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I recently came across some information which will encourage you today. This information is taken from European Psychiatry 2003; Volume 18:285-289.
As a result of the availability of effective antipsychotic medication and the trend to reduce hospitalization periods for schizophrenics, relatives play now a very important role in taking care of them. Actually, more than half of the patients with chronic schizophrenia live with their caregivers. This obviously means an increased burden for them.
A study now confirms that caregivers of schizophrenia patients are confronted with different types of their behavioral disturbances such as nuisances, threats, or even physical aggression. This is often worsened because of abuse of alcohol or illicit drugs. This burden impacts negatively on the relationship between patient and relative. Yet, a healthy relationship is very importqnt for the outcome of schizophrenia.
Relatives need to learn how to copw with this burden. Family support programs are needed here. Also, relatives should be considered when deciding if hospitalization is needed. They further should be told to maintain their own social life and leisure activities, as these are beneficial to their own mental health. This will help to maintain a well-balanced relationship with the schizophrenic family member.
Well, it is good to visit with all of you again this evening, it is almost midnight, this is one of my late nights. I will sleep late in the morning. I am still on spring break. This is one of the fastest weeks to swiftly past by. I did check with someone about my father tonight and he was seen. So, I know that he is not in the hospital. I also found out that one of my uncles did visit him today. So, despite the fact that I have not spoken to my father since Saturday, I know that he is still alive. I will check later today (it is now midnight) with the psychiatrist and the therapist if they can do something about getting him some help by calling him and getting someone to come to his home. He needs to see a treatment team again before he can go back on Abilify and/or Aricept. We see the same psychiatrist and I have an appointment later today, so I will touch basis with Dr. B. My father realizes that he can call me if he wants, however he chooses not to, and I am not going to play telephone tag with him. He can call some of my other brothers and sisters if he would like to do so. No, I am not bitter, I refuse to get any sicker than I am at this given moment. In my last entry, I told all of you how many things that I have to go through. I also mentioned that I was seeing a GI (stomach doctor on the 15th which was Monday. I am on two new medications in addition to the other medication for other ailments/conditions that I have. So, I am interested in reducing my stress. This whole week my stomach (colon ) has been spastic and has been really symptomatic. I want to return to school next week, only two days a week, 30 minutes each way is the travel time by train. If I can just hang in there from the first class beginning at 8:00 am and the last class ending at 12:50 pm, I will be just fine. If I can let a few more stressors go, I will be just fine. If my father will resume on a regimen of taking his medications, once again I will be just fine! For those of you who are taking care of a schizophrenia patient/consumer and those of you who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, here are some websites that would really help you in addition to this one. Also, you will get a free newsletter as an email and there are so many facets to visit on these two websites. The first one is www.psychiatry24x7.com and the second one is this: www.healthyplace.com. You will find both of them infomative just like www.schizophrenia.com. I will be back to visit all of you on Friday to let you know how my father and I are doing whether we are conversing or whether we are not. I am going to see if my uncle observed any unusual or strange behavior with my father on his visit with him yesterday. Well, I must go now so that I can sleep well and remember: it is so wonderful to have support from family, friends, persons like myself that you don't really know and websites to go to where there are persons like you and I that we really don't know that are willing to share their stories . Until next time, (daughterfirstborn) PS: Friday, I have three appointments, so I will not post my entry until the evening, don't worry, I will be back-I will not forget you good people! DON'T STIGMITIZE-ENERGIZE, DON'T LABEL, YOU ARE ABLE......