-term side effects of antipsychotic drugs may pose a considerably more serious problem. Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a disorder characterized by involuntary movements most often affecting the mouth, lips, and tongue, and sometimes the trunk or other parts of the body such as arms and legs. It occurs in about 15 to 20 percent of patients who have been receiving the older, “typical” antipsychotic drugs for many years, but TD can also develop in patients who have been treated with these drugs for shorter periods of time. In most cases, the symptoms of TD are mild, and the patient may be unaware of the movements. Antipsychotic medications developed in recent years all appear to have a much lower risk of producing TD than the older, traditional antipsychotics. The risk is not zero, however, and they can produce side effects of their own such as weight gain. In addition, if given at too high of a dose, the newer medications may lead to problems such as social withdrawal and symptoms resembling Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that affects movement. Nevertheless, the newer antipsychotics are a significant advance in treatment, and their optimal use in people with schizophrenia is a subject of much current research. What About Psychosocial Treatments? Antipsychotic drugs have proven to be crucial in relieving the psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia – hallucinations, delusions, and incoherence – but are not consistent in relieving the behavioral symptoms of the disorder. Even when patients with schizophrenia are relatively free of psychotic symptoms, many still have extraordinary difficulty with communication, motivation, self-care, and establishing and maintaining relationships with others. Moreover, because patients with schizophrenia frequently become ill during the critical career-forming years of life (e.g., ages 18 to 35), they are less likely to complete the training required for skilled work. As a result, many with schizophrenia not only suffer thinking and emotional difficulties, but lack social and work skills and experience as well. It is with these psychological, social, and occupational problems that psychosocial treatments may help most. While psychosocial approaches have limited value for acutely psychotic patients (those who are out of touch with reality or have prominent hallucinations or delusions), they may be useful for patients with less severe symptoms or for patients whose psychotic symptoms are under control. Numerous forms of psychosocial therapy are available for people with schizophrenia, and most focus on improving the patient’s social functioning – whether in the hospital or community, at home, or on the job. Some of these approaches are described here. Unfortunately, the availability of different forms of treatment varies greatly from place to place. Rehabilitation Broadly defined, rehabilitation includes a wide array of non-medical interventions for those with schizophrenia. Rehabilitation programs emphasize social and vocational training to help patients and former patients overcome difficulties in these areas. Programs may include vocational counseling, job training, problem-solving and money management skills, use of public transportation, and social skills training. These approaches are important for the success of the community-centered treatment of schizophrenia, because they provide discharged patients with the skills necessary to lead productive lives outside the sheltered confines of a mental hospital. Individual Psychotherapy Individual psychotherapy involves regularly scheduled talks between the patient and a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric social worker, or nurse. The sessions may focus on current or past problems, experiences, thoughts, feelings, or relationships. By sharing experiences with a trained empathic person – talking about their world with someone outside it – individuals with schizophrenia may gradually come to understand more about themselves and their problems. They can also learn to sort out the real from the unreal and distorted. Recent studies indicate that supportive, reality-oriented, individual psychotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral approaches that teach coping and problem-solving skills, can be beneficial for outpatients with schizophrenia. However, psychotherapy is not a substitute for antipsychotic medication, and it is most helpful once drug treatment first has relieved a patient’s psychotic symptoms. How Can Other People Help? Family Education Very often, patients with schizophrenia are discharged from the hospital into the care of their family; so it is important that family members learn all they can about schizophrenia and understand the difficulties and problems associated with the illness. It is also helpful for family members to learn ways to minimize the patient’s chance of relapse – for example, by using different treatment adherence strategies – and to be aware of the various kinds of outpatient and family services available in the period after hospitalization. Family “psychoeducation,” which includes teaching various coping strategies and problem-solving skills, may help families deal more effectively with their ill relative and may contribute to an improved outcome for the patient. Self-Help Groups Self-help groups for people and families dealing with schizophrenia are becoming increasingly common. Although not led by a professional therapist, these groups may be therapeutic because members provide continuing mutual support as well as comfort in knowing that they are not alone in the problems they face. Self-help groups may also serve other important functions. Families working together can more effectively serve as advocates for needed research and hospital and community