Schizophrenia can be a disabling illness, especially when not managed well. A person may struggle from recurring episodes of psychosis, losing touch with reality. It can have a huge impact on a person’s social life. Due to the severity of this disorder, there are many complications that can occur.
Schizophrenia and Depression - Schizophrenia and depression often come hand in hand. Sadly, due to the nature of schizophrenia, depression is not always recognized or treated. Identifying depression and getting treatment can facilitate your recovery. This can prevent it escalating into suicide.
Social dysfunction - Having a psychotic illness can be a terrifying experience and it can make maintaining relationships hard. Simple things such as going to social functions and being around loved ones can become distressing and you can end up completely isolating yourself or having a fear of social gatherings. The ability to work or even day-to-day human interactions can become extremely difficult. This can significantly affect your quality of life.
Drugs and substance abuse – It can be hard to cope with this condition. Consequently, in order to cope, substance abuse is a common problem in schizophrenia. This can be avoided when the condition is well-managed with an adequate treatment plan and dedication from both you, as the patient, and the team treating you.
Medication side effects - Some antipsychotic medication has some terrible side effects. This should not stop you from continuing treatment unless advised by your doctor.
Avoid a relapse of your condition by being alert of early signs such as having trouble sleeping, eating less, not concentrating or being disorganized. Late signs may include physical aggression to yourself or others, strange thoughts or smiling for no reason. These signs are warning signs for relapses that can be avoided by taking your medication as prescribed. Continue even when the symptoms have subsided.
Avoid alcohol or any substances that can make the symptoms worse.
Have a good support system. This is very important as other people will objectively keep an eye on symptoms. Manage stress. Exercise is a healthy way to relax.
Ask your doctor for help or more suggestions to manage the illness effectively.
Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window
Reference: Cheng SC, Schepp KG. Early Intervention in Schizophrenia: A Literature Review. Arch Psychiatr Nurs. 2016 Dec;30(6):774-781