Schizophrenia is still a widely misunderstood condition. Stereotypes and stigma abound, and many believe that people with schizophrenia are something to fear. While there is no known cure for the condition, there are many things that help with schizophrenia. People living with the disorder have a range of resources available that can let them know how to cope with schizophrenia.
What is Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that impacts a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Certain symptoms make it appear that individuals with the condition have disconnected from reality, making it difficult for friends and family to understand or help.
Without effective treatment, symptoms also make it challenging to manage responsibilities and carry out daily activities. However, proper treatment approaches help with schizophrenia and enable people to participate in work or school, build personal relationships, and achieve independence.
Signs of Schizophrenia
Early recognition is crucial when learning to manage schizophrenia. Signs of the condition begin appearing between ages 16 and 30, usually initiated by the first episode of psychosis.1 Symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three categories: psychotic, negative, and cognitive. Some examples of each include:
- Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting things that aren’t there)
- Delusions (strong false beliefs that often seem irrational to others)
- Thought disorder
- Movement disorder
- Losing motivation
- Losing interest or enjoyment in daily activities
- Withdrawing from social life
- Difficulties showing emotion
- Difficulties functioning normally
- Problems with attention, concentration, or memory
- Having trouble holding a conversation
- Having trouble learning new things
- Having trouble processing new information
How to Cope with Schizophrenia
Studies suggest that prior to treatment, individuals with schizophrenia typically rely on negative coping mechanisms.2 These behaviors provide minor temporary relief but aren’t healthy or beneficial in the long run. Shifting from negative to positive coping mechanisms improves the ability to manage symptoms and provides a higher quality of life.
Although schizophrenia requires additional effort to manage daily life, learning how to cope with schizophrenia is possible. Plenty of resources are available for individuals living with the condition. There are also some coping mechanisms that people can use to achieve relief from troubling symptoms. These include things like reaction control, positive self-instruction, and seeking social support.
Finding the Right Treatment
While learning how to cope with schizophrenia is a useful pursuit, trying to manage it alone can lead to some negative consequences. It’s best to seek specialized mental health treatment when you first notice signs of schizophrenia to develop an individualized treatment plan. Once you find the treatment program that’s right for you, it’s imperative that you continue receiving help for schizophrenia from a licensed mental health professional.
Lifeskills South Florida is a mental health treatment facility that understands the unique challenges that people with schizophrenia face. Our informed and empathetic treatment team provides the high-quality care you need to succeed. If you or a loved one are wondering how to cope with schizophrenia, please call us. We’re here to help you every step of the way, from the first signs until you have a dedicated treatment plan.
You can reach us by calling 954-953-1742 or submitting an online contact form, and an admissions specialist will answer your questions and help you find the program that best suits your needs.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2023). Schizophrenia.
- Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. (2015). Coping strategies and quality of life in schizophrenia.