Many people are not aware of the main schizophrenia symptoms or how to support someone living with the schizophrenia condition. National Schizophrenia Awareness Day on 25 July 2021, aims to make people aware of the challenges faced by people living with a diagnosis of schizophrenia in the UK and worldwide.
Schizophrenia is an often misunderstood condition that provokes fear and unease. This is understandable, but the stigma around schizophrenia is unfair. Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that needs understanding and treatment just as any other health condition does.
Many people believe that someone living with schizophrenia will never get better and cannot live a meaningful and fulfilling life. This is simply not true. With the right care, people living with schizophrenia can live life to the full.
At any one time, around 220,000 people are being treated for Schizophrenia by the NHS in the UK. Statistics suggest that, at some point in life, 1 person in 100 will suffer an episode of Schizophrenia. This means it is likely you will encounter someone who experiences Schizophrenia at some point in your life.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a complex long-term mental health condition. It can cause a range of different psychological symptoms. People living with Schizophrenia may have episodes where they experience few schizophrenia symptoms, interspersed with episodes where their symptoms are severe.
The schizophrenia condition often develops quite slowly, and the early signs are often missed as they are similar to other conditions. Also, the condition often develops during the teenage years which may also make it harder to spot the signs.
Positive and negative schizophrenia symptoms
The symptoms of schizophrenia are usually classified into positive and negative symptoms.
Positive symptoms include changes in behaviours and thoughts and may include delusions and hallucinations. Negative symptoms can be harder to spot as they include a lack of emotions and withdrawal from the world and society.
The most common schizophrenia symptoms
- hallucinations – hearing or seeing things that do not exist outside of the mind
- delusions – unusual beliefs not based on reality
- muddled thoughts based on hallucinations or delusions
- losing interest in everyday activities
- lack of interest in personal hygiene
- wanting to avoid people, including friends.
People living with schizophrenia are treated by community mental health teams. These can be made up of:
- Social workers
- Occupational therapists
- Psychotherapists and counsellors
- Psychologists and psychiatrists
- Mental health nurses
- Support workers
With the right support and treatment, people living with schizophrenia can live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Supporting someone with schizophrenia symptoms
There is no doubt that supporting someone with schizophrenia is challenging. You may experience a range of emotions from fear to sadness, confusion to frustration. Knowing the best way to support your loved one can help alleviate some of these negative feelings. It is also very important to get the help and support that you need as a carer.
Here are some ways you can support your loved one
- Accept the illness and its difficulties.
- Educate yourself about schizophrenia and its treatment
- Work with health professionals to provide support for your loved one
- Monitor medication and side effects
- Do your best to help your loved one feel better and enjoy life.
- Empower your loved one to help themselves
- Reduce stress as much as possible as it can cause symptoms to flare up
- Keep an eye out for warning signs of a relapse and seek medical helps immediately
- Take care of your own needs so that you are better able to support your loved one
Mumby’s Outstanding Live-in Care for Adults with schizophrenia symptoms
Mumby’s mental health live-in care offers full emotional and practical support in the familiarity of your loved one’s own home. Our professional carers build strong relationships and trust with their clients and are on hand to help with the daily tasks that may have become difficult for them and to offer mental health support.
We also offer respite care for carers who need a break from the challenges of caring for a loved one with schizophrenia.
Call our friendly and knowledgeable team on 0800 505 3511 or contact us to find out how we can help and support you or your loved one.