treatment programs. Patients acting as a group rather than individually may be better able to dispel stigma and draw public attention to such abuses as discrimination against the mentally ill. Family and peer support and advocacy groups are very active and provide useful information and assistance for patients and families of patients with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. A list of some of these organizations is included at the end of this document. A patient's support system may come from several sources, including the family, a professional residential or day program provider, shelter operators, friends or roommates, professional case managers, churches and synagogues, and others. Because many patients live with their families, the following discussion frequently uses the term "family." However, this should not be taken to imply that families ought to be the primary support system. There are numerous situations in which patients with schizophrenia may need help from people in their family or community. Often, a person with schizophrenia will resist treatment, believing that delusions or hallucinations are real and that psychiatric help is not required. At times, family or friends may need to take an active role in having them seen and evaluated by a professional. The issue of civil rights enters into any attempts to provide treatment. Laws protecting patients from involuntary commitment have become very strict, and families and community organizations may be frustrated in their efforts to see that a severely mentally ill individual gets needed help. These laws vary from State to State; but generally, when people are dangerous to themselves or others due to a mental disorder, the police can assist in getting them an emergency psychiatric evaluation and, if necessary, hospitalization. In some places, staff from a local community mental health center can evaluate an individual's illness at home if he or she will not voluntarily go in for treatment. Sometimes only the family or others close to the person with schizophrenia will be aware of strange behavior or ideas that the person has expressed. Since patients may not volunteer such information during an examination, family members or friends should ask to speak with the person evaluating the patient so that all relevant information can be taken into account. Ensuring that a person with schizophrenia continues to get treatment after hospitalization is also important. A patient may discontinue medications or stop going for follow-up treatment, often leading to a return of psychotic symptoms. Encouraging the patient to continue treatment and assisting him or her in the treatment process can positively influence recovery. Without treatment, some people with schizophrenia become so psychotic and disorganized that they cannot care for their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter. All too often, people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia end up on the streets or in jails, where they rarely receive the kinds of treatment they need. Those close to people with schizophrenia are often unsure of how to respond when patients make statements that seem strange or are clearly false. For the individual with schizophrenia, the bizarre beliefs or hallucinations seem quite real – they are not just "imaginary fantasies." Instead of “going along with” a person's delusions, family members or friends can tell the person that they do not see things the same way or do not agree with his or her conclusions, while acknowledging that things may appear otherwise to the patient. It may also be useful for those who know the person with schizophrenia well to keep a record of what types of symptoms have appeared, what medications (including dosage) have been taken, and what effects various treatments have had. By knowing what symptoms have been present before, family members may know better what to look for in the future. Families may even be able to identify some "early warning signs" of potential relapses, such as increased withdrawal or changes in sleep patterns, even better and earlier than the patients themselves. Thus, return of psychosis may be detected early and treatment may prevent a full-blown relapse. Also, by knowing which medications have helped and which have caused troublesome side effects in the past, the family can help those treating the patient to find the best treatment more quickly. In addition to involvement in seeking help, family, friends, and peer groups can provide support and encourage the person with schizophrenia to regain his or her abilities. It is important that goals be attainable, since a patient who feels pressured and/or repeatedly criticized by others will probably experience stress that may lead to a worsening of symptoms. Like anyone else, people with schizophrenia need to know when they are doing things right. A positive approach may be helpful and perhaps more effective in the long run than criticism. This advice applies to everyone who interacts with the person. What Is The Outlook? The outlook for people with schizophrenia has improved over the last 25 years. Although no totally effective therapy has yet been devised, it is important to remember that many people with the illness improve enough to lead independent, satisfying lives. As we learn more about the causes and treatments of schizophrenia, we should be able to help more patients achieve successful outcomes. Studies that have followed people with schizophrenia for long periods, from the first episode to old age, reveal that a wide range of outcomes is possible. When large groups of patients are studied, certain factors tend to be associated with a better outcome – for example, a pre-illness history of normal social, school, and work adjustment. However, the current state