May 30, 2006

Psychiatrists Not Meeting Schizophrenia Patient Needs

Read more... Schizophrenia Coping

It was reported last week at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting held in Toronto that people with schizophrenia are at higher risk that their doctors will fail to provide treatment or prevention for many of the common problems that are linked to schizophrenia (diabetes, excess weight, smoking, etc.).

"This is one of the most important problems" clinicians face, said Dr. Roger McIntyre, an associate professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto. He says recent studies have shown that people with schizophrenia die on average 15 to 20 years earlier than expected. And they are dying from medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke that could be addressed when doctors treat their mental illness.

Four doctors talked about the medical problems that beset people with schizophrenia at a briefing Tuesday at the American Psychiatric Association, held in Toronto. It has become clear that many of the antipsychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia cause weight gain and increase risk for diabetes. But McIntyre and the other doctors say many patients are already at increased risk for medical metabolic problems even before they start psychiatric drugs.

Dr. Henry Nasrallah, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, said, "Well-established risk factors are occurring at high levels and not being monitored."

Many anti-psychotic medications cause weight gain and increase the risk of diabetes. Patients are also at extremely high risk for smoking and inactivity.

The briefings were an important reminder for psychiatrists and patients to pay attention to weight, lipid profiles and metabolic measures. People who have schizophrenia must be sure to get regular and complete health checkups with special emphasis on the areas cited previously.


The antipyschotic medication which was given for voices in my head, certainly would not have suppressed nor eventually reversed the horrific neurological symptoms I was to suffer nearly 2 years after being diagnosed as with mental conditions.

My medicos didn't see, nor feel, the horrific symptoms I suffered, nor would they believe my word. Once diagnosed, there is little hope of ever being believed. I think there would be many who will back me up on this.

Perhaps if doctors started to treat mental illness with something as I did, a treatment for neurological symptoms ( forget the mental) it would save many from the sheer hell they continue to face - without any hope that they may be eventually cured.


Posted by: ainee at May 30, 2006 09:13 PM

i dont think that i'm going to die so early due to my psychiatric drugs but i know that i should work out more time in order to avoid certain problems as weight gain but i'm ill and i dont have the time the only help i got was from the doctor that gave me horrible meds until i tried seroquel.

Posted by: tanit at May 31, 2006 05:55 AM

"It is irresponsible for Mr. Cruise to use his movie publicity tour to promote his own ideological views and deter people with mental illness from getting the care they need," APA President Dr. Steven Sharfstein said in a statement. “Rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment (of mental illness) works," the APA statement said. "It is unfortunate that in the face of this remarkable scientific and clinical progress that a small number of individuals and groups persist in questioning its legitimacy."

Posted by: Poul at November 23, 2006 02:07 AM

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