Daily Challenges For People With Schizophrenia

The first step to understanding the daily challenges of people with schizophrenia is to be aware of the complexity of the disorder, taking into account positive and negative symptoms. It is also important to listen to those who suffer from schizophrenia.
Daily challenges for people with schizophrenia

The list of daily challenges for people with schizophrenia is long and includes biological, psychological and social problems. In addition to living with their symptoms, people with schizophrenia are also faced with misunderstanding and social stigma.

Everyone who has a disorder faces challenges in their daily lives. However, when one has a mental illness, one must also live with other things like social stigma and misunderstandings.

In a Spanish documentary entitled ” Follow the Challenge of Schizophrenia”,  Eduard Punset interviewed neuropsychiatrist Maria Ron. In this interview, she suggested another method so that people with schizophrenia could understand and live with their disorder.

symptoms of schizophrenia are illustrated by woman

The documentary is particularly critical of topics such as diagnosis and labels, generalized pharmaceutical treatments, social stigma, as well as the lack of therapeutic alternatives that could help the patient become reintegrated into society.

The experts believed that it should not be seen as an individual problem, but as a societal problem instead. Furthermore, they argue that this is far too complex to be reduced to a simple diagnosis.

Types of symptoms

According to professor Maria Ron, schizophrenia is characterized by symptoms that manifest differently and in periods from patient to patient. There are two types of symptoms:

  • Positive symptoms. These can be hallucinations, thought disorders, etc.
  • Negative symptoms. This type of symptom has to do with social behavior and mood. Because they affect such important areas, they have a particular impact on patients with schizophrenia. Some of the symptoms are: Apathy, unhappiness, decreased social desire, depressive thoughts, lack of motivation, difficulty staying with a thought and speech, as well as inattention to social or cognitive outputs.

Overall, prescription medications are effective in treating positive symptoms, but are not very useful for the negative symptoms. People with schizophrenia experience the greatest benefits when their treatment is multidimensional, combining medication with therapies such as cognitive stimulation, music therapy, relaxation techniques, etc.

A handful of pills for people with schizophrenia

We should also emphasize the importance of adapting treatment to the needs of the individual patient. There is, when it comes down to it, no overall presentation of schizophrenia; all patients experience it differently. Therefore, there is also no “one-size” approach to treatment.

Risk factors

Genetic predisposition is one of the most important risk factors. There are other things that come into play, such as;

  • Drug use
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Stressful life events
  • Overexertion
  • Competitiveness
  • Social factors
  • Separation from mother in early childhood
  • Father’s age at conception
  • Low IQ. According to some studies, people with a low IQ are more likely to develop schizophrenia.

It is important to listen to people with schizophrenia

Many people and projects work to tell the public about schizophrenia and help the patient get back into society. They also help provide help for the negative symptoms of the disease (they are more resistant to medication).

In Spain, one of these projects is called Radio Nicosia. Its mission is to encourage open and honest dialogue around schizophrenia. The radio project offers a safe place where patients and others who are affected by this disorder can feel part of something, break free from the “mentally ill” label and feel wanted and understood.

At the same time, it allows patients to show that they are different from their disease. 

Painting of woman experiencing cognitive impairment in schizophrenia

Some people living with schizophrenia criticize the standardization of diagnosis and medication. Professional therapists often use similar criteria and treat patients the same without taking into account gender, age, weight and other factors.

Many people with schizophrenia believe they are dangerous, although all data show that these patients rarely commit crime. Often one will draw out the schizophrenia if one cannot find other motives for a criminal act.

That said, some criminal acts are a result of schizophrenia. Or to put it another way; patients with schizophrenia who commit crime often have paranoid hallucinations at the same time. They feel threatened by a danger that they think is real. However, this is a relatively rare phenomenon.

Daily challenges for people with schizophrenia

People with schizophrenia believe that the key to finding a cure is going to the root of the problem. Unfortunately, most treatment focuses on relieving sudden onset of symptoms. The goal is simply to reassure the patient and make sure he or she does not bother others.

Patients with schizophrenia encourage the medical community to listen and work with them to create a tailored treatment for the individual patient.

Lonely woman in sunlight

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