Coping With Schizophrenia: How To Help A Loved One

If you have a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia, you may feel lost, confused and helpless. This mental disorder can completely alter your loved one, making it difficult to understand him or her. It's normal to feel angry, frustrated and downright mad; however, the worst thing that you can do is express these emotions toward your loved one. Remember, schizophrenia is a clinical mental disorder and the actions of your loved one are completely out of his or her control. Your loved one is ill and the best thing that you can do is be supportive.

Wondering how you can successfully support a loved one who is suffering with schizophrenia? Here are some helpful suggestions.

Learn About Schizophrenia

Learning about this mental disorder will allow you to understand how affects your loved one. When you understand the condition and its side effects, you can make the best decisions for your loved one, including ways to effectively manage the illness.

Be Proactive

Help your loved one get the treatment that he or she needs, including continuing psychotherapy services, medication and hospitalization, should it be needed. Being proactive will ensure that your loved one gets the help that he or she needs in order to return to a state of normalcy.

Be Supportive and Encouraging

Always offer support and encouragement. Encourage him or her to continue with treatment and be supportive throughout the process. Go to appointments. Talk to him or her. Offer a lending hand. If your loved one doesn't feel supported or encouraged, he or she may regress, refuse treatment and the disorder could become all-consuming. All too often, individuals who suffer from schizophrenia and don't receive support or encouragement end up living on the streets, in jail or worse. Keep this in the forefront of your mind when times get tough and you feel like giving up.

Be Understanding

Remember that your loved ones actions, beliefs and statements are out of his or her control. When he or she utters a bizarre statement or claims to see something that clearly isn't there, remember that that to him or her, that statement seems quite real and that the object that you don't see is really there.

While you may think that agreeing with your loved one may be best, it can actually progress the disorder. Instead of agreeing, tell your loved one that you don't have the same views or that you don't see things the same way. This can help your loved one to understand that those bizarre thoughts and sights are the result of schizophrenia and aren't reality.

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder and coping with it can be quite difficult. By being proactive, supportive and knowledgeable, you can help your loved one down the road to normalcy. For further assistance, contact an outlet offering services, such as Newsome & Associates, Ltd.