Bid adieu to the days when being diagnosed with Schizophrenia meant your life was over. More and more people are learning to embrace and live with the condition. According to the National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 43.8 miĺlion people battle mental illness in any given year. That is to say one adult in five experiences mental health disorders annually. Of this, 1.1% are diagnosed with Schizophrenia. The hallucinations, delusions, short concentration spans, jumbled speeches and emotional highs and lows can be very stressful. While some patients turn to drugs like cannabis, others seek treatment at a mental health rehab facility and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Embrace the Reality and Study the Condition
Once diagnosed with Schizophrenia, the natural first instinct is denial. While denying having the condition might make someone feel better at the moment, it is detrimental in the long run. Accepting the condition is the first step in coping with Schizophrenia. Next is gaining a full understanding of schizophrenia. What are the symptoms? How can these symptoms be managed? How bad can it get? What treatment options are available? Knowledge is power.
There are several treatment options for Schizophrenia patients:
Medication: First are the antipsychotic drugs. Back in the day physicians used sedatives, which only calmed their patients. Thanks to science, the mid 20th century brought with it first and second generation antipsychotic drugs; Olanzapine, Fluphenazine, Thiothixene, Haloperidol, Aripiprazole and Chlorpromazine, just to mention a few. Second gen drugs alleviate psychosis and have fewer side effects. The downside is, that one must still take the drugs even if the symptoms disappear or lessen.
Hospitalization: Going to an inpatient hospital or rehab center is an option for those with acute Schizophrenia. These institutions provide 24-hour care, evaluate the patient’s condition and adjust their doses accordingly. They provide a personalized treatment plan for each patient making the option very effective.
Electroconvulsive Therapy: This is used in worst case scenarios. Suicidal patients or those with acute Schizophrenia that cannot survive the time it takes for antipsychotic drugs to kick in are subjected to electroconvulsive therapy.
Manage the Hallucinations and Delusions
Dealing with delusions and hallucinations, most of which are auditory, is a great coping mechanism. One of the simplest and most effective hack is destruction. Buying headphones, creating a playlist of favorite songs or audio books and drowning the voices in the head with it can help alleviate discomfort.
Go for Therapy
Joining a self help group or going for one on one counseling sessions is instrumental in coping with the condition. The experience motivates the person and helps him or her assess the reality. Family members are also advised to participate. This way they get to understand the condition and know what to do whenever a psychotic episode unravels.
Exercise And Eat
Schizophrenia is associated with withdrawal from the social scene and depression. Exercising releases chemicals that naturally uplift the spirits and create good moods. Foods rich in Omega 3 and 6, such as fish and walnuts relieve psychotic symptoms and promote proper brain function. Foods rich in vitamin E and B6 help with antipsychotic drugs’ side effects.
Live Your Life
Those with this diagnosis should still chase after dreams! Take up hobbies like painting or photography; watch movies; go out; start a business; make money, excel in a career—do whatever. Get out of bed, stay positive and empower financially.
A Schizophrenia diagnosis is not a doom condemnation. People diagnosed with the condition can live long fulfilling lives. The trick lies in finding an escape, eating healthy, taking drugs and staying positive.