Monday, February 12, 2007

Schizophrenia/handling a relapse/ A schizophernic's advice

The following advice from a sufferer is very useful in giving insight into the relapse of schizophrenia .

wrote:Hi, this is Tiffany again. I just got a new cat. Her name is Dusty, and I took her in, because my mom couldn't keep her. She is SO beautiful. It's unreal. I'll have a picture of her up soon.Her eyes are the prettiest blue I've ever seen. Currently, she's adjusting to her new home, so she's hiding behind the couch. That's the way cats are, I guess.

HANDLING A CRISIS:/RELAPSE: BEING PREPARED:1.) HAVE A DISCUSSION entailing what might happen during the crisis so everyone knows what to expect.2.) KEEP A JOURNAL so that you can keep track of recurring patterns in behavior, so you'll know what to expect.3.) MAKE A PLAN of action with the neighbors to make sure that children, pets, and other individuals can get out of the house to someplace safe when the episode occurs.4.) BE READY TO CALL FOR HELP - this means keeping a charged cell-phone, or some other means of communication, along with a list of important phone numbers.B: TAKE ACTION:1.) GET EMERGENCY MEDICAL HELP as soon as possible. The person having the episode could be a danger to themselves and the people around them.2.) CALL YOUR DOCTOR, therapist, or mental health center immediately. If those aren't options, call 911.3.) STAY CALM4.) ELIMINATE DISTRACTION (such as TV, radio, and shutting windows if outside is noisy)5.) ASK THE PERSON TO SIT DOWN. Don't crowd them. Just ask them calmly ("Let's sit down and talk.") Take a seat also.6.) HAVE ONLY ONE PERSON IN THE ROOM7.) AVOID CONTINUOUS EYE CONTACT AND DON'T TOUCH. On a personal note, I remember earlier in my life that, when I was having an episode, anyone touching me made me extremely stand-off-sh. Didn't like making eye-contact because it made me nervous and upset. It felt like I was being invaded somehow. In my opinion,this is one of the most important factors.8.) SPEAK SLOWLY, calmly, and in a normal voice. In my experience with this disease, nothing would work better than my mom talking tome. Although I still felt scared, when she talked to me like that,it let me know that everything was going to be alright, and that this wouldn't last for long. Also, in my opinion, it helps if the person handling the crisis has a very strong bond with the person having the episode.9.) REASSURE THE INDIVIDUAL and REALLY listen. If anything that person needs at that moment, it's to know that no one is going to hurt them, and everything is going to be okay. It's also important to listen to their fears and what they have to say, even if it sounds ridiculous. Out of every "crazy" thing that might come out of their mouth, it's important to note that some of those things might carry a bit of truth to them, or a connection to a reasonable fear, situation, etc. I know this because I've been there, and,believe me, there's a reason why they think the way they do.10.) TRY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS NEEDED in spite of what's being said. While the person might be scared and want something, that something isn't always healthy. Just as a kid who's allergic to certain foods might want one as a tasty treat, a schizophrenic might want something that may not be healthy for them, and may be base doff of pure delusion.11.) DON'T USE PATRONIZING OR AUTHORITATIVE STATEMENTS. DO NOT CRITICIZE OR THREATEN. This is one that I cannot stress enough.It's not going to help the person having the episode if they become more scare or angry. In fact, it will make things worse. Try to avoid doing that sort of thing. I remember when things like that were done to me. I would become scared, and sometimes, even violent, BECAUSE I was scared. Not a smart thing to do.12.) REPEAT IF NECESSARY and use the same words. If the person isn't paying attention, it might be because the voices are getting in the way.13.) KNOW that the person may not be able to be reasoned with. When was having an episode, I often became scared and nothing would make any sense. I would think that everyone was against me.14.) DON'T BLOCK THE DOOR!!! This is also another one that I'm stressing. My mom did that once so that I wouldn't go out and hurt myself. It only made me feeling like I was trapped and that the people inside with me wanted to hurt me, like I was in a cage and Couldn't get out, even though my mom was only trying to keep me safe.***

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