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How do I care for someone with disorganized schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
You can care for someone with disorganized schizophrenia by showing compassion and sympathy and by learning as much as you can about the illness. Encourage the person to get treatment and take his medications as directed. Encourage the person to participate in therapy and support groups. Help the person find hobbies or activities to help  channel his energy. Work with his doctor to help him manage stress and find coping techniques for his symptoms. 
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

It is never easy caring for a sick loved one. It takes a lot of strength, love, and patience to do what you are doing. When caring for anyone, especially those with schizophrenia, it’s important to understand the disease in general and the characteristics associated with the subtype. It can help to sit in on appointments to see what the doctor or therapists talk about. They may be able to help you, too, by giving you tips or signs and symptoms to look out for. If this is not possible, seek out family therapy or group therapy opportunities. You and your loved one can go together, discuss the illness, and learn ways for both of you to cope.

And don’t forget to share the love! Continuing to dish out love and acceptance makes a world of difference.

And one more thing, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Managing your stress and ensuring your well-being makes caring for loved ones much easier and more effective, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may be able to get more tips from support groups for family members of patients with mental illnesses. Don’t forget to exercise, eat by avoiding the five food felons, and keep in touch with friends and out of touch with tobacco. None may be easy, but you’ll be able to care for better and show more love for the ones you care about if you care for yourself.

People with disorganized schizophrenia have trouble understanding what is really going on. They also have trouble managing their symptoms enough to function on a daily basis. Because of this, if you're caring for someone with disorganized schizophrenia, it is important that you understand the symptoms of the disorder and their implications for the lives of the people you are caring for. Because the person you are caring for likely won't know that anything is wrong, you have to be aware of what generally signifies a psychotic break. You must also encourage the person you are caring for to take the prescribed medications; if the person you are caring for refuses to take these medications, it is important that you call the doctor for a recommendation. A person with disorganized schizophrenia often shows inappropriate or no emotion. Understanding this and other aspects of the disorder can help you be a better caretaker. Join a support group or read to learn more about this condition.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.