Dr. phil. Franco Arnold
About one percent of the world's population suffers from schizophrenia. It is a disease that usually begins in early adulthood and, if left untreated, often has far-reaching consequences in different areas of life.
Today’s Medicine assumes that a genetic, developmental disorder of the brain is involved in the cause. It is vital that the disease is detected and treated at an early stage in order to ensure social participation.
Most often, it is a phasic occurring disease. This means that there are phases with clear symptoms of the disease and phases in which the disease is less pronounced.
Non-specific symptoms such as concentration disorders or mood disorders can prevail in the more stable phases. In acute phases, delusional experiences, hallucinations and significant disturbances of the thought processes occur.
«The faster specialist help is sought for schizophrenic symptoms, the more effective are the individually prescribed therapies and the greater the chances of a full recovery from schizophrenia.»
Dr. med. Enrico Frigg Senior Physician / Deputy Chief Physician
In addition to the drug treatment, the information for the affected person and his environment about the disease and the treatment options is of great importance. Often, there are great prejudices that make success difficult. In addition to the treatment of acute symptoms, it is crucial that relapse prevention is initiated. This is not only about the drug component, but also about lifestyle factors, dealing with stress and increasing self-efficacy.
Your schizophrenia treatment and therapy are based on the jointly developed treatment plan and includes a selection from the following offers.
For almost four months, the private clinic MENTALVA in Cazis was an oasis for N.K. Here, he found himself again after his severe physical and mental illnesses. «Because here, they are very professional in any way», he said.
N.K. talks openly about himself, his illnesses, his low points and also the nearly four months of therapy and treatment at the private clinic MENTALVA, which is part of the psychiatric services Grisons and headed by the chief physician Suzanne von Blumenthal. He arrived here in an exhausted and desolate state, says N.K. Now, after nearly four months and two weeks before he goes home, he has gained a lot of inner balance and confidence. N.K. goes back to his life as a stronger person, whatever it will throw at him. «After my "MENTALVA time", I can also receive therapeutic treatments from Suzanne von Blumenthal every three months. And if I feel very bad, I can come back to inpatient therapy at any time.»
Behind the now 53-year-old N.K. lies an intensive professional life. He always liked to work and to work a lot. After training as a draftsman and various additional training courses, including vocational secondary school and other postgraduate studies (HTL / vocational counsellor / social security specialist), he worked as a human resources manager, and then, for eight years, with the cantonal police (capital crime). With that much experience, he founded his own company, which took care of the reintegration of severely disabled people. He also advised cancer patients. In 2011, N.K. had to hand over his company, which now employed 18 employees and two apprentices. Because at that time he was already seriously ill.
First physically ill, then mentally
His first cancer was discovered 28 years ago. In 2008, he again fell ill with testicular seminoma. This was followed by 38 intensive radiation therapies and double pneumonia with drug poisoning. In the course of that time, there was also the suspicion of a possible brain tumour. Due to the intense radiotherapy, he had to replace his hip joint; the other is still pending. During his first stay at a hospital in the Bernese Oberland, diverticula were detected in the abdominal area; they caused great pain.
«First, I suppressed everything, the professional burdens and then the physical ones. But then came the panic attacks, delusions, memory lapses and a sensitivity to noise. I fought on different fronts at the same time. With the help of psychiatrists and psychologists, I got the panic attacks under control. They were gone! I felt empowered. Hence, I didn't realize at first, when I slipped back into a deep hole in the summer of 2011, caused by further incisive personal events. I was overwhelmed! With my condition and the decision on the future of my business and the employees.» Over time, N.K. was under such attack that he googled additional offers from psychiatric hospitals. It was only after more than a year of severe depression that he joined the private clinic MENTALVA. «The whole appearance was sympathetic to me. That's why I immediately signed up for an initial interview. A little later, I was already able to get admitted.»
N.K. sits in the private clinic MENTALVA in Cazis and talks about his experiences, which would have swept even a giant off his feet. Now he is calm, can even laugh about himself again. He processed a lot and discovered a lot in himself he knew nothing about. He owed this to the excellent chief physician and the professional therapies here, he says gratefully. «The doctors here, the excellent nursing staff, the excellent cuisine and this mix between complementary medicine and medicine, everything fits. If I had to give a note, I would pin a 5.8 to the door of the private clinic MENTALVA. I don't know what could be improved here. There is no force, but there is a great deal of attention to the patients who are really taken seriously. The therapy offers are varied, and there are also large, private areas, a spa and fitness offers. The location is also wonderful, central but quiet, relaxing and sunny...».
You can see N.K. how glad he is to have found the private clinic MENTALVA. For an outsider, it is hard to imagine what the man had to endure. He still doesn't know whether the cancer will be coming back or if another body organ will cause new problems at some point. «No doctor, other than here at the private clinic MENTALVA», he says, «has ever asked me what it's like to have cancer, how one feels about this disease. This is incredible... I have learned to live with my tumours, to understand them and to accept the latent "roommates", and to find a way out of my severe depression. But there is still a long way to go.»
But N.K. has at least slowly regained the courage to engage and deal with new career prospects. «However, it will take a long time before I can at least partially take the step forward into the world of work.»
After his many therapy sessions, N.K. also knows that his previous work with the police, the prosecutor's office and in prison, where he was confronted with death in his worst facets over and over again, had weighed heavily on him. «I've always suppressed it, I haven't talked to anyone about it, not even my wife. It was only here in Cazis that someone realized how much it affected me psychologically and how many other faces I have...»