WHY 50% OF SCHIZOPHRENICS HAVE DRUG AND ALCHOHOL PROBLEMS
There is a theory that schizophrenia is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. The brian has neurotransmitters called dopamine. When the levels of dopamine are high we feel happy, high or even euphoric and when the levels of dopamine are low we feel stressed, anxious and agitated.
Psychiatrists believe that schizophrenic symptoms are caused by excessively high levels of dopamine in the brain. Anti-psychotic medicines used to treat schizophrenia have the effect of lowering the levels of dopamine.
The higher the dose of the anti-psychotic medicine, the more stressed, anxious and agitated the person is likely to feel. These feelings are routinely dismissed as “side effects” of the anti-psychotic medicine.
The psychiatrist has the job of deciding what medicines and what dosage is best for the individual. Some are good at doing this and others are not so good. Sometimes it may take years to get the medicines right and sadly, in some case it seems impossible to find the right combination of medicines.
As a result, a lot of schizophrenic people suffer from the side effects of anti-psychotic medicine they are taking. Many find relief by resorting to alchohol or other drugs which leads to a downward spiral in the long term.
Although they may get a quick fix in the short term and feel happy and high, it can eventually lead to more health and financial problems. Schizophrenics are often caught in the difficult situation where they are told to take pills that make them feel ill and stop taking drugs and alchohol that give temporary releif.
If you suffer from schizophrenia and you feel you are not making any progress, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from another psychiatrist. Also try exercising more. Exercise is a natural way of raising your dopamine levels. It has long term health benefits and it will not ruin your finances.
Meditation is another natural way of raising your dopamine levels. Meditation is proven to reduce stress and help you overcome anxiety. Regular exercise and meditation may just be the solutions you are looking for.