Individuals with schizophrenia may need a little extra help and support from loved ones to finish school, maintain friendships, and achieve any other goals they have set for themselves. While they may never lead completely independent lives, healthy habits and lifestyle can help those living with schizophrenia achieve more independence and improve quality of life.
Keep Doctors’ Appointments
People with schizophrenia may not believe they are sick or need help. Despite these beliefs, keeping doctor’s appointments is critical for their care. The longer treatment is delayed, the harder it can be to control symptoms, says John Wilson, MD, a psychiatrist with the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board in Virginia.
Stick with Medications
While people with schizophrenia may not see how medication is improving their symptoms, they do feel the side effects which may cause them to stop taking medications. Work with their doctor to find a medication to keep symptoms under control with the least amount of side effects.
A person may perceive a loud, chaotic household as their family is out to get them, instead of realizing why loved ones are yelling. To avoid this, maintain a calm environment and use quiet but firm voices.
Limit Power Struggles
No matter what age, the individual with schizophrenia will not want to be hounded about taking medications or cleaning a room. Krista Baker, a licensed clinical professional counselor and supervisor of the Early Psychosis Intervention Clinic, suggests to focus on the person’s own goals and what needs to be done to achieve them. “We want to think about individuals moving down the same path they would have chosen if they had never been diagnosed.”