What can we do to help a relative living with schizophrenia?

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When a family member is diagnosed with schizophrenia, that person can play an extremely important role in supporting the ill family member and providing appropriate care.1

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In order to provide appropriate support for the family member with schizophrenia, it is very important to understand this disease as much as possible. The treating physician should be prepared to answer possible questions of the family related to schizophrenia and its treatment.

It is common that a patient living with schizophrenia is unable to communicate during the evaluation. In certain cases, only one family member is aware of the patient’s unusual behavior or thoughts. For this reason, his or her presence can be useful during visits to the doctor. The relative of the patient with schizophrenia can also help with the family’s medical history and the medications taken by the patient.

Family members may also have questions concerning the medications, their side effects, long-term health risks and the need of hospitalization. It might be useful if family members write down the questions and have a piece a paper and a pencil to take notes during the discussion with the doctor.

  • References

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