Schizophrenia is a Mental health disorder that profoundly affects functioning and quality of life. While available antipsychotics have improved outcomes for individuals with schizophrenia, they are relatively ineffective for negative and cognitive symptoms and are associated with a range of troublesome side effects.
What does it look like to live with Schizophrenia?
Living with schizophrenia brings a unique set of challenges. Here’s what daily life might look like for someone with schizophrenia:
Feeling anxious or stressed, having disturbed sleep, feeling suspicious or fearful, worrying about people’s motives, hearing quiet voices now and again, and finding it difficult to concentrate, reduced appetite are the most common signs and symptoms. However, some people experience almost no symptoms, while others experience them almost all of the time. During stressful times Schizophrenic symptoms may become more apparent, intense.
How to tackle daily challenges and prevent relapse?
Many people with schizophrenia have developed coping techniques to manage their symptoms. For example, they might arrange things around the house in a certain way that helps their brain think, or use a highlighter to colour code text to read easier. Additionally, Schizophrenic episodes can be treated by:
It’s important to take prescribed medication, even if the person starts to feel better. Continuous medication can help prevent relapses.
Maintaining good physical and mental health is crucial. This includes having a balanced diet, taking regular exercise, avoiding too much stress, alcohol, substances and having a regular sleep pattern.
Regular check-ups with a healthcare team are essential. Having a good relationship with the team means the person can easily discuss their symptoms or concerns.
The symptoms of schizophrenia can make it difficult to participate in usual, everyday activities. However, with effective treatments, many people who receive treatment can engage in school or work, achieve independence, and enjoy personal relationships.
What are the current challenges to treat Schizophrenia?
Current antipsychotics mainly target positive symptoms(changes in behaviour or thoughts, such as hallucinations or delusions), but not/ or inadequately negative and cognitive symptoms(where people appear to withdraw from the world around them, take no interest in everyday social interactions, and often appear emotionless and flat). Additional challenges include non-adherence and adverse effects (drowsiness, restlessness, metabolic effects and more).Residents of St Martin of tours have shared that when they start to feel better they stop taking medication or that they can feel paranoia around medication while others experience adverse effects that impact their lives.
What St Martin’s provides to support vulnerable adults that suffer with Schizophrenia?
- Constant monitoring of symptoms and side effects of prescribed medications that treat
- Medication administration, training for all residents in order to ensure adherence, confidence and achieve self-administration.
- Encourages non-pharmacological treatments for Schizophrenia through Psychotherapy meetings with Community Mental Health Teams, Mental Health Crisis Teams, Community Psychiatric Nurses, Care Programme Approaches and more.
- Offers various activity groups that promote wellness, exercise, creativity and practise proactive communicational skills, anger management, understanding and expressing emotions as well as impact on self and others.
- Promotes socialising with peers, family and Mental Health Key Professionals that residents can talk to anytime on a 24/7 basis and seek support.
- Provides healthy and balanced diet options, advise and collaboration with Nutritionists in request.