Having schizophrenia is not the end of the world.
It’s a good era to be alive. The innovation of new technology has made diagnosis and treatment of diseases and illnesses much reliable. However, despite the technological advances, there is still a great deal we need to learn about mental illnesses.
Schizophrenia is at the forefront of misunderstood mental disorders. It’s a chronic illness that develops in early adulthood and affects about 1.5% of the Australian population.
Having schizophrenia is not the end of the world. People with schizophrenia can live a full life like anyone else with medication, self-help and a good support system. Here are some guides to take people with schizophrenia through the recovery process.
1. Get medication
Schizophrenia is episodic, and for this reason, it’s essential to be on medication. The earlier one gets professional help, the better it will be to manage it. Doctors use antipsychotic drugs to help manage psychotic symptoms. It’s worth noting that there are side effects that come with the use of some of these drugs. They include extrapyramidal symptoms (involuntary body tremors with some even being painful), drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, among others.
Since schizophrenia is episodic, there will be periods when one is in remission from the severe symptoms. During this period, it’s crucial for you to establish a clear self-help routine.
2. Establish a self-help routine
Taking medication alone to manage schizophrenia is not enough. A combination of factors is vital to help manage the illness. Routinely visit a therapist will help to keep tabs on the progress.
Making an effort to learn more about the disorder will help to equip the knowledge to identify when the negative symptoms start to creep up.
Join a support group for one on one meetings. Talking to people who are going through the same thing makes a big difference. Not only do you get support, but you also get to aid in another person’s recovery.
The support group doesn’t have to be of people who have schizophrenia only. It could also include family members and friends. People who will give you undivided attention when you speak.
Volunteering for causes that matter to you also aids in making new friends, help you learn new things and keep you busy. The more you do something for yourself, the better your self-esteem gets, and over time, you will feel powerful and more in control of your life.
3. Exercise and Healthy diet
Incorporating stress-relieving activities in one’s daily life is imperative. Observing a healthy diet and exercising will go a long way in keeping you healthy and feeling good. This is because when exercising, serotonin (the feel-good hormone) increases in the body.
Exercising doesn’t have to be going to the gym. One could do it at home, go for a run, do yoga or do some exercises using their body weight. Do any of the activities for at least 30 minutes every day and there, you should have a routine to look forward to.
4. Love yourself
Stress increases the chances of getting psychotic episodes. It’s vital that you know how much you can take in terms of work or interactions. As much as you are urged to keep busy, sometimes taking time to yourself can help you cool off.
All in all
It’s crucial that you know how to manage negative emotions, stay balanced and love yourself enough to back off when you start getting stressed. People with schizophrenia can try and relax by meditating, taking deep breathes, taking a walk or get a massage. Remember, medication alone won’t beat schizophrenia, so get a good support system and a proper self-help routine to get through it.