What exactly are the effects of schizophrenia on the people who are afflicted with this disease as well as their loved ones and friends who have to watch them suffer through it?
Initially, the effects of schizophrenia will be limited with behavior only slightly changed, but in no way disruptive. But over time, when ignored or without proper treatments, schizophrenia can have a massive negative impact on a person’s life and the lives of those around him or her.
Common possible effects of schizophrenia include
Schizophrenia will cause a sufferer to withdraw and isolate himself or herself, drastically affecting relationships with family and friends. In cases of paranoia schizophrenia, the afflicted person may become suspicious or even hostile towards those he or she is close to.
2. Risk of suicide attempts
Patients with schizophrenia are more likely to try taking their lives. At all times, take any mention of suicide by them seriously and have your doctor or case worker look into it.
3. Problems with drug abuse and alcohol
Schizophrenics will tend to turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve their symptoms and self-medicate. This condition is known as dual diagnosis. Heavy smokers with schizophrenia who turn to smoking for the same purpose will in fact will reducing the ability of their medication to work as cigarette smoke is known to reduce the effectiveness of such medication.
4. Normal day-to-day activities
Because of the disruptive nature of schizophrenia symptoms, normal activities become hard or near impossible for the sufferer. The delusions and hallucinations suffered often prevent the sufferer from activities like taking care of personal hygiene, meals, driving the car, or shopping.
While the effects of schizophrenia can be disruptive and even devastating to a person’s life and the lives of those around them, the disease itself is treatable. It cannot be cured per se but proper treatment and medication can help minimize the effects on a person’s life, and enable him or her to lead a fairly normal life.
In general, such treatment usually involves regular appointments with a doctor, watching what the patