By Groshan Fabiola
People generally call for the doctor if they see strange behaviors in one of their family members. Such episodes can occur only once in a life time or might be more frequent. Pay attention to all the strange things you see because they might be the symptoms of schizophrenia.
People suffering of schizophrenia will have an important change in their personality, they will be terrified about the fact that they hear voices or see things that are not real and they will have difficulties of controlling their own thoughts because of all these.
They will sense that something is wrong with them and so they will become withdrawn persons, they will refuse any contact with society and strangers. Even with family members they will act strange, sometimes they will act with anger and sometimes with fear. They will not be able to make a rational statement; all their phrases will sound strange and meaningless. Some might become agitated and sleepless, and will develop an obsession for religion. Because they hear voices in their heads, they might become fanatics, believing that they have a divine mission and might even commit suicidal acts.
These symptoms might belong to schizophrenia but to other diseases too, like the abuse of drugs or the emotional distress caused by a traumatic event in the family, a death for example.
If you suspect schizophrenia in one of your family members ask for a check up at a specialized doctor in schizophrenia. During the medical visit assist the doctor because the ill person might not give him correct information and the information you will give to the doctor will be more accurate and useful.
Talk to the doctor and ask him anything you do not seem to understand about symptoms, treatment and signs of possible relapse.
Do not abandon the ill person it is important to pay him attention and love and to encourage him to accept his illness and the treatment. Try to let him know that his live is not over if he is ill and that the treatment can give promising results.
These patients are still intelligent and can understand very well what they are told about their disease and treatment. Try to include him in his treatment, explain him the type of medication and the doses.
Sometimes a relapse can occur due to stress and other emotional traumas. The symptoms are: deterioration in personal hygiene and withdrawn from social activities.
It is important to follow medical treatment even after hospitalization is done and to keep stress at minimum.
At home, family members should try not to speak loud, and one after the other in order for the ill person to avoid thought disorder. Short sentences are also helpful in a conversation with a schizophrenic person.
Try to help the ill person gain some goals, to achieve some new skills and interests. All these things should be done gradually in order to keep the stress at a minimum level. Also, try to teach the ill person how to deal with stress. Sometimes even talking about a possible stressful event that will soon happen can accommodate the ill person with that idea and get over the event more easily.
Try to take care of yourself too. Do not blame yourself and feel miserable about what happened to your family member, it is not your fault. Try to pay attention to other family members too, because they might be feeling the same guilt as you do or they might be afraid of getting ill too. Moral support is very good in these cases and family members must stick together in order to accept all that has happened.
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