of knowledge, does not allow for a sufficiently accurate prediction of long-term outcome. Given the complexity of schizophrenia, the major questions about this disorder – its cause or causes, prevention, and treatment – must be addressed with research. The public should beware of those offering "the cure" for (or "the cause" of) schizophrenia. Such claims can provoke unrealistic expectations that, when unfulfilled, lead to further disappointment. Although progress has been made toward better understanding and treatment of schizophrenia, continued investigation is urgently needed. As the lead Federal agency for research on mental disorders, NIMH conducts and supports a broad spectrum of mental illness research from molecular genetics to large-scale epidemiologic studies of populations. It is thought that this wide-ranging research effort, including basic studies on the brain, will continue to illuminate processes and principles important for understanding the causes of schizophrenia and for developing more effective treatments. Resources: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
  3. One in four people go through a mental or neurological disorder at least once in their lifetime Published: 08:00 May 12, 2016 Dona Cherian, Guides Writer According to World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), every forty seconds, someone commits suicide in the world. Mental health disorders, big or small, are so stigmatised that people never manage to get the right treatments at the right time. People in your family, social circle or work could be victims to mental conditions without your knowledge or even theirs. For mental health, ignorance can be fatal. In observance of the Mental Health Awareness Week, we list some of the most common mental disorders in the world. 1. Anxiety disorders Anxiety disorders come in many types and stages. Obsessive compulsive disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and behavioural disorders fall in this wide category. Minor forms of anxiety are common and can be treated with lifestyle changes and therapy. Medications are used when these methods fail to bring any change. All of the below disorders can trigger anxiety and so can genetic and environmental factors. Panic attacks are a common effect of high anxiety. Emma Stone, Lena Dunham, Amanda Seyfried, Elton John and Kate Moss are a few celebrities known to have been diagnosed with anxiety disorders. 2. Depression Depression affects more than 350 million people globally and is a leading cause of disability. Lack of productivity at work, problems in relationships and increased risk of self-harm are some of the effects of depression. Chronic cognitive symptoms of depression which include indecisiveness, and lack of memory and concentration are what impair quality of life of people with depression even after treatment. Robin Williams, award-winning American actor and comedian, committed suicide in 2014 and was a victim of severe depression and a form of dementia. Deepika Padukone and Kristen Bell are popular actors who have recently come out with their depression stories. These announcements can help unravel the stigma around diagnosis of depression and its treatment. 3. Bi-polar affective disorder Affecting over 60 million people worldwide, bi-polar affective disorder can be manic or depressive. In manic episodes irritability, hyperactivity, lack of sleep, inflated self-esteem and speech issues are major symptoms. Stabilizing moods using treatment and psycho social support is essential to treat this disorder. Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most celebrated artists of all time and his death in 1890 is attributed to bi-polar affective disorder. He also suffered from depression and anxiety. Catherine Zeta Jones and Demi Levato were diagnosed with this condition and underwent medical treatment. 4. Dementia Dementia is progressive deterioration in cognitive function beyond the normal effects of ageing. It can be caused by other medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease or strokes. Around 47.5 million people in the world suffer from some stage of dementia. While completely curing dementia is not possible, treatments can give patients and caregivers some relief. Ronald Reagon, former president of the United States of America (1981-1989), announced that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s in 1994. Michael J. Fox suffers from Parkinson’s disease and dementia is a common condition in the later stages of this ailment. 5. Schizophrenia Delusions, psychotic hallucinations and cognitive distortion are what characterise this disorder. Due to the heavy stigma surrounding it, people often refuse to go in for diagnosis or treatment. It affects around 20 million people worldwide. What many people do not know is that with effective medical treatment and support, people with schizophrenia can lead a normal and productive life. John Nash, celebrated mathematician and Nobel laureate was diagnosed with schizophrenia as was Albert Einstein’s son Eduard Einstein. Parveen Babi was an Indian actress who was rumoured to have been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and depression. She was found dead in her apartment in Juhu, Mumbai in 2005. Along with these, developmental mental disorders such as autism are quite common globally. These have an earlier onset, showing signs in infancy or early childhood. Such conditions have a steady progression rate and can affect adult life of the patients. Optimal mental health results in the opportunity for a great quality of life. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 17 per cent of the entire U.S. population is in a state of optimal mental health. Awareness and diagnosis can help people with mental disorders to live a complete and productive life.
