Five Tips for Managing Schizophrenia
According to WebMD, schizophrenia is the most disabling and chronic of the major mental illnesses. It is a serious brain disorder that distorts the way one acts, thinks, expresses emotion, perceives reality and relates to others. People affected by this disorder can be left frightened and withdrawn by this lifelong disease that has no cure. With this type of mental illness, people are unable to determine what is real from what is imagined. Although schizophrenia is not curable, it can be managed effectively. Helpful tips will be explored in this article.
As this disorder changes how a person acts, feels and thinks, symptoms will be different for those affected. Symptoms also come and go. Per Everyday Health, signs and symptoms can be categorized as positive and negative, including the following:
- Unusual body movements
- Disorganized speaking and thinking
- Minimal speaking, even when interaction is forced
- Exhibit a lack of expression emotionally when talking (no facial movement, dull or monotonous voice)
- Have no pleasure in daily activities
- Difficulty paying attention or focusing
- A decreased ability to use information when making decisions
Treatments for schizophrenia are focused on reducing or eliminating symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech. Treatment typically includes both psychotherapy and medications. Initially, a physician may recommend hospitalization to gain control over symptoms.
Schizophrenia medications are often antipsychotic drugs that help relieve the various symptoms associated with the disorder. These medications work by changing the way specific chemicals act in the brain and can be referred to a first-generation or second-generation. First-generation antipsychotics came about in the 1950s and have the potential to cause muscle spasms and restless movements. Common medications include:
- Trilafon and Etrafon
Second-generation antipsychotics were later developed and are more likely to cause weight gain. Common medications include:
Many types of therapy are also utilized in the treatment of schizophrenia, such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Self-help groups
- Family therapy
- Substance-abuse treatment
Five Tips for Managing Schizophrenia
It is possible to lead a satisfying life with a diagnosis of schizophrenia if proper treatment is sought. Below you will find tips on how to cope with the day-to-day challenges of the disorder.
1) Much research is currently being conducted on schizophrenia, keep up-to-date with the latest findings. Some may even decide to participate in research.
2) Medication is an important part of treating schizophrenia symptoms. Remember the following in regards to schizophrenia medication:
- Medication is not a cure, but helps manage certain symptoms of the disorder
- Medications works differently for different people. You should work closely with your healthcare provider to determine which medication is right for you.
- Take your medication as it is prescribed by your healthcare provider and for as long as it is advised.
3) Take an active role in the management of your disorder and stick with your treatment plan as developed by you and your healthcare provider.
4) Counseling is very beneficial and can help you develop a plan for getting help, improve your communication skills and manage daily routines.
5) It is also helpful to participate in family education programs and self-help groups.
Family Education Programs – Allows family members to learn about your disorder and ways in which they can be helpful.
Self-Help Groups – Provide a comfortable atmosphere for people with schizophrenia to meet while members help and support one another.
As mentioned earlier, there is no cure for schizophrenia; however, much research is being conducted. Following these simple tips will help you gain and maintain control of your daily life. With the right individualized treatment plan, including medication and therapy, it is possible to live a satisfying life with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Los Angeles schizophrenia treatment can be provided effectively by several centers. Perform online research to determine which program will best meet your needs.
If you are interested in participating in a Los Angeles clinical trial for paranoid schizophrenia, contact the Pacific Institute for Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.