Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Living with Schizophrenia: It's Not Easy but It can be Done

Schizophrenia is a lifelong psychiatric disorder. More than having split or multiple personalities, schizophrenia causes people afflicted with it to live in imagined realities and contend with excessive paranoias over which they have no control. Science and medical studies have yet to produce a medicine that can permanently cure the imbalances in the brain chemicals that trigger the disorder – and until then, schizophrenics have to learn to live with the condition.

If you are afflicted with schizophrenia, do not lose hope. Managing the condition is not easy but it can be done with the right medications and life techniques. In fact, there are several famous and accomplished personalities who have have to battle with schizophrenia throughout their adult lives. Some of these notable persons include the Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash of “A Beautiful Mind” and famous athletes Andy Goram (former football goalkeeper, now coach to Scotland's Clyde Football Club) and Lionel Aldridge, a Superbowl winner. Several musicians of note have also been diagnosed with schizophrenia but nevertheless moved on to make better name for themselves like Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green and Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett. If they can do it, you can also turn your life around and start living to the fullest despite having schizophrenia. Here are some tips to make your situation more manageable:

1.Seek comprehensive medical care.

While most schizophrenics opt for outpatient care, you can also choose to get into a rehabilitative facility dedicated to schizophrenia until you learn how to control symptoms. In these centers, you will be taught of life skills and management techniques that can help you cope with your condition. These centers are also equipped with expert doctors and psychiatrists that can help treat your symptoms. If you do not want to stay in a center, you can get the same benefits by working with a medical team that you feel comfortable with. Be open about your symptoms, thoughts, and anything that enters your head regardless of whether you think it is imagined or not. Opening communication lines with your health care provider can save you from trouble in the long run.

2.Be religious in taking your medications.

While medications like Geodon, Abilify, and antidepressants only serve to control schizophrenia symptoms, they are useful in preventing relapses and even worser episodes. Do not let the skyrocketing costs of medicines today prevent you from taking your medications properly since you can order prescription drugs online and save money. Take your medications even if you do not feel any symptom or haven't had an attack in recent times. These medications can help you feel better and prevent further brain chemical imbalances from occurring.

3.Modify your lifestyle to a healthier one.

If you still indulge in habits like using drugs and drinking alcohol, stop them. These substances can negate the effects of your medications and make your symptoms worse. Smoking can also have the same effect and contribute to increased schizophrenic episodes. You can also explore healthy ways to channel your energy, such as hobbies, exercise, and recreational activities. As always, a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you on your way to recovery.

Resource Box:

Kristine Anne Gonzaga is a content writer and researcher who specializes in health topics and health-related issues. She delights in finding tips and ideas on simple and practical health care and sharing them through her writing.

No comments: