Schizophrenia is one of the major mental disorders that can range from serious to extremely serious. Even mild signs can cause worry and immediate need for attention. Having schizophrenia is extremely tough, but so is living with a person who has it. You need to know how to talk to think like such a person, how to communicate with them and how to help them deal with such a dire situation. Here are some tips that you can try with someone to help them deal with schizophrenia.
Do Your Research
As with any disorder, it is crucial to know exactly what you are dealing with. Do not assume anything, based on what you may have heard, if it is not backed by solid proof. Find out about the common symptoms, tally them with contextual data, and get at least three to four professional opinions. Moreover, schizophrenia is a highly elusive disorder in itself. There is no exact cause and even symptoms may vary. It is usually characterized by hallucinations, paranoia and impaired thinking. Additionally, there is no exact cure but treatment is available. However, it is also important to distance yourself from misconceptions. For instance, schizophrenics do not have split personalities, are not generally dangerous or violent, and do not live in institutions. A seemingly normal person may suffer from schizophrenia and treatment may be helping them. Therefore, it is important to know what it means before you can help yourself and someone else deal with it.
Learn How to Cope with Bizarre Situations
Schizophrenics may say things that may seem confusing, far fetched and even made up. However, it is important to know that they do not mean to act strange, and that making false or exaggerated statements is out of their control. Furthermore, do not be alarmed in such a situation, rather, be prepared for it. Do not completely shun the patient, since their fantasies and delusions are very real to them. Shunning their beliefs would make them feel alienated and confused, distorting their idea of reality and the truth even more. That being said, do not pretend to agree with them either, since that would strengthen their made up versions of reality. Instead, try having a logical discussion, with reasoning, and if that does not work, divert from that topic to one that you both agree on. Therefore, instead of making them feel like a liar, make them feel like their point of view might not be the only one that everyone should agree with.
Help Them Acknowledge the Disorder and Encourage Treatment
Mental patients can be extremely difficult to cope with, since no one can truly understand what they are going through unless they try. Only their close family or friends are the ones willing to make a true effort. Therefore, be the one to fully support and encourage a loved one suffering from this disorder. Firstly, help them acknowledge the fact that they have schizophrenia, if all the signs are positive. Secondly, help them understand that it can be treated, and that you will not leave their side till it is. Lastly, encourage them to continue with their treatment once they start. A solid support system can do wonders for people with psychological issues or mental problems. Do not isolate a close one suffering from schizophrenia, since it is a serious disorder which can destroy one’s mental capability to make logical decisions, or even care for basic needs.
Use Symptoms as Warning Signs
Once a close one has started being treated for schizophrenia, make a record of their progress. Make a note of the treatment methods, and how they affect the patient. Furthermore, make a note of the past symptoms, so that you are aware of what course of action to take if the symptoms reoccur. By learning about all the patterns of the patient, you could help them experience a potential relapse. Additionally, the treatment methods help identify which worked and which ones didn’t. This can be useful as you will know which type of treatment you want to continue and the rest can be discontinued. Keeping a record of the symptoms, as well as their causes and effects is a highly effective strategy for a family member or friend, since the patient might not be fully aware of their symptoms. Therefore, a second party involvement is vital.
Help the Person Set Achievable Goals
It is crucial for you to help the patient identify with the best mode of treatment, and how it is helping them. Explain to them why that particular treatment is best and what they can do to keep going at it. This will help them regain their physical, mental and psychological abilities. Furthermore, do not become impatient if the pace of positive results is slow or if it fluctuates. As long as there is progress, it is a good sign, since the patient will not become perfect overnight. In addition, do not pressurize or force the patient into doing something, since that may cause them to take stress. Stress can worsen matters further, rendering the entire treatment useless and taking the patient back to square one. Therefore, do not give negative criticism. Rather, use positive reinforcement to encourage positive results.
In conclusion, dealing with a schizophrenic is a delicate and serious matter. Therefore, make sure you know what you are doing if you want to see positive results. Do not base any action on your intuition or opinion. Do your research first and then carry on finding and giving them the best form of treatment possible.