Schizophrenia Health (cont.)

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Schizophrenia Treatment

Self-Care at Home

Home care for a person with schizophrenia depends on how ill the person is and on the family or guardian's ability to care for the person. The ability to care for a person with schizophrenia is tied closely to time, emotional strength, and financial reserves.

In spite of these possible barriers, basic issues to address with people with schizophrenia, include the following:

  • First, ensure that your loved one is taking prescribed medications. One of the most common reasons that people with schizophrenia relapse into a new episode is that they quit taking medication. Family members might see much improvement and mistakenly assume medications may no longer be needed. That is a disastrous assumption. A later psychotic outbreak will likely happen.
  • The family should provide a caring, safe environment that allows for as much freedom of action as is appropriate at the time. Any hostility in the environment should be reduced or eliminated. Likewise, any criticism should be reduced.

Medical Treatment for Schizophrenia

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This is a time of hope for people with schizophrenia as well as for their families. New and safer medications are constantly being discovered, thus making it possible not only to treat symptoms otherwise resistant to treatment (such as negative or cognitive symptoms) but to considerably diminish the side-effect burden and to improve the quality and enjoyment of life.

Hospitalization and antipsychotic medications are the treatments of choice for patients experiencing acutely psychotic episodes in which they are obviously a danger to themselves and others, due to either suicidal or homicidal ideation or inability to take care of their basic needs. Hospitalization is essential.

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