Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that is uncommon but severe and chronic in nature. People with schizophrenia have incoherent thoughts and seemed to have lost touch with reality. Schizophrenic people find it hard to adjust in society and caring for them is difficult because of their irrational behavior. Incoherent thoughts make schizophrenic people emotionally unstable and hard to understand. Such people need constant care and most of them can’t survive on their own.
People with Schizophrenia appear to be lost in their own world. When they talk, they don’t seem to make sense because what they say is very far from reality. They experience hallucinations and voices in their head which takes them far from the present. With so much turmoil going on in their heads, they are mostly unable to comprehend what you say to them. Caregivers need to have endless patience to care for Schizophrenic patients.
Schizophrenia is a biological disorder. Scientists have proved that schizophrenia runs in the genes but there is no particular gene that causes the disorder. It could be a combination of genes, hence it is impossible to determine who could develop this disorder. Even people who do not have a family history of schizophrenia could develop an affinity towards the disorder. Schizophrenia is mainly diagnosed between the ages of 16 and 30.
There are many different sub types of schizophrenia, and all of them are tough to handle. What do you as a caregiver do when your ward is having an episode and acting irrationally? It is very confusing for you and you’ll be at your wits’ end searching for the correct way to handle the situation.
The primary fact that you must always remember as a caregiver is that the condition is biological and the patient has no control over their thoughts. Since they are disconnected from reality they perceive that the reality in their imagination is real, you must be respectful about this and give them the benefit of the doubt and support them by maintaining that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and thoughts. Always treat the patient with utmost care and respect. However never condone violence and abuse. If the patient gets violent and abusive then put a stop to it immediately. You have to care about yourself since you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.
Support groups play a huge role in helping schizophrenic people and their caregivers. Search for a support group near you. When the patient interacts with more people of their kind, they will feel more a part of society rather than outcasts. As a caregiver when you mix with other caregivers, you will hear other stories and learn new ways to handle the patient and better ways to take care of yourself too.
As a caregiver, you must keep yourself in high spirits as life can get very exhausting. Take some time out for yourself too in the day. Producing endless patience and compassion from a limited capacity is a Herculean task. Pat yourself on the back sometimes for doing the best you can for your loved ones.