Based on different risk factors, schizophrenia has been noted to be a severe mental illness that can affect an individual’s thinking in a significant way. Notably, mental illness has either an adverse or a positive effect on its patient’s thinking, feeling, and behavior. With the mental disease being rare, the mental illness is commonly perceived and decoded as a patient bringing crazy (McCutcheon, Marques & Howes, 2020). As a result, most individuals experiencing mild symptoms of the psychotic disorder tend to suppress the feelings, shying away from being judged. Consequently, the mental illness has early signs and symptoms revolving around having unusual feelings of situations, at times having auditory and visual hallucinations, and in other instances, experiences of both affective and cognitive symptoms.
For example, since schizophrenia is common among early teen years, patients are likely to experience blunted effects caused by their brains, emptiness caused by the disease suppressing the cognitive reasoning, and at times, an adverse impact on the patient’s perception of life. If schizophrenia goes untreated, early staged patients are likely to experience hallucinations and deep thoughts of attempting suicide (McCutcheon, Marques & Howes, 2020). Extreme cognitive suppression by schizophrenia can hence cause suicide among its victims. Teens who portray unique signs and symptoms such as having thought echos, delusions of different nature such as control, or at times of influence are likely to be patients of schizophrenia.
Additional symptoms highly linked to the mental illness are hearing voices through hallucinations, visual hallucinations, and permanent delusions (McCutcheon, Marques & Howes, 2020). In other cases, teens can experience a break in their line of thinking or reasoning and, at times, great negativity of life’s occurrence and happening. Although not common, additional signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are social withdrawal characterized by change of personal behavior without base or solid reasons. With schizophrenia having different and numerous causes, the mental illness has been noted to be treatable through constant medication. Psychological treatment strategies can sometimes be applied to treat schizophrenia and work as effectively as the medication methods.
As noted earlier in our research paper, schizophrenia can be managed through psychosocial treatment methods or through medication that is antipsychotic. Notably, the application of antipsychotic treatment methods and strategies can, in one way or another, be ineffective since they are known for reducing the frequency and intensity of schizophrenia lapses and occurrence (Beentjes, Goossens, Vermeulen, Teerenstra, Nijhuis-van der Sanden & van Gaal, 2018). In the pharmacotherapy method of treating schizophrenia, patients diagnosed can be offered first-generation antipsychotics to suppress the adverse effects and symptoms of schizophrenia. Notably, chlorpromazine and haloperidol can be first-generation antipsychotics before the patient is prescribed second-generation antipsychotics.
In extreme cases where signs and symptoms are elevated, patients can be offered second-generation antipsychotics such as olanzapine. The purpose of administering antipsychotics among schizophrenia patients is to suppress symptoms through their ability to stop the signs by application of their dopamine receptors that are D2 in nature. Side effects of the medication may include dry mouths, dizziness, and restlessness, depending on the patient under medication.
Patients are taken through different therapy sessions for psychosocial treatments to change or erase their cognitive experiences. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, for instance, negative symptoms of schizophrenia are identified and suppressed, the patient is encouraged to think positive and off the hallucinations brought in by schizophrenia (Beentjes, Goossens, Vermeulen, Teerenstra, Nijhuis-van der Sanden & van Gaal, 2018). In addition, patients can undergo behavioral training, a process that can help them suppress thoughts and images brought in by schizophrenia’s hallucination moments.
Through psychosocial treatment, patients who have schizophrenia commonly learn how to cope with the mental illness, enabling them to attend to their social, personal, and professional duties without much disruption or raising eyebrows of their recent character and behavior. By practicing normal psychosocial processes and procedures, schizophrenia patients can avoid frequent hospitalizations or schizophrenia attacks requiring emergency medical support and attendance (Beentjes, Goossens, Vermeulen, Teerenstra, Nijhuis-van der Sanden & van Gaal, 2018). Aside from individual therapy, family therapy and support can help treat schizophrenia. Wise to note, in extreme cases of schizophrenia, patients can opt for vocational rehabilitation and employment of support strategies and tools that bring a resolution to the mental illness.
Crisis Management for Schizophrenia
As a schizophrenia patient, the crisis might happen anytime and anywhere; hence there is of great importance to have a procedural way of addressing and coping with the crisis at hand. In an emergency due to schizophrenia, seeking self-space would be the to-go action. In your safest place, where all possible means are not triggered by stress or anxiety, you can calm down by focusing on a disruptor (Maheshwari, Manohar, Chandran & Rao, 2020). If you have prescriptions or medications that can resolve your current crisis, this would be the best time to take them up and suppress the mental illness. Informing a close friend or a trusted family member of your situation can also be effective in stopping and winning over the crisis.
As a family member of a schizophrenia patient, crises are bound to happen due to the mental nature of the disease. In times of crisis, it would be essential to accept schizophrenia’s happenings and avoid being angry out of the patient’s imaginations and hallucinations. Acting cool and composed at this moment would indicate that you have the patient under control as much as you do not, making the patient trust and believe in your recommendations. Speaking quietly and calmly can win their trust and attention, decreasing the adverse effect the crisis would lead to. In case the environment has disruptors that can trigger or increase schizophrenia’s impact on your family member, it would be wise at this moment to take them off, switch them off, or decrease their effect on the patient (Maheshwari, Manohar, Chandran & Rao, 2020). If casual visitors are not familiar with the mental illness, you can humbly request their departure, allowing you to calm the patient effectively. By so doing, the crisis can be effectively managed and closed.
Coping Strategies and Problem-Solving for Schizophrenia
With schizophrenia, treatment is the essential way to cope with mental illness. It is necessary to follow the medication instructions closely if you are under medication, without fail. With you taking your medication as prescribed, chances of schizophrenia getting the better part of you and even going to extreme crisis cases cannot happen (Mian, Lattanzi & Tognin, 2018). With medication not being enough for a schizophrenia patient coping with the mental disease, self-help strategies and processions are also essential. They should be set in place, just in case of an attack. Having a positive attitude towards the treatment and suppression of the disease shall go a long way and impact your recovery positively. Notably, being in terms with the diagnosis of schizophrenia and taking it can be as effective as failing to buy into the stigma associated with schizophrenia illness. With many fears not backed up by facts and figures, taking in such information can affect your delivery and healing process (Mian, Lattanzi & Tognin, 2018). However, as a coping strategy, sharing time with people who understand your diagnosis and support you to recovery can aid in suppressing schizophrenia symptoms and effects upon its attack. Being in frequent communication with your caretaker and doctor can also be an effective coping strategy that can go a long way till your recovery.
In case of concerns with your mental state, level of medication, a dosage of your drugs, or experience of queer side effects, your doctor can professionally help you cope with schizophrenia. In addition to constant communication with your healthcare provider, being consistent with your professional life and social life can help you forget about the disease and, most importantly, cope with schizophrenia day after another. Lastly, getting involved in physical activities can aid you in dealing with schizophrenia. With physical consciousness and health, mental wellness is guaranteed, reducing the possibilities of schizophrenia attacks.
Managing Stress and Dealing with Emotions for Schizophrenia
Mental health should be the main focus in your effort to reduce stress since its hormonal imbalance might trigger schizophrenia episodes. As a way to balance and avoid stress, therefore, aside from the physical exercise that our research had earlier mentioned, there is of great importance to ensure that as a schizophrenia patient, you understand, know, and follow your mental limits (Wan & Wong, 2019). With your physical and mental states being under control, chances of schizophrenia appearing through different symptoms such as hallucinations can rarely occur. Moreover, as a conscious patient, there is a dire need to have strategies that relieve you of pressure and stress once in a while. Putting up mechanics to cool your mind and body from pressure can effectively eliminate stress, which is commonly associated with failing to relieve previous mental and physical tensions.
With effective relaxation techniques, such as mental breaks where you can sleep, play video games or go for a walk, your cognitive self is assured of clear thoughts. Physical exercises with moderation can effectively relieve stress, bringing your body and cognition to form. Emotional management can also, by all means, enhance stress management, especially for schizophrenia patients. Individuals can effectively manage stress levels and suppress them from triggering schizophrenia lapses with emotional control (Wan & Wong, 2019). Aside from direct stress management, having a positive mental state and keeping your emotions positive can lead to stress-related and cause schizophrenia being ended.
For instance, noticing positive incidences, appreciating them, and savoring them all thought can change and keep your emotions positive, hence avoiding stress and possibilities of stress happening and showing gratitude and being mindful of your activities as small as the actions would considerably keep you, a schizophrenia patient, off stress. Lastly, identifying personal strengths and sticking to them can lead to you focusing on the positives and avoiding stress or its triggers.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Schizophrenia
Topping the list for most frequently asked questions related to schizophrenia is its kind of illness. Technical jargon can be noted from its name, making an individual who has never heard of it identify it as a medical term. Though medical, schizophrenia is not well and commonly known, from its name, most people are interested to know what nature of the scientific name schizophrenia is. Upon being up to date with what schizophrenia is and the nature of illness it is, most people, if not all, go ahead to understand its causes and possible ways it can be diagnosed (Fattal, Brascamp, Slate, Lehet, Achtyes & Thakkar¸2020). Their first reaction would be searching for medical treatment for schizophrenia, which is mostly the case for most people. Later on, after realizing schizophrenia can be diagnosed through psychosocial methods, interested parties research the different psychosocial diagnosis methods, tending to do a deep dive and understand the reasons behind a mental illness being given psychosocial consideration as treatment. Upon identifying such facts, researchers tend to further their research and seek answers to the symptoms linked to schizophrenia. With identifying hallucination as a symptom, a frequently asked question is the effects, levels, and degree of hallucinations in respect to their nature (Fattal, Brascamp, Slate, Lehet, Achtyes & Thakkar¸2020). Questions revolving around how to identify a schizophrenic person and the stages of schizophrenia also linger in a researcher’s mind, followed by possible ways to avoid being a schizophrenic.
Beentjes, T. A., Goossens, P. J., Vermeulen, H., Teerenstra, S., Nijhuis-van der Sanden, M. W., & van Gaal, B. G. (2018). E-IMR: e-health added to face-to-face delivery of Illness Management & Recovery programme for people with severe mental illness, an exploratory clustered randomized controlled trial. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1), 1-10.
Fattal, J., Brascamp, J., Slate, R., Lehet, M., Achtyes, E., & Thakkar, K. (2020). Abnormal pupil light reflex relates to negative symptom severity in schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry, 87(9), S138.
Maheshwari, S., Manohar, S., Chandran, S., & Rao, T. S. S. (2020). Psycho-education in schizophrenia. In Schizophrenia treatment outcomes (pp. 275-284). Springer, Cham.
McCutcheon, R. A., Marques, T. R., & Howes, O. D. (2020). Schizophrenia—an overview. JAMA psychiatry, 77(2), 201-210.
Mian, L., Lattanzi, G. M., & Tognin, S. (2018). Coping strategies in individuals at ultra‐high risk of psychosis: A systematic review. Early intervention in psychiatry, 12(4), 525-534.
Wan, K. F., & Wong, M. M. (2019). Stress and burden faced by family caregivers of people with schizophrenia and early psychosis in Hong Kong. Internal Medicine Journal, 49, 9-15.