Living with Schizophrenia is like climbing a slippery slope. You make a little progress one day and the next day you wake up feeling irritable and are late for school, work or a doctor appointment. You can't seem to stay on task because your attention wanders all over the place.
At first, a diagnosis of Schizophrenia is overwhelming. The point is to keep climbing. You'll have some good days and some not-so-good days. Try to realize you only live one day at a time. Do what you can today and take care of tomorrow when it comes.
It's difficult to admit this debilitating mental illness just happened to you. You did not do anything wrong. There is nothing you can do to change the diagnosis. But there are things you can do to adapt to living with Schizophrenia.
You will need supportive people to help you with activities of daily living (ADL). Even if you've always been an independent person, it's ...view middle of the document...
Things that used to come easy - like making a grocery list and shopping for food - may be confusing and bring on unneeded stress. Your family support members can observe the times when your behavior gets overly distracted or erratic.
Everybody, your doctors, your family and friends and your relationship partner wants help you get better. Try to let go of any guilt feelings that you are taking too much of their time. Give yourself permission to lean on them.
For instance, delusions and hallucinations are characteristic symptoms of Schizophrenia. Just because your medical team has explained that hallucinations, such as voices or scary sounds in your head are not real doesn't make them shut-up.
Talk about the voices with your family. They can reassure you that the "people" living in your head are non-existent – as many times as it takes. It's a good idea to ask a family member to help with ways to divert your attention when you start hallucinating, such as uplifting audio tapes, playing games on the computer, taking a walk and so on.
Delusions are beliefs that do not withstand the light of logic. The easiest way to understand delusion is by comparing it with the "boogie man" who frightens little children. Parents look under the bed and in the closet, but no boogie man is there and the child is comforted.
It would be wonderful good if your parents could prove your delusions aren't real. But they can't and you can't, due to your malfunctioning brain. Your antipsychotic medicine may have stopped working or it may not be the best medicine to help you. If you aren't being treated by a mental health professional, consider starting therapy.
Ask your doctor about ongoing clinical trials or research studies that focus on living with Schizophrenia. Generally, topics include setting recovery goals, managing symptoms, interacting socially. You can gather coping tools that help you navigate that slippery slope!
If none are available in your area, Schizophrenia self-help groups are an auspicious alternative. You'll meet potential friends in group who share similar challenges; some already living with Schizophrenia.