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Tips to Help You Handle a Crisis With Someone Who Has Schizophrenia

May 8th, 2015

schizophrenia, crisis management

Crisis management can be crucial if you or someone you care about suffers from schizophrenia. This form of mental illness can involve psychotic episodes and psychosis, and there have been cases where someone with this mental disorder has become aggressive and violent due to the voices and other symptoms that can occur. When someone with schizophrenia starts to slide downwards there is no immediate change that is drastic. It may be possible to deescalate things early in the episode so that a full blown crisis does not develop. One important tip is to speak softly and use simple sentences that are easy to understand. Yelling or being loud and aggressive will not help. In fact this will just make things worse by escalating the crisis and making the symptoms more severe.

Crisis management for a loved one with schizophrenia includes understanding what the early warning signs are. When these signs are recognized as soon as they occur it can be easier to prevent a full blown crisis with early intervention and treatment regimen adjustments. Signs of an impending crisis can include sleeplessness, suspicion that may be severe enough to be classified as paranoia, unpredictable behavior, sudden outbursts, and an increase in delusions or in auditory hallucinations such as voices to name a few. The goal of crisis management with schizophrenia is to help the individual regain control. This means not doing anything that agitates the individual or escalates the situation. Usually the individual is already fearful about the loss of control so it is very important to stay calm and to be as soothing as possible when a crisis is impending.

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