It’s not easy to digest the fact that a loved one, friend or family member, has schizophrenia, especially if it’s someone you live with or interact with on a regular basis. It’s hard to accept that the person you know so well and love so much is now at the whims and fancies of hallucinations and delusions, some of which may be directed at you. It’s not easy to lead a normal life when you’re living with a schizophrenic, but there are reasons to cope as best as you can, because:
Their recovery depends on your attitude too: Yes, there are medications like antipsychotic drugs that help control the symptoms and prevent them from occurring too often, but what really matters is your support and understanding. If you’re not patient with them, they’re going to relapse into the depths of this illness more often. Your acceptance of their condition goes a long way in making medical treatment more effective.
It could take its toll on you: If you don’t accept this as part of your life and learn how to deal with it, you’re going to end up facing a whole lot of stress. You may end up taking it out on the person who’s ill, thus complicating the situation even more. Take the time to look after yourself and, difficult though it may be, strive to keep your life as normal as possible. Seek the help of family members or friends when you need a break or when things get too much to take.
It could happen to any of us: If you remember this golden line, you’re bound to deal with the situation in a more positive way, probably like how you would want to be treated if you were suffering from schizophrenia. It’s hard to be patient and kind all the time, but you must make a concerted effort to do so, because you’re definitely going to regret losing your cool if you do so.
You need to get past the disease and look to the future: You could do this by joining a support group and by learning all you can about this disease from books and other sources. It also helps if you play an active role in your loved one’s treatment and keep in regular touch with their doctor and counselor. Educate yourself on the symptoms and learn how to read them and about the causes that trigger them so that they can be avoided.
You need to plan for emergencies: The worst could happen, and rather than think of yourself as a pessimist for dreaming up worst-case scenarios, it’s best to be prepared. Keep a list of numbers that you need to call in case of emergencies when your loved one’s situation deteriorates or when they’re having a really bad spell. Also, learn how to deal with them until professional help is at hand. This way, you avoid the panic and helplessness that so often accompany a crisis.
Your loved one needs a life too: And the best way you can give them this is to encourage them to be as independent as possible. You must gently persuade them into doing things for themselves and picking up new skills to cope with their disease. A strong mind and a positive attitude go a long way in helping both the schizophrenic and their loved ones cope with this mental affliction.
This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of radiography technician schools. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.