Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that involves symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, abnormal activities or behavior, etc. The intensity of these symptoms varies over time. Sometimes they start getting worse, and for a period, patients see a period of remission. Schizophrenia is usually treated with a combination of medications and psychotherapy that goes on for a lifetime. The treatment keeps going even when the symptoms have subsided. Although there is no cure for schizophrenia, proper medications and therapy can greatly improve one's quality of life.
Perhaps "acceptance" is something that plays a critical role in the recovery from schizophrenia. People with schizophrenia need to accept that they are going through a mental illness that cannot be cured. They should try to learn more about this mental disorder and its symptoms. Different people experience different types of symptoms and their severity. It will be really helpful if you prepare a checklist of your symptoms and take it to all your therapy sessions and medical appointments.
Write down the symptoms you experience in your daily life with schizophrenia and the improvements you observe in your symptoms between different psychotherapy sessions. This will help you discuss all your experiences with your doctor about exactly what is going on in your life with schizophrenia. And above all, it helps you differentiate between reality and symptoms like delusions and hallucinations. Your checklist should include the following:
People with schizophrenia may hear voices in their heads and start acting accordingly. These kinds of symptoms can be referred to as "commentary." Delusions and voices swirl around in your head like a twister. If you educate yourself about the symptom "commentary," it helps you identify what exactly is happening in reality. Now, if you hear this kind of voice in your head, you know it's a part of your schizophrenia.
There is one other symptom labeled as "thought broadcasting." With symptoms like thought broadcasting, people with schizophrenia believe that they have a special power. They think that they can communicate with their minds by making eye contact. They also believe that other people also have that special power to see, hear, and feel their thoughts.
Now, when you feel a "thought broadcasting" symptom in any public place, you can deal with it confidently, knowing that this is just another symptom of schizophrenia and not your reality. This will undoubtedly assist you in ignoring your frequently distracting voices and beliefs.
Sometimes people with schizophrenia see something and have thoughts that those things are connected to them. For instance, if they see a car in the parking lot of their apartment, they feel like that car is there for them or that someone is stalking them in that car. The more they think about that car, the more their concerns feel real and intense to them. This kind of symptom can be identified as paranoid delusions. When people with schizophrenia experience paranoid delusions, they should not react; instead, they should try to distract themselves, knowing that they are just experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia. They should block out all these thoughts and try to divert their minds by doing whatever they love.
There is no doubt that determining reality is the greatest challenge for people living with schizophrenia. The more you educate yourself about this mental disorder and its symptoms, the better you will be able to address this challenge. Now that you know that schizophrenia has identifiable symptoms, you can refer to your checklist in case you are unsure about your reality. Of course, this method is not the best one, and sometimes you may fail to recognize something as a schizophrenia symptom. But having a checklist with proper medications and therapy helps you better understand yourself and the world around you. This way, you will be able to understand and manage your symptoms.