Mental health and, more specifically, schizophrenia

Mental health is thankfully becoming a much better understood branch of medicine with more help available to people affected by poor mental health. From self help apps to discussion groups, medications and counselling available from health professionals, there is greater opportunity for those suffering to obtain the type of assistance which can help to stabilise their issues. There is of course still plenty of room for improvement. The proportion of people identified as developing a mental health problem each year is surprisingly high and the real worry is how people are coping with these issues. Solutions for coping need to be found for these people in order to prevent them from causing themselves physical harm.

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There is a wide range of different mental health illnesses including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, personality disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health condition which can present with a variety of symptoms, including; delusions, hallucinations, muddled thoughts and behavioural changes. It can also be classed as a psychosis. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental influences. The mental health charity ‘Mind’ (the mental health charity) describe stressful life events which may trigger schizophrenia, including; financial problems, abuse, feeling isolated, a bereavement or losing your home.

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Treatment options for schizophrenia may include a combination of medications and other therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy. There is usually a team with various roles supporting the sufferer. The types of people involved in the care of people with this condition include pharmacists, community metal health nurses, social workers, psychologists and councillors.

Ziprasidone is one medication which can be used in the treatment of schizophrenia amongst other mental health disorders. It is an antipsychotic drug and belongs more specifically to a group called atypical antipsychotics (AAPs). While this drug may have desired effects of reducing the distressing symptoms associated with schizophrenia, there are always side effects as with any medication. These range from nausea, dizziness and drowsiness, to more severe possibilities such as fainting and heart palpitations. Ziprasidone is known to cause prolongation of the QT interval (alteration of the electrical conduction in the heart). This can have potentially serious or even fatal consequences and all drugs under development should be assessed, using thorough QT studies, to determine whether they have this effect, before licensing is granted. To find out more about this, visit

With the correct support from a variety of sources tailored to the individual, most people suffering with schizophrenia mat recover although may be prone to relapses. It is important to manage symptoms so that they don’t have a huge impact on day to day life and taking some responsibility with self help I important to maintain independence.

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