Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tips on Staging a Schizophrenia Intervention

If you are living with or taking care of someone who is suffering from schizophrenia, you know that the best way to prevent a full-blown episode from turning into a crisis is to head it off while it is just starting. If you are not sure how to approach the situation, read on for some tips on staging a schizophrenia intervention:

1.Pay attention to symptoms.

Schizophrenic episodes are rarely instantaneous. The episodes usually start off with a slow build up before the patient's paranoia boils over. While ritualistic obsessions and fixations, suspiciousness, restlessness, and aggressiveness are not threatening on their own, watch out for these symptoms as they are likely prelude to an episodes. Start the intervention process as soon as you notice these symptoms. Waiting for the actual episode will just make it doubly harder to get the patient under control.

2.Encourage the person to talk.

Before his paranoia takes over fully, set aside a time to talk with the patient in a non-threatening environment. Approach the patient gently and express your concerns in a manner that is caring and non-judgmental. This is an excellent opportunity to get the patient to open up to you about the things that bother him; regardless whether these are real or imagined. If the patient refuses to talk, do not badger or force him, but let him know that you can be trusted should he need help.

3.Get the patient to take his medications.

Anti-schizophrenia drugs like Geodon and Abilify can be easily bought as discount drugs from an online pharmacy as long as you have a prescription. These drugs can help stabilize the imbalances in the patient's brain which can help him cope and get out of his imagined reality. If the patient refuses to take or has stopped taking his medications, call his doctor to ask for alternative means of getting the patient to take the drugs. The longer the patient is off his medication, the harder it will be to manage the episode.

4.Keep the patient away from cigarettes, alcohol, and other drugs.

Closer to the episode, the patient may exhibit signs of brooding and isolation. During this time, it is best to keep possibly dangerous objects out of sight like guns, knives, and other potential weapons. It is also best to get rid of cigarettes, alcoholic drinks, and other dangerous drugs. You can also keep them away from where the patient might get them. These substances can make episodes worse by furthering the hallucination and making the patient jumpy. Aside from these effects, these substances may also negate the effects of the medications.

5.Inform the doctor of your suspicions about an impending episode.

The crisis team at the local hospital can help you just in case an episode goes out of hand and the patient loses control. Informing the patient's doctor beforehand about your suspicions of an impending episode can help the crisis team get to the patient before the situation turns ugly. You and his doctor can even work together into luring or convincing the patient to get further treatment without him resorting to schizophrenia-induced violence.

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Kristine Anne Gonzaga is a content writer and researcher who specializes in health topics and health-related issues. She delights in finding tips and ideas on simple and practical health care and sharing them through her writing.

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