The National Institute of Mental Health defines schizophrenia as a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder. It’s estimated that as many as 51 million people suffer from schizophrenia worldwide. Fortunately, this debilitating disease is very treatable, and it is possible for people affected with the disorder to live full, happy lives. Below is a handful of tips for living with schizophrenia.
If you or a family member suffer from schizophrenia, it’s important to understand that the illness cannot be cured. Before you can move on to coping strategies, you have to accept that you have the disorder and seek treatment. Avoiding the situation can only cause symptoms to get worse. Talk with family and friends who are supportive and who also accept that you have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. There is no reason to be ashamed or uncomfortable with this diagnosis.
Communication is key to any disorder or illness. While there are times it can be difficult to communicate honestly, it is crucial. This means you need to have clear, unambiguous conversations with your doctor, family, friends, and anyone else that is there to support you through life. You need to let everyone know how you’re feeling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Delusions may be an issue with people who suffer from schizophrenia, but it’s important to know that delusions will not go away with reasoning. Communicate to those around you, telling them that you are experiencing a delusion, and it’s important that you seek help.
A clear line of communication will help improve relationships with friends and family as well. Strange behavior is often a symptom of schizophrenia, and those around you may take offense at your actions if they don't understand your diagnosis. However, if they know you’re having episodes, they’re much more likely to understand and adapt to the behavior.
Choosing a medication and taking it properly can be a difficult ordeal for people suffering from any health condition. Sustaining a medication regimen while suffering from schizophrenia can be even harder, but it is crucial to stick with it.
There are several medications on the market to help people live better with schizophrenia, and the first one you're prescribed may not be the right one for you. You may experience negative side effects or it may not work the way it should. As with many medications, there’s one that works best with your body, and you may need to communicate frequently with a mental health professional to find the it.
You may feel the urge to quit taking a medication when the symptoms start going away, but this is a grave mistake. Symptoms will simply come back once you've stopped taking medication. Sticking to a strict medication regimen will help you cope with schizophrenia and live a happier life.
Routines and Daily Goals
Having a routine can help someone living with schizophrenia make it from day to day. Depending on the severity of the illness, the person may need help adjusting to a new schedule, but this can be accomplished in time. The routine should include some sort of therapy, which can include seeing a therapist once a week and working through a unique home treatment plan. Another way to help establish a routine and help someone suffering with schizophrenia is setting up simple goals. These goals can change daily or remain consistent.
As with most health conditions, lifestyle choices affect schizophrenia. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle may keep symptoms at bay for a longer period of time. Healthy diet, exercise, and healthy hobbies will all keep you on the track to a happy life. It’ll create a positive outlook and lift your mood daily.