What do I do as an affected person when I am facing a schizophrenic phase?
As already discussed, very few people consciously perceive their schizophrenia as a disease and cannot interpret the first signs of a relapse as such. If a person has been suffering from schizophrenia for a longer period of time and has a good relationship with his psychiatrist, the benefits of therapy can be shown to him and he can be persuaded to cooperate actively. Such patients are more likely to pay attention to their symptoms and their relapsing-remitting course.
However, they cannot do much more than consult their psychiatrist. The only help in cases of severe schizophrenia is expert care with drug therapy and possible hospitalization. So if a patient notices that a new relapse is imminent, he should contact his therapist as soon as possible. However, it is usually the relatives who notice the first symptoms. or What is schizophrenic psychosis?
What do I do as a relative if I suspect a schizophrenic phase?
Friends and family are usually the first to notice when a person develops schizophrenia or is on the verge of a schizophrenic relapse if the illness continues for a long time. The relatives can therefore usually react more quickly than the person affected. However, since the signs before a relapse vary from person to person, it is not always easy to recognise new symptoms.
Many sufferers know how to hide their illness and often appear completely inconspicuous in everyday life. Only close relatives therefore have a chance to notice the first changes. However, as many patients isolate themselves from their environment due to their illness, there are no close relatives who could recognise a change in symptoms.
It is therefore extremely difficult for both patients and their relatives to recognise an impending relapse. If friends and relatives suspect that the schizophrenia is worsening, they have no choice but to consult their doctor. The quick reaction to a developing relapse therefore usually fails not because of the implementation, but because of the initial recognition of the problem.
What are the signs in children?
Children very rarely suffer from schizophrenia. The onset of the disease is typically in early adulthood, sometimes a little earlier, i.e. in adolescents, but almost never in childhood. Therefore, “typical” is never a word for childhood schizophrenia, not for the actual symptoms and certainly not for the first signs of an acute episode.
The first changes that children show before schizophrenia are therefore neither typical nor clear. In principle, the same symptoms as in adults are possible, above all mood swings, social isolation, cognitive impairments such as concentration problems and so on. However, these can occur with all mental stress and illness, which is why they are not specific indicators of schizophrenia.
However, since all mental illnesses should be treated, especially with such young patients, the most important measure is always a visit to the doctor. Parents usually have a good sense of which mood problems are normal and which are completely atypical. So if a child seems particularly depressed, isolated, overly suspicious or otherwise unusually conspicuous without any apparent reason, he or she should be seen by a doctor.