OJPsych  Vol.4 No.4 , October 2014
Broader Role for Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Schizophrenia—A Malaysian Case Series
Abstract: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia have been considered to be variants of the same disorder. At the advent of psychiatry, there was a distinction between neurotic, mood disorders and psychotic disorders. As perceptions and thoughts evolve in this dynamic field, there has been a paradigm shift in the way these disorders are being perceived. Of particular interest is that concerning OCD and schizophrenia. In a much anticipated and very welcomed move, DSM V has now included delusional beliefs as a specifier of OCD. However the much spoken about schizo- obsessive syndrome is yet to be explored and addressed. Recurrent and intrusive thoughts, impulses and images are key experiences seen in OCD. How we differentiate these vivid images from visual hallucination is a question yet to be answered. The following case series is an example of how difficult the boundaries between severe OCD and schizophrenia can be, and the promising usage of atypical antipsychotic in controlling obsessive compulsive symptoms. Whether untreated OCD is a significant prodromal symptom of schizophrenia, a subtype of schizophrenia or an initial indicator of various syndromes, remains to be seen, depending on environmental effects on the neuroplasticity of the mind and brain. The cases discussed will highlight the role of antipsychotics in patients diagnosed as having OCD, and gives strength to the idea that perhaps antipsychotics should be used more liberally in the treatment of OCD in schizophrenia. Here, we present a case series to show the use of atypical antipsychotics as monotherapy or augmenter in quelling obsessive-compulsive symptoms in patients who fulfilled the DSM V criteria for both schizophrenia and OCD. The efficacy of antipsychotics in reducing OCD symptoms in psychotic patients, as shown in this case series, contributes to the body of evidence that OCD and schizophrenia are really spectrum disorders with a common denominator. It is hoped that this exciting finding will lead to a paradigm shift in the usage of antipsychotics in OCD and eventually change how this disease is viewed and treated.
Cite this paper: Francis, B. , Jambunathan, S. , Pillai, S. (2014) Broader Role for Antipsychotics in the Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Schizophrenia—A Malaysian Case Series. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 4, 289-294. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2014.44035.

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