- Mental Health
Tips for living with schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a long term brain disorder which has several possible causes.
Regardless of the cause, successful treatment for the condition is life-long – including a regimen of medication and therapy.
Living with schizophrenia is difficult, especially as schizophrenics can suffer relapses – often when medication is not taken as recommended.
In order to live successful lives and avoid relapses, persons living with schizophrenia have to continually monitor themselves, their treatment and their environment.
Taking medication can be a hassle for most persons – even when it is just for a few days. One of the hardest aspects of schizophrenia treatment is sustaining the regime of medication. Sometimes, the schizophrenic willfully stops taking the medication because of the negative side effects (which can be as bad as spasms and insomnia), or because they feel they do not need it.
Often, it is because it is not always convenient to take medications during certain periods. However, sticking with the medication is the best way to control the condition, and cope with living with schizophrenia.
Avoid stress and other environmental triggers
Stress and trauma are considered possible causes of schizophrenia. Indeed, research has shown that the stress hormone, cortisol, can alter brain chemistry as well. In any event, stress and unpleasant situations can serve as triggers for those living with schizophrenia, so it is important to maintain a mentally and physically healthy environment to prevent relapses. Living with schizophrenia is a long-term endeavor, so affected persons must understand how they react in certain situations, and know what to avoid.
There is an assortment of therapies from which schizophrenics can choose. There is individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and social and vocational skills training. Medication cannot help a schizophrenic reintegrate into their community or find employment. Therapy and the support of family and peers are complementary to the prescribed drugs. That is what would help those living with schizophrenia move beyond coping with their condition, and live a successful life.
For some of the persons living with schizophrenia, taking care of themselves can be a problem. It is especially important for those who suffer catatonic symptoms to establish daily routines to follow. This can help them overcome the difficulty of coping with regular tasks through regular practice and inculcation of good habits.
Communicate with family and peers
For a schizophrenic, isolation might easily lead to a relapse. Keeping lines of communication open precludes feelings of loneliness, and social withdrawal. Social withdrawal is a major symptom of schizophrenia, making it imperative that schizophrenics keep in constant contact with those who matter to them. Given the importance of proper support, it is advisable that schizophrenics do not live by themselves.
The key to living with schizophrenia is maintaining a life-long regimen of treatment – one that is not necessarily restricted to medication. Finding support from loved ones can be a major boost to schizophrenics. This combination of tips helps schizophrenics avoid relapses and assume productive roles in their community.
This book represents a definitive, essential, and up-to-date reference text on schizophrenia. It extensively and critically digests and clarifies recent advances and places them within a clinical context. The Editors (one American and one British), highly respected clinical psychiatrists and researchers and acknowledged experts on schizophrenia, have again assembled an outstanding group of contributors from the USA, UK, Europe and Australia.