Schizophrenia is a challenging brain disorder that affects how a person acts, thinks, and sees the world. It often makes it difficult to think clearly, regulate emotions, distinguish reality, and relate to others. If you have a loved one with schizophrenia, supporting them can make a huge difference by helping them find the right treatment, cope with symptoms, and build a fulfilling life.
Tips for Helping Your Loved One
While supporting a loved one with schizophrenia can be challenging, the following strategies can help you guide your loved one through their journey.
- Treatment and Self Help– Encouraging your loved one to get treatment is often the first battle caregivers experience. If resistant, offering a choice of providers and focusing on a particular symptom may seem less threatening and ease suspicions.
- Medication Monitoring- Ensuring your loved one gets the most out of their medication involves more than confirming they are taking it as prescribed. Keeping an eye out for side effects, interactions with other drugs, and helping to track their mood are vital as well.
- Signs of Relapse-Knowing the signs of relapse allows you to act quickly and help prevent a full-blown crisis.
- Social withdrawal
- Deterioration of personal hygiene
- Increasing paranoia
- Confusing or nonsensical speech
- Crisis Preparation- You can handle a crisis quickly and more effectively with an emergency plan that includes:
- Emergency contact information for doctors and therapists.
- The address and phone number of the hospital you will go to for psychiatric admission.
- Friends or relatives who will care for other children or dependents during this time.
Caring for Yourself
Pouring from your cup as a caregiver means having something in your cup to start. Taking care of yourself not only helps you, but it also sets an example of healthy behaviors for your loved one with schizophrenia.
- Connecting with others experiencing what you are can offer invaluable advice and information.
- Eating a healthy diet can help you feel better, and exercising regularly releases endorphins and eases stress.
- Learning emotional intelligence will help you accept your loved one’s condition and manage your stress and emotions better.
- Schedule time every day to do something you enjoy so you can relax and reset.
Participating In Research
Continued research and understanding will help scientists and health professionals understand the causes that led to it and how it may be prevented. In addition, the information will help experts develop better treatments to allow people with schizophrenia to achieve their full potential. Families and individuals who are living with schizophrenia are encouraged to participate in clinical research.
By participating in research studies, you will receive more insight into your situation, allowing you to manage it better. You may also gain access to new, more effective treatments while turning your own experience into learning that transforms the care for others schizophrenia. To learn more about upcoming schizophrenia studies here at Woodland Research Northwest, call us at (479) 927-3000 or visit our website.