Many people have heard of schizophrenia, but most have a skewed perception of this condition thanks to misinformation from popular media. So, just what is schizophrenia? In the briefest of terms, it is a psychotic disorder that can cause severe impairment to one's functioning and lead to extreme emotional distress. The condition may cause hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and disorganization of thought and speech. It also can cause a sufferer to withdraw from family, friends, and even society as a whole.
What Causes It?
Currently, no one knows exactly what causes this condition. However, researchers believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role. Stress seems to be another major contributing factor to the development of schizophrenia, and many cases manifest when a young person first leaves home to live on their own.
What Types Are There?
Did you know that there's more than one type of this condition? They varieties are paranoid schizophrenia, disorganized schizophrenia, and catatonic schizophrenia.
- Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common form of the illness, and it's also the most easily treatable. People with this form don't tend to show disorganized patterns of thought and speech as much as people more severe forms of schizophrenia. When people suffer delusions, they tend to be more consistent over time than those with other types of the illness. Paranoid schizophrenia usually manifests in early adulthood.
- Disorganized schizophrenia tends to manifest during one's teenage years, and it results in extreme disorganization of thought and speech. This form of the illness can be more difficult to treat.
- Catatonic schizophrenia is the most severe manifestation, and it causes periods of intense hyperactivity alternating with the complete absence of movement.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
There are many medications available that help some sufferers better cope with their condition. Some of the most popular treatments for schizophrenia include:
This medication is transdermal, which means that it absorbs through the skin. This allows patients to wear a patch as opposed to taking a pill, so it can provide relatively long-lasting symptom relief. It is thought to alter the balance of chemicals in the brain in a manner that treats psychotic symptoms.
The cost of this medication averages at around $602 per month, but insured patients are likely to have most of the expense covered.
Perseris, or risperidone, is thought to work by changing the effect of chemicals in the brain, which treats psychotic symptoms. The medication is administered once a month.
The medication costs $1,795 on average. However, generic versions are available, and insured patients are likely to find that most of their costs are covered.
Aristada is also an antipsychotic medication, which is also thought to have an effect on neurotransmitters' functionality. It's exceptionally long-lasting, lasting as long as 4-8 weeks.
It tends to cost around $1,360 for 1.6 milliliters. There is no generic version of it, but it's usually covered with insurance.
This medication is taken in tablet form, and it's an atypical antipsychotic. There is an embedded sensor in the tablets that are connected to your smartphone, which allows you to keep track of when you took the medication. This drug is the same as the atypical antipsychotic Abilify, which is thought to block the effects of certain neurotransmitters.
The average retail price of this medication is $1,987.99 per month, but the cost is often covered by insurance providers.
Invega Sustenna is an atypical antipsychotic, which means that it is designed to reduce the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The drug is designed to be long-acting, remaining suspended within the muscles at the injection site. This suspension allows the drug to work for around 30 days.
This medication costs $444 for a supply of 0.25 milliliters. However, patients with insurance will often pay much less, which can be as little as 10 dollars or less.
Invega Trizna is an atypical antipsychotic. The precise mechanism of this medication is not fully understood, but it blocks dopamine, serotonin, and alpha-adrenergic receptors in the brain. Two doses of this medication are administered each month.
The largest dose of this drug costs $2,366 per month. Cost can vary significantly based on dosage, with the average cost of treatment being $2,184 per month without insurance. Insured patients will pay much less.
Rexulti helps to modulate the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which is thought to play a role in schizophrenia. It also has antidepressant properties. This medication is taken every day by mouth and comes in tablet form.
Treatment costs an average of $1,167 per month if for the uninsured, but most policies will cover much of the expense. There also are savings programs that make it possible to get this medication for much less.
For those who suffer from schizophrenia, getting help is essential. It's important to consult a doctor to decide if further treatment options may be the right choice for you.