I have just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. This is not the life I want for myself. I've got big dreams! How do I achieve them when I have schizophrenia?
My dreams are all shattered now.
Hey, can you give me a minute. I hear you loud and clear. NO, your dreams are not shattered. You can still live a rewarding life even if you live with schizophrenia. You just have to reach out for help.
Encouraging facts about schizophrenia
- Schizophrenia is treatable. Currently, there is no cure for schizophrenia, but the illness can be successfully treated and managed.
- You can enjoy a fulfilling, meaningful life. With the right treatment, most people with schizophrenia are able to have satisfying relationships, work or pursue other meaningful activities, be part of their community, and enjoy life.
- Just because you have schizophrenia doesn’t mean you’ll have to be hospitalized. If you’re getting the right treatment and sticking to it, you are much less likely to experience a crisis situation that requires hospitalization.
- Most people with schizophrenia improve. Many people with schizophrenia regain normal functioning and even become symptom-free. No matter what challenges you presently face, there is always hope.
Here are some tips that can be useful for you:
Get treated and help yourself
Your attitude towards schizophrenia treatment matters. You have to accept your diagnosis. You should not allow people stigmatize you—you are not different from them. Be in constant communication with your doctor about your fears and concerns. Pursue self-help and therapy that helps you manage symptoms. Don’t rely on medication alone. Set and work toward life goals.
In addition, you have to exercise regularly. Rhythmic exercises that involves your arms and legs such as walking, running, and swimming are effective at calming your nervous system. You don't have to go for longer hours, about 10 minutes a day is enough. You should sleep very well, avoid alcohol and illicit drug use, and eat healthy and balanced diets.
Connecting with someone is effective in calming your nerves and relieving stress. It is important to find solace in your loved ones and they have to be trusted. They can be friends or family members. Asking them for support will go a long way in helping you out.
Also, you have to stay involved with others. Continue schooling or working, participating actively in recreational activities and meeting new people. All these can give you a sense of purpose and boost your self esteem. It is important to be in a loving environment where you will be supported through the hard times and not stigmatized.
The day-to-day stress of living with a challenging mental disorder such as schizophrenia can be draining. You have to prevent anything that can trigger your psychotic episodes. Know your limits both at home, work or school. You can use relaxation techniques to relieve stress and manage your emotions well.
Understand the role of medication
Do not abuse your medications in the hope of getting better faster. If you are experiencing side effects, it is better to speak with your doctor. You should never reduce or stop medications on your own.
If you have started treatment, I admire your courage. Well done. If you have not, this is a great chance to start. It is never too late. Talk to a doctor.
Do you think a supportive living environment is important for people living with schizophrenia?
Why do you think so?
Kindly engage and comment. Thank you.
I am a health writer and enthusiastic about improving lives through public dissemination of information about your health.
LinkedIn: Opeyemi Alalade