Ask an expert
Question

19 Jan 2004

Chronic Schizophrenia
My brother has recently been diagnosed with Chronic Schizophrenia (chemical imbalance in his brain). He has hallucinations and hears voices etc. It was quite bad before the medication, he attempted to bury his head in the sand in an attempt to stop the voices. He is seeing a psychiatrist, but not often. He has been put on medication. The only test the psychiatrist did was a physical one (when my brother was at his worst) and diagnosed a chemical imbalance and put him on medication. He saw him again two weeks after that and spoke to him and prescribed more tablets, the next appointment is in a months time. I am not sure if this was the correct procedure. Can you advice on where I can read up on this illness. Secondly my mother is in a bad way. She is not coping with this. Is there some support group she can join or can you recommmend somebody I can take her to to talk to. She is diabetic and I fear for her health. Please help.
Answer 450 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Dear cindy,
A second opinion is quite a good idea, and shouldn't ofend the original doctor who made the first diagnosis. generally, Schizophrenia is not dificult to diagnose correctly, and is characteristic in the TYPE of hallucinations and delusions which arise, and the type of behaviour a person shows. Nowadays drug treatment is the most commonly used, and the form of treatment with the best evidence of being helpful. Indeed, in otherwise untreated schizophrena, a person's very basic processes of thinking and understanding can be so addled that it can be very hard or even impossible to talk with them usefully ; after they have begun to respond to medicines, they may be thinking much more clearly, and may then become amenable to other forms of treatment AS WELL. Treatment without the appropriate drugs almost inevitably fails.
So, in the early stages, a doctor may well decide that as it will take a month or two to see whether the relevent medicine is working, there might be little to be achieved in the meantime by seeing someone while waiting for the chemical benefits. But one thing that it sounds as if this doctor may not hav fully worked on, would be the important component of talk ing to the people most affected by the illness, like yourself and your mother, to fully explain the nature of the illness, the treatment options, what to look for, how to cope, and what other resources might be locally available to use.
Puzzled gives good advice, clearly based on personal experience --- and try that contact number to explore support groups, and let us know in a fresh message what you found useful in that line.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9438 votes
No
68% - 20008 votes
Vote