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Spotting the signs of an acute schizophrenic episode

Learning to recognise the signs that you are becoming unwell can help you manage your illness. These can include losing your appetite, feeling anxious or stressed or having disturbed sleep. You may also notice some of the milder symptoms developing, such as feeling suspicious or fearful, worrying about people’s motives, hearing voices quietly or occasionally, or finding it difficult to concentrate. You may also want to ask someone you trust to tell you if they notice your behaviour changing.

Recognising the initial signs of an acute schizophrenic episode can be very useful. It may be possible to prevent a full-blown schizophrenic episode through the use of antipsychotic medicines and extra support.

If you have another acute episode of schizophrenia, your written care plan should be followed, particularly any advance statement or crisis plan. Your care plan will include the likely signs of a developing relapse and the steps to take, including emergency contact numbers.


Avoiding drugs and alcohol

While alcohol and drugs may provide short-term relief from your symptoms of schizophrenia, they are likely to make your symptoms worse in the long run. Alcohol can cause depression and psychosis, while illegal drugs may make your schizophrenia worse.

Drugs and alcohol can also react badly with antipsychotic medicines.

If you are currently using drugs or alcohol and you are finding it hard to stop, ask your care coordinator or GP for help.


Taking your medication

It is important to take your medication as prescribed, even if you start to feel better. Continuous medication can help prevent relapses. If you have any questions or concerns about the medication you are taking or side effects, talk to your GP or care co-coordinator.

It may also be useful to read the information leaflet that comes with the medication about possible interactions with other drugs or supplements. It is worth checking with your healthcare team if you plan to take any over-the-counter remedies, such as painkillers, or any nutritional supplements. This is because these can sometimes interfere with your medication.

 

Regular reviews

As part of the care programme approach, you will be in contact with your healthcare team regularly. A good relationship with the team means that you can easily discuss your symptoms or concerns. The more the team knows, the more it can help you.

 

Self-care

Self-care is an integral part of daily life. It means that you take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing with support from the people involved in your care. Self-care includes the things you do each day to stay fit, maintain good physical and mental health, prevent illness or accidents, and effectively deal with minor ailments and long-term conditions. People living with long-term conditions can benefit enormously if they have support for self-care. They can live longer, have less pain, anxiety, depression and fatigue, have a better quality of life and are more active and independent.


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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.

www.haveigotaproblem.com was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)

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Tips & Hints

  • Spot the signs of an acute schizophrenic episode

    Learning to recognise the signs that you’re becoming unwell can help you manage your illness. These signs can include losing your app...
    More
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol

    While alcohol and drugs may provide short-term relief from your symptoms of schizophrenia, they are likely to make your symptoms worse ...
    More
  • Take your medication

    It is important to take your medication as prescribed, even if you don’t start to feel better immediately. Continuous medication can ...
    More
  • Have regular reviews

    As part of the care program approach, you will be in contact with your healthcare team regularly. A good relationship with the team mea...
    More
  • Self-care

    Self-care is an integral part of daily life. It means that you take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing with support from ...
    More
  • More Tips & Hints