Home Lifestyle & Travel Health & Beauty What to do when a loved one has schizophrenia

What to do when a loved one has schizophrenia

A psychotic episode is frightening. For loved ones, caretakers, and especially for the person experiencing the episode.

Patients who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia can at times experience psychotic episodes where they are unable to distinguish between reality and hallucinations.

It’s important for loved ones and caretakers to take note of the symptoms during a psychotic episode. And to be there to support and care for those living with schizophrenia.

- Advertisement -

A psychotic episode doesn’t happen in one go, it’s a gradual process. The most common symptoms include:

  • bizarre behaviour
  • mood swings
  • outbursts
  • and, isolating themselves from family and friends.

When these symptoms present, it’s important to seek professional medical help for the person.

There is no right thing to say or do during these episodes, but there are a few things to be mindful of.

  • It’s important not to isolate the person.  Don’t tell them what they believe to be real, isn’t so.
  • Listen and sympathise with what they’re going through.
  • Minimise stress in their environment.
  • Be supportive and use encouraging words, so they know you are there for them. Try not to criticise or judge.
  • Don’t make light of their issues by telling them about your own problems. This will isolate them.
  • When they decide to re-engage with the world, do not place them in overwhelming situations, like noisy places, or with too many people around.
  • Don’t ask invasive questions, keep the conversation neutral. They will share with you when they’re ready and comfortable.

 

In the most severe cases, when you think the person is a physical threat to themselves or others, call emergency services. It’s vital to make the medical team assisting the person aware of their potential harmful thoughts and actions1.This would help the medical team to be extra vigilant of the person in their care.

This isn’t a situation you can solve on your own, and it’s important not to let the person out of your sight. If you need to step away to call emergency services, do so knowing that you’ve asked someone else to keep an eye on the person.

You may even need to consider committing the person involuntarily to a hospital or a mental institution. The complexity in this course of action is that an examination by a medical professional and the authorisation by a law official is needed to ensure the person is admitted, or alternatively, that the person be treated as an outpatient.

Remember, schizophrenia is treatable. By using the right medication as prescribed by a medical practitioner, the illness can be managed and the person can live a meaningful life.

If you or a loved one needs more information on schizophrenia, information on available treatments or want to hear patients’ stories about living with this illness, visit https://www.schizophrenia24x7.co.za/.

- Advertisement -
Previous articleSpring 2019 Wish List
Next articleG&T festival

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Must Read

Leaving a Lasting Legacy – Your Will, Your Family and Organ Donation

“The reality is that most people are living month to month and have very little time to think about the future – never mind...

5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Momcation

We all know that time away from our children and families is good for the soul. And our health. And our sanity. Not only...

Beat the germs

EF-Active has become a part of much-loved and respected couple, JP & Sue Duminy’s daily routine. As a pair who celebrate and illustrate the...

Improve your snacking game plus a great recipe

Often grabbed on-the-go or sometimes as a square meal replacement, people snack for a variety of reasons, whether good or bad. Regardless of the motive,...

Don’t allow a modern lifestyle to compromise family quality time

LANCEWOOD, South Africa’s No.1 Soft Cheese Brand, conducted The Quality Time study to gain further insight into the cooking and eating habits of South...