If a member of your family is diagnosed with schizophrenia, going through treatment and life all together is difficult. You will see this person at low points, high points, and in need of help and encouragement. You should do your best to stick by them to encourage their improvement. Here are some things you can do:
- Patience and acceptance of their disorder: This will help your loved one, your family and your friends deal with the challenges of this disorder, while still enjoying life. Symptoms can change over time, but the disorder will stay present. Episodes of delusion won’t go away with reasoning, so instead, empathize with that person’s feelings. Recovery is not a short process. Setting realistic expectations and helping your loved one set reasonable goals is what will be more helpful.
- Ask your family member if they are thinking about hurting themselves: About 40 of 100 people with schizophrenia attempt suicide. 10 of them are successful. It is something you should not be afraid to talk about openly.
- Learn about schizophrenia and participate in treatment: According to research, being involved in a family member’s treatment and learning about schizophrenia can help in their recovery. Your knowledge can help you better support your family member with managing symptoms, handling setbacks, and working towards recovery. You should look into psychoeducation for families. This can be very helpful.
- Encourage the use of medication: It is important for your loved one to use their medication regularly. This can reduce the chance of relapses. Side effects are serious and they can make your loved one stop using medication. However you should encourage your loved one to talk to their prescriber about the side effects. By knowing about them beforehand, they will increase the chances of finding the medication that is right for your loved one. You can help research side effects and different medications too.
- Watch for signs of relapse: This disorder can come and go. You may see your loved one show improvement and decline. You should be prepared for times of relapse. When possible, you should work with them to establish a crisis plan and a plan on how to handle potential relapse warning signs.
- Stay hopeful: Stay positive. There are people with schizophrenia that recover and live full, healthy, and productive lives. Find ways to have fun and enjoy life with your loved one. By seeing you happy, it can give them hope as well.
Are you or a loved one living with Schizophrenia? Contact Segal Institute today at 1-877-734-2588 to learn more or see if you qualify at: http://studies.segaltrials.com/request-a-prescreen/