According to a Healthgrades, eighty to ninety percent of patients with schizophrenia will experience a post-diagnosis relapse at some point in their lives.
This does not mean, however, that relapses cannot be avoided in some cases.
Here are four important steps to take in preventing a schizophrenia relapse:
Take your medications.
If you are not taking your medications at all, there will, of course, be a great chance that you experience a relapse. However, many people overlook how important it is to not just take their medications but to take them as directed by your doctor.
Pay close attention to the dosage and frequency at which you or your loved one are supposed to take prescribed medication. Without the proper antipsychotic drugs taken in the right way, schizophrenia symptoms can become difficult or even impossible to ignore.
Keep up with your medical and mental health care.
Be sure that you are keeping up with your own or your loved one’s doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, and prescription refills. This way, your doctors and therapists are all up to speed on your care plan and on your most current symptoms or side effects.
Be sure to keep some sort of note-taking systems, such as a journal or a planner, to track appointment dates and times as well as other details of the care plan.
Don’t ignore the warning signs.
If you see a loved one who has schizophrenia falling back into the behavior patterns that they followed around the time of their diagnosis, then it’s time to contact their doctor or therapist.
Some of the telltale signs of schizophrenia include difficulty sleeping, extreme moodiness, talking or whispering to oneself, and difficulty differentiating between reality and imagination.
Don’t wait for these symptoms to worsen.
Have the patient reevaluated early, before symptoms progress and are more difficult to treat.
Live a healthy lifestyle.
Patients should aim to avoid relapses, of course, but that should not be their primary goal. Those with schizophrenia should make changes in their lifestyle that will promote health not only of the body but of the mind.
Some of these changes include eating a healthy diet, exercising for thirty minutes per day, getting enough sleep, and avoiding substances like illegal drugs and alcohol.
While schizophrenia symptoms can hinder a person’s daily habits, the caretakers or loved ones surrounding the patient should see to it that the patient is living as healthily as possible.
If you or a loved one is struggling with mental illness, we are here to help. Contact us for more information about living with schizophrenia and psychosis.