  4. FDA approves first generic Abilify to treat mental illnesses For Immediate Release April 28, 2015 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic versions of Abilify (aripiprazole). Generic aripiprazole is an atypical antipsychotic drug approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Alembic Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Hetero Labs Ltd., Teva Pharmaceuticals and Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd. have received FDA approval to market generic aripiprazole in multiple strengths and dosage forms. “Having access to treatments is important for patients with long-term health conditions,” said John Peters, M.D., acting director of the Office of Generic Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Health care professionals and consumers can be assured that FDA-approved generic drugs have met the same rigorous standards as the brand-name drug.” Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder. About one percent of Americans have this illness. Typically, symptoms are first seen in adults younger than 30 years of age. Symptoms of schizophrenia include hearing voices, believing other people are reading their minds or controlling thoughts and being suspicious or withdrawn. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is another brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The symptoms of bipolar disorder include alternating periods of depression and high or irritable mood, increased activity and restlessness, racing thoughts, talking fast, impulsive behavior and a decreased need for sleep. All atypical antipsychotics contain a Boxed Warning alerting health care professionals about an increased risk of death associated with the off-label use of these drugs to treat behavioral problems in older people with dementia-related psychosis. No drug in this class is approved to treat patients with dementia-related psychosis. Aripiprazole’s Boxed Warning also warns about an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants. Patients should be monitored for worsening and emergence of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Aripiprazole must be dispensed with a patient Medication Guide that describes important information about the drug’s uses and risks. In the clinical trials for Abilify, the most common side effects reported by adults taking Abilify were nausea, vomiting, constipation, headache, dizziness, uncontrollable limb and body movements (akathisia), anxiety, insomnia, and restlessness. Generic prescription drugs approved by the FDA have the same high quality and strength as brand-name drugs. Generic prescription drug manufacturing and packaging sites must pass the same quality standards as those of brand-name drugs. The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.
  5. by Contributed | Story: 136497 - Apr 8, 2015 / 5:00 am#Schizophrenia is a very serious and disabling mental illness. Troubling symptoms including hallmark psychotic hallucinations and delusions tend to develop in the prime of life and can lead to detachment from reality and a near total loss of ability to function in society.With appropriate treatment, symptoms can be managed and some degree of function restored for many patients with this condition. Unfortunately, if prescribed treatment plans are not carefully followed or are discontinued, problems can arise. This is not an uncommon issue. For many reasons, close to 50 percent of people discontinue or fail to regularly take a prescribed anti-psychotic medication within the first year of treatment. Sometimes, as symptoms subside with a new treatment, the patient no longer feels as though medication is needed and so discontinues or becomes irregular with it. Others may discontinue because of unpleasant side effects or if the treatment is not working as well as hoped. Unstable life situations can also play a role in irregular medication usage. While psychiatrists have long advocated the importance of sticking to a treatment plan when it comes to serious conditions such as schizophrenia, a new study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry has shown just how important it is. Researchers from UCLA followed outpatients taking oral anti-psychotic medications and examined their adherence to prescribed treatments as well as effects for those who chose not to reliably follow their treatment plan. After 18 months, results showed even short periods of irregular medication use can lead to relapse of psychotic symptoms and a need for hospitalization. Although not totally unexpected, the researchers were surprised to learn that irregular medication use even for brief periods is associated with a significant risk of relapse. Within the study: 32 percent took their medication as prescribed; 33 percent had mild non-adherence (meaning they took only 50-75 percent of meds over a two week period); 16 percent had moderate non-adherence (taking less than 50 percent of meds during a two to four week period); and 19 percent had severe non-adherence (taking less than 50 percent of meds for more than four consecutive weeks or dropping out of treatment). Any irregular treatment compliance – even mild – was associated with a risk of relapse. Typically, symptoms would begin to show up within a couple of months of irregularity in medication usage. Although it’s not clear why even mild issues with medication compliance are dangerous, researchers suggest it may be due in part to the current practice of prescribing the lowest amount of medication that will improve symptoms while minimizing side effects – leaving very little room for missed doses. Whatever the reason, this study highlights the importance of sticking to a course of treatment and working closely with a professional when managing a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. When it comes to psychotic symptoms, a relapse is not only unpleasant, but it can also be quite dangerous. Source: http://www.castanet.net/ Medications Drug Name (View by: Brand | Generic ) class: phenothiazine antipsychotics 9.0 chlorpromazine systemic class: phenothiazine antiemetics, phenothiazine antipsychotics 8.8 clozapine systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 8.0 loxapine systemic class: miscellaneous antipsychotic agents 8.0 lurasidone systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 7.8 asenapine systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 7.6 paliperidone systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 7.3 olanzapine systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 7.3 ziprasidone systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 7.2 quetiapine systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 7.1 risperidone systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 6.8 aripiprazole systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 6.5 thioridazine systemic class: phenothiazine antipsychotics 6.0 iloperidone systemic class: atypical antipsychotics 5.7 molindone systemic class: miscellaneous antipsychotic agents 5.5 mesoridazine systemic (More...) class: phenothiazine antipsychotics reserpine systemic class: antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting Source:http://www.drugs.com/
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