Teen Schizophrenia: 13 Habits to Avoid Relapse
Just as in recovering from an addiction, an adolescent suffering from teen schizophrenia can also experience a relapse. Once the symptoms of schizophrenia are stabilized, there is still a chance that your psychological and emotional well being deteriorates. It’s a quick downward spiral from poor thinking to feeling awful to making unhealthy choices to suddenly participating in risky and dangerous behaviors.
In order to avoid a relapse of the symptoms of your mental illness, and these could be the presence of hallucinations, delusions, and other distortions in thoughts and feelings, the following is a list of 13 healthy habits to stay on track and healthy.
- Take medication as prescribed by your psychologist. Perhaps this is obvious. Yet, teens will argue, avoid, and even lie about taking their medication. Some adolescents might do what is known as cheeking, which is a way of looking like he or she is swallowing a pill, only to hold it against their cheek long enough to throw it away when alone. It’s true that medication might make you feel different, but that is a small tradeoff for psychological stability.
- Go to all of your therapy sessions. Yes, those who have been diagnosed with schizophrenia go to therapy. It might sound odd, but therapy has been proven to be successful. At the very least, it is an opportunity to have the support you need to manage your life well.
- Keep your appointments with your primary care physician. Staying physically healthy is an important part to avoiding relapse. The mind and body are inherently linked. By taking care of one, you help to care for the other. Furthermore, the side effects that you experience from medication will be minimized as long as you stay in optimum physical health.
- Reduce stress. Regardless of whether you have a mental illness, stress plays a significant role in all facets of one’s health – psychological, emotional, and physical.
- Take one step at a time. Once you’re feeling stabilized, you might feel like you want to take on the world. You’re meeting your short-term goals and you feel like you’re getting better. However, trying to take on too much adds to higher levels of stress and, as mentioned above, this can be a weight that pulls you back down into relapse.
- Participate in activities that are enjoyable. When you are feeling joyful and content with your life, everything seems to look and feel good. Focusing on what brings you happiness versus the challenges of your mental illness can support living a happy life.
- Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Of course, not only can drugs and alcohol interfere with your medication, it can also lead to poor emotional and physical health.
- Eat foods that are healthy for you. This is another habit that will support your physical well being.
- Exercise ten to twenty minutes each day. Movement keeps the body active, alive, and flowing. Exercise reduces stress and promotes a healthy mind.
- Talk with your family and friends about your illness. Having parents, friends, and family members around you to discuss challenges with your mental illness can be incredibly supportive.
- Know all of your warning signs. If you know yourself well enough, you’ll know what you need to do to avoid a relapse.
- Build a routine. A routine can help you sleep, eat, work, and play at certain times of the day. It is common for adolescents and adults with schizophrenia to lose sleep when a relapse is approaching. The loss of sleep is often the first symptom of a downward spiral. Maintaining a schedule can support your physical health.
Although you might think that once you have been out of the hospital for a while and your psychological symptoms have stabilized, you can still be prone to a relapse. The above list can facilitate avoiding a relapse and support an overall healthy life style, even with the many challenges of schizophrenia.
– By Robert Hunt
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