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Patient Review Highlights
Chronic health disorders like Schizophrenia affect not only the patient, but also the life of their care givers. Though Schizophrenia can be treated to improve the patient's quality of life, it cannot be cured. Hence, it falls on the care giver's shoulders to watch out for symptoms of this disease and manage the person and their disorder. What should one do in such a case?
- Educate yourself: The first step towards looking after a person with Schizophrenia is to know the symptoms of the disease. With treatment, these may become better or worse so if you notice any change in the symptoms, bring it to your doctors notice at once.
- Reduce stress: Your goal as a schizophrenic person's caregiver should be to give them a calm environment and boost their confidence. Stress has a negative effect on all people and in schizophrenics this effect is much worse. Hence reduce stress and create an effective support system and structured environment for your loved one.
- Do not ask the patient to change 'his reality': When a person is suffering from schizophrenia, you should not force them to change their behaviour and reality, in order to adjust in the society at large. You should rather support the patient to accept his reality, to be at peace, since there is a very strong genetic component involved in its aetiology. Also, it is important that, both the patient and the family in particular should opt for regular counselling sessions.
- Regular exercise: Schizophrenics need not be cooped up in the house all day. Encourage the patient to go outside and exercise regularly. Exercise reduces stress and produces endorphins that make a person feel energized and happy. This should be complemented by a healthy diet. Minimize the amount of carbs and sugar intake and increase the amounts of omega 3 fatty acids in the patient's diet.
- Join a support group: Joining a support group is a very good idea for both the patient and the caregiver. For the patient, this provides a form of social interaction and for the caregiver is a platform to meet people with similar first hand experiences
- Encourage treatment: Convincing a Schizophrenic person to seek treatment can be quite challenging. Suggest treating symptoms of the disorder such as insomnia problem and lack of energy rather than the disease itself to make the patient feel more comfortable. Give the patient options to choose from to make them feel more in control of the situation.
- Monitor medication: Once the treatment has started, ensure that the patient sticks to the prescription. Maintain a regular schedule by using weekly pill boxes and alarms. Also keep an eye on the possible side effects of these medicines. Ensure that your doctor has a complete list of medicines that the patient takes so that there is no chance of medicines interacting negatively with each other.
- Prepare for crisis situations: It is always a good idea to have an emergency plan in place. Keep emergency contact details of all the doctors and therapists at hand along with the address and phone number of the closest hospital. Share your situation with friends and family so that in case of an emergency, they can be relied upon to take care of your children and other dependants.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a specilized psychiatrist and ask a free question.
Here are detail about how to live and cooperate with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.
I am 21 years old male. I was suffering from depression for more than 4 yrs. I am left handed person, I saw in Internet the depression stress is common for left hander person (researcher said) whether it is true or not sir? How to solve depression problem in life. And also I was affected from psoriasis how to cure this.
Recently my 2nd sister passed away. I have one more younger sister. Since childhood we grown up together. Both my sister's were attached too much. Now sudden loss has made her very depressed. She often text or Watsapp to the number of passed away sister. She says that she to want to meet her and and ask her to take with her. I am afraid of her condition. Please do the needful.
Life is constant game of changes and people who can adapt to it and move on generally tend to find their pockets of happiness. From bad finances to lack of love to a near ones loss, each of us constantly face struggles that can leave us drained and depressed. People often work on these external factors to find their happiness. Those who suffer from depression as an illness though find it taking over multiple spheres of their lives disabling them from doing routine tasks with ease. Depression, like other diseases, can also have a biological origin.
Several theories concerning the biologically based cause of depression have been suggested over the years. Simply put, chemical imbalance in the brain can be a trigger to depression. As the 'command center' of our body, the brain uses a number of chemicals as messengers to communicate with other parts of itself and with the nervous system. These chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters are released and received by the brain's nerve cells called neurons. Neurons are constantly communicating with each other by way of exchanging neurotransmitters. This communication system is essential to all of the brain's functions.
Among the biological causes of depression, the most prominent and widely researched is the monoamine hypothesis. The three main monomine triggers of imbalances that trigger depression are neurotransmitters called serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Serotonin regulates functions like sleep, aggression, eating, sexual behavior, and mood. Similarly, the catecholamine hypothesis suggests that a deficiency of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine (also known as noradrenaline) in certain areas of the brain was responsible for creating depressed mood. Norepinephrine helps our bodies to recognize and respond to stressful situations.
Dopamine plays in important role in helping each of us seek out our 'high' or 'pleasure' from rewards. Low dopamine levels may in part explain why depressed people don't derive the same sense of pleasure out of activities or people that they did before becoming depressed.
Another leading cause of clinical depression is focused on the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for making hormones and releasing them into the blood to regulate processes like reaction to stress and sexual development. Hormonal irregularities may lead to depressive symptoms like loss of appetite and sleep. It is further observed that those who have particular endocrine disorders sometimes develop depression, and some individuals who are depressed develop endocrine problems despite having healthy glands.
In a research done among depressed individuals, over half had a hormone called cortisol in excess in their body and abnormal times of secretion.
Depression can have many triggers and origins and it is important to see the right doctor who can treat the cause, triggers and symptoms in addition to the disease. Depression has a genetic predisposition. Also, the faulty thought pattern alters the physiology by upsetting the hormonal balance. Psychological professional help should be a priority in depression and its role should not be under emphasized.