Published: Jan 15 2013
Schizophrenia is a treatable disease that many people learn to live with. In fact, it is possible for those who suffer from schizophrenia to become productive members of society as many successful people have done. Schizophrenia affects everyone differently, and while some people may only experience a couple of schizophrenic episodes in their entire lifetimes, others may need to manage their symptoms through medication and self-care. In any event, early recognition of the illness is always helpful.
Understanding the symptoms of schizophrenia can help people take a proactive course in treating the disease. Allowing schizophrenia to fester causes a disruption to an individual’s ability to study, work, make friends and interact comfortably with others.
Schizophrenia rarely happens overnight. Usually, you will notice a gradual decline in a person's ability to function normally. Early warning signs normally occur over a one to three year period, and this is the perfect time to intervene. The classic symptoms of schizophrenia include suspiciousness, unusual thoughts, highly abnormal changes in hearing, sight, feeling or taste, unrealistic ideas of abilities or talents, incoherent thoughts, rambling and illogical reasoning.
A combination of treatments works best. Often medication, psychosocial treatments and psychotherapy can be used to effectively mitigate the symptoms of schizophrenia. Sometimes, individuals can make a complete recovery. According to one study performed in 1987, anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of those with schizophrenia will fully recover with treatment. Today, the rates are even higher.
Medications are primarily used to treat the hallucinations, but they also help the individual think more clearly, focus on reality and sleep better. Psychosocial treatments such as cognitive remediation help patients to keep their cognitive functions intact. Although hallucinations can be devastating, it is the loss of capacities such as memory, attention, problem solving, and processing information that make functioning in society virtually impossible. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps people to set goals, challenge persistent beliefs and cope with hallucinations.
Individual psychotherapy is crucial for individuals that have problems with relationships. One-on-one therapy sessions enable people to talk to a trained professional that can give them a better understanding of their own symptoms.
Once a person starts a treatment, they should see it through to the end. Staying on the medication that’s prescribed is also mandatory. Stay in contact with therapists and ask them how to avoid relapse and definitely be aware of warning signs that may lead to relapse. There are some general warning signs and there are warning signs that are specific to the individual, so be sure that you know your precursors and pay attention to changes in sleeping and eating patterns as well. Lastly, know what to do in case of a relapse. This is the only way to mitigate the damage or potential damage of a relapse.
Jared, the author of Schiz Life, understands the need for access to easy-to-understand information about schizophrenia in the time of need. Schiz Life was created for this purpose, to provide a comfortable and educational place to share knowledge and experience.
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