Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects about one out of every hundred people. There are many popular myths and misunderstandings about it. That makes it all the more important to get the facts straight. This blog is for anyone who has Schizophrenia or who has a friend or relative with Schizophrenia. Here you will find:

What it is like to have Schizophrenia

What may cause Schizophrenia

What can be done

Coping with Schizophrenia

Coping with Schizophrenia

It is often difficult for persons with Schizophrenia and their families to accept that the illness is Schizophrenia. At the height of the symptoms, the person with Schizophrenia in fact claims that he is not sick. However, as the reality of the illness starts to be clearer, because the person's behavior is disorganized and he shows hallucinations and delusions, strong emotional reactions start to be experienced. These reactions can be expected. They are shared by people around them, especially their families who oftentimes are also right away burdened by the illness.

What are the common reactions to the diagnosis of mental illness in the family?

a. Denial of the illness
b. Grief/ Sadness
c. Guilt
d. Fear of stigmatization
e. Confusion
f. Failure
g. Shame / losing face
h. Anger
i. Relief

The family of the person with Schizophrenia, and later the person himself, experiences a strong emotional burden as these reactions are experienced. This burden is especially experienced by the family, as they go through their daily lives and they care for the person with the illness at the same time. However it is important to understand that it is necessary to address the burden, find relief from it, in order to cope with the illness and to comply with the treatment.

What can be done to cope with this emotional burden?

An important step in managing Schizophrenia is for the person with the illness and the families to recognize their feelings and reactions. This will help them cope with those feelings. It is helpful to remember that these are normal expected reactions, in the same way as those experienced by those who have serious medical illness. However,  coping with these emotional reactions can drain energy and make progress in treatment difficult. One way to start feeling better is to start working on ways to manage this burden.

How to Cope with Schizophrenia

It should be kept in mind that symptoms can be controlled, and that staying well can be achieved by the person with Schizophrenia, through the help of the family and the doctor. It is to be understood that the illness is nobody's fault. However the person with the illness and his family have the choice of staying well once he/she has recovered.

Next: Schizophrenia Outlook

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