Overcoming Schizophrenia: A Guide to Recovery and Resilience

  The recovery of schizophrenia patients is a long-term and continuous process. I write this article in the hope of helping patients and their relatives and friends, especially those who live together, understand the basic rules of recovery, so that they can actively cooperate and participate in standardized treatment and rehabilitation, and achieve the goal of returning to normal social life.
What kind of disease is schizophrenia?

  Schizophrenia is a common mental illness among the general population. Based on relevant global epidemiological data, 5 to 10 out of every 1,000 people will be schizophrenic in a person’s lifetime. It is a type of serious mental illness, one of the common types of “mental illness” that people often call, and it is also one of the most complex diseases in the human body. Its organ base is the brain, and it is a disease of the brain, but pathological changes in physiological functions of the whole body may also occur, which is the complex physiological mechanism of its clinical manifestations.
  The severity and complexity of schizophrenia can be understood from the following three aspects. First, the exact cause and pathogenesis are still unclear, and so far it is not possible to fully explain why individuals get the disease through a simple and direct pathogenesis model. Second, during the disease attack, the patient’s cognitive thinking activities, emotional reactions, and volitional behavior will be significantly damaged, which is reflected in widespread and serious abnormalities and disorders in speech and behavior. Therefore, the patient cannot maintain the level he once achieved and is generally the same age. People’s normal living and working conditions, and the normal life process of individuals are therefore in a state of being “interrupted”. Third, the treatment of this disease is generally difficult. It is difficult for most patients to completely eliminate all symptoms. Half of the patients may develop into a chronic disease state after the first onset of the disease, making it difficult to quickly return to normal society. Functional status, it is one of the main diseases causing mental disability.
What are the goals of recovery?

  The ideal goal of rehabilitation is to achieve and maintain a normal life for ordinary people. Of course, in real life, there are great differences in the specific living conditions between people, that is, people’s living conditions are rich and diverse. So, what is a “normal” life? A basic standard needs to be defined, that is, it should have two things. First, the tone of emotional activities is to be in a state of inner peace and joy, and second, to be able to live on one’s own feet.
  The process of life is inherently dynamic. When people face various actual situations in real activities, they will inevitably have emotional changes of joy, anger, sorrow, and joy. However, under normal circumstances, such changes are directional and fluctuate due to time and events. The fluctuation range, The duration is limited, and can be restored to the “keynote” state at any time and with changes in circumstances. The manifestation of living a self-reliant life is the ability to actively and effectively learn necessary life skills during the minor stage, and the ability to independently obtain economic income to maintain one’s own survival and development as an adult. Due to the division of labor in social life, in some cases, such as “full-time mothers and full-time fathers” who are not uncommon nowadays, although individuals have no direct financial income, they bear the responsibilities that are indispensable for the entire family to maintain a normal life. Affairs, this is also a manifestation of self-reliant living. In summary, the essence of “self-reliance” is the ability to engage in labor activities and to “exchange” contributions with others in social life to obtain other conditions needed for survival and development.
What are the chances of achieving recovery?

  Generally speaking, the proportion of patients with schizophrenia who achieve basic recovery is about 50%. About half of the other patients will have varying degrees of social functional impairment, making it difficult to live a completely independent life. Some patients will also suffer from severe social functional impairment. Severe mental disability. Systemic treatment and active rehabilitation can effectively increase the rate of recovery and reduce the risk of mental disability.

What can be done to achieve recovery?

  It can be said that it is a complex systematic project for schizophrenia patients to achieve recovery and avoid the outcome of mental disability. Among them, the high-level development of social economy and the understanding, tolerance and support of various chronic diseases including schizophrenia by the whole society will help to continuously improve the overall level of schizophrenia rehabilitation. The patient himself and his family can be understood as the “first persons responsible” for recovery. So, what can patients and families do to increase their chances of recovery?
First, establish the concept of full recovery and lifelong recovery

  The occurrence of mental symptoms, that is, the observation of abnormal expressions in speech, expression, behavior, emotions, etc., especially after seeking medical treatment for a clear diagnosis, is the beginning of rehabilitation treatment.
  The concept of full recovery emphasizes all-round coverage from treatment to self-management, and focuses on assisting patients to make full use of various support resources in the community and family environment, so that they can achieve a smooth transition from acute events to chronic stages, maintain a healthy state, and improve Quality of Life.
  Once diagnosed, people with schizophrenia face symptoms and treatment challenges throughout their lives. The concept of lifelong rehabilitation emphasizes formulating corresponding rehabilitation plans for patients with different disease courses to provide lifelong monitoring and rehabilitation support. This philosophy not only focuses on acute treatment, but also emphasizes long-term attention and treatment of patients to ensure the patient’s optimal health.
  You can combine the patient’s specific condition and try your best to do the things you should do in daily life, such as simple household chores such as personal hygiene, washing and mopping the floor, and more complex ones such as course study as a student and responsibilities as a worker. Work tasks, and basic interpersonal interactions, do not intentionally ask patients to avoid these activities for the purpose of “reducing stimulation.”
  After effective treatment, as the mental symptoms gradually reduce and disappear, it is necessary to dynamically assess the recovery of the patient’s abilities in all aspects and enrich his activities in a timely manner to continuously consolidate and expand his abilities in all aspects and enhance his ability to complete daily tasks. Confidence and initiative in essential activities of life.
Second, resolutely implement medical instructions and maintain effective drug treatment

  Drugs are currently an effective and convenient basic treatment for schizophrenia and can be effective for most patients. During the treatment process, it is necessary to cooperate with the doctor to dynamically adjust the drug regimen based on the actual clinical efficacy and adverse reactions. After achieving good curative effect and mild adverse reactions, the symptoms have basically disappeared, and there are no adverse reactions that cause obvious trouble. You must continue to take the medicine and consolidate the treatment to reduce the risk of recurrence. Do not worry about certain possibilities. For example, no adverse reactions have been observed yet, but effective drugs are stopped because of “fear” of adverse reactions. The risk of relapse in schizophrenia is very high and approaches 100% after discontinuation of effective and safe medication. The difficulty of re-treatment after recurrence will increase, and in most cases it is difficult for the condition to reach the ideal state of the initial treatment.
  So how long does drug treatment need to last? Does schizophrenia require lifelong medication? Will long-term medication cause serious adverse reactions? These questions are asked by almost every patient and family member. In a chronic disease like schizophrenia, simple “yes or no” answers to these questions are of little practical significance. A person’s life-long health status and the development and changes of the disease itself are dynamic, and can also be said to advance with the times. The correct explanation for these questions is: Adherence to medication is the basic condition for maintaining a stable condition. The longer the stable state achieved after effective treatment can be maintained, the better; at the same time, adhere to regular follow-up visits and re-examinations, and conduct dynamic observation and evaluation of drug responses. When new health problems arise, promptly assess whether they are adverse drug reactions and deal with them accordingly.
  Due to the complexity of schizophrenia, the proportion of patients who achieve the above-mentioned ideal effects of drug treatment is not the majority. More than half of the patients will have severe adverse reactions while the drug treatment is effective, or the effect will not be obvious. Although this is regrettable, patients and their families should not lose confidence in treatment. They should actively cooperate with doctors’ orders to adjust medications, cooperate with psychological therapy, rehabilitation therapy, and other therapies such as electroconvulsive therapy when necessary. It is still possible to achieve a relative balance between curative effect and adverse reactions. a more satisfactory state. Do not accept treatment, or hope to choose a treatment plan by yourself through self-searching the Internet, remote consultation, etc., and frequently change medications. These practices are even more detrimental to the treatment effect.

Third, bravely face certain experiences of discrimination and overcome the sense of shame

  Combining various aspects of one’s own actual conditions, insist on professional rehabilitation training, such as social skills training, vocational skills training, etc. This is especially necessary for patients who cannot achieve full recovery. Although these training treatments cannot make patients achieve complete recovery, they can reduce the risk of further impairment of patients’ social functions and reduce the proportion of mental disabilities.
  In the daily life of the family, family members should show respect for the patient’s care and regard him or her as an adult with equal personality. They should not overly “take care of themselves” and directly make choices or decisions about their own affairs for the patient. The patient’s personal wishes must be respected, and the patient must be appropriately responsible for taking care of other family members and affairs.

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