in handling such situations, or have members with first-hand experience of your ordeal. They help you beat the stereotypes (which could otherwise lead to the stigmatization and consequent isolation) associated with schizophrenia.
The truth is, when you have a loved one who has schizophrenia, you can never have too much support. There are reliable support groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America (SARDAA), which provide you adequate resources to manage the situation.
Keep a keen eye on the medication
You can’t afford to take your eyes off the medication your loved one is taking. Such supervisory devotion is necessary to ensure that the patient is maximizing the medication’s therapeutic effect and, more importantly, staying on track.
You must advocate that the patient regularly takes his/her prescribed drugs. You can resort to weekly pillboxes, calendars and even medication reminder apps on your smartphone to ensure that there are no breaches. While monitoring their medication, watch out for side-effects. There are countless instances where patients skip their medication owing to undesirable side-effects.
When you notice such discomfiting side-effects, reach out to your doctor immediately and be sure to discuss the possibility of migrating to another antipsychotic, or slashing the previous dosage. There is also the option of counterbalancing the effect with another medication.
Are you noticing any signals of relapse?
Relapses in schizophrenic patients are not uncommon. A halt in medication triggers most of these relapses. Nonetheless, there are isolated incidents wherein a relapse can still occur despite the patient religiously taking their medication. However, some signals can send the alarms bells ringing before a full-blown relapse.
If you can punctually pick out these signs of deterioration, you can forestall such a regrettable relapse. Some of these warning signs include…