What is schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by delusions, hallucinations, distortions in thinking, emotional and behavioral changes.
- A delusion (or delusions) that lasts a month or longer.
- Delusion: the patient makes a false inference or interpretation of the actual environment without sufficient evidence and firmly believes in it.
- Hallucination: a perception that occurs without external stimuli. For example, there is no real sound or image, but the sound is heard or the image is seen. Common hallucinations include auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations, tactile hallucinations, and olfactory hallucinations, all of which can be associated with delusional themes.
- After getting sick, some patients may become more isolated, withdrawn, refusing to go out or communicate with others. They tend to have low self-esteem, laziness, poor hygiene, no motivation for work, poor living arrangements, etc. As long as they actively receive psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation, there is a chance that the aforementioned symptoms could improve.
Tips for a normal life in the community
- Regular return visits
After being discharged from hospital, the patient should return to the outpatient clinic on schedule and receive continued treatment, so as to identify and solve any problems as soon as possible.
- Take medication on schedule
According to statistics, half of the schizophrenic patients will relapse within 6 months after discontinuing the medication, while 80% will relapse a year after stopping the medicine. Therefore, taking medicine according to doctor's orders can reduce the possibility of recurrence.
- Regular lifestyle
Patients can discuss their schedule with the therapist, doctor or family members, and follow the schedule regularly. The schedule, for example, can include doing moderate exercise or gymnastics, helping with moderate housework, and engage in casual conversations.
Ability is affected in variable degrees after illness. Rehabilitation can help stabilize the patient’s function, and help those who are in a stable state or have recovered to reduce the disability caused by the disorder. For example, sheltered workshops offer occupational rehabilitation for chronic psychiatric patients so that they can return to society as soon as possible.
- Regular contact with a psychiatrist and other medical staff
Individual psychotherapy, family therapy and group therapy are needed to enhance problem-solving skills, cope with stress and adapt to various changes after illness.
- Utilization of social resources
Psychiatry departments at hospitals offer psychiatric counselling and services. In addition, you can also join the support groups related to mental health based in different counties and cities to enhance the knowledge and protect your rights and interests.
- Pay attention to early warning signs
The patient may have some warning signs before the recurrence of the disease, such as intense tension, anxiety, uncontrollable emotions, inability to concentrate, and inability to sleep. For any of the above situations, it is advised to seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid recurrence of the disorder.
If there are still overt self-injury, suicide, aggress or serious debilitation, it is necessary to discuss the necessity of hospitalization with the attending psychiatrist as soon as possible. In addition to professional medical care, inpatient treatment can strengthen environmental protection and restrictions, and stabilize the condition sooner.
Social resources in the central region
- Mental Rehabilitation Association of Taichung: No.542, Jianxing Rd., Taichung City; (04)2206-0212