Cost Considerations in the Treatment of Schizophrenia Essay

Cost Considerations in the Treatment of Schizophrenia Essay

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In the United States, schizophrenia is most widely understood as a biogenetically determined illness. Those given this diagnosis are seen as unlikely to recover. In the West, pharmacological treatment is the primary intervention offered by mainstream mental health practitioners. However, in the United States and abroad, there is growing controversy about both the causes of and efficacy of treatment for individuals who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. A longitudinal study launched in 1969 by the staff of the World Health Organization reported that in the United States, Denmark and Taiwan, 40% of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia were found to be “severely impaired;” whereas in the developing world (Nigeria, India and Colombia) only 24% of those diagnosed with schizophrenia were judged to be “severely impaired” (Watters 2010).
The disparity in outcomes has been attributed to three characteristics of industrialized culture: 1) reliance on psychopharmacology; 2) the “othering” of individuals experiencing mental distress; and 3) the social isolation that ensues from this “othering.” For many who practice in community mental health settings in the United States, the most there is to offer patients with psychosis is a referral to a psychiatrist who will prescribe neuroleptics (Lovell 1997). After further research into the current state of available pharmacological and psychosocial treatments, there are still many unmet needs in the prevention and treatment of schizophrenia. Despite the supposed transformation of treatment in the 1990’s and the introduction of new medicine, treatment of schizophrenia today is not adequate due to costs, misunderstandings of the disease, and racial disparities.

General History of Treatment
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...as, Lawrence Yusupoff, Eilis McCarthy, Caroline Kinney, and Anja Wittkowski. "Some Reasons Why Patients Suffering From Chronic Schizophrenia Fail to Continue in Psychological Treatment." Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapy 26 (1998): 177-81. Print.

Wang, Philip S., Olga Demler, and Ronald C. Kessler. "Adequacy of Treatment for Serious Mental Illness in the United States." American Journal of Public Health 92.1 (2002): 92-98. Print.

Watson, David. "The Psychopharmalogical Treatment of Schizophrenia: A Critique."Mental Health Practice 6.6 (2003): 10-14. Print.

Watters, Ethan. Crazy like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche. New York: Free, 2010. Print.

Whitaker, Leighton C. "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America." Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry 13.2 (2011): 169-71. Print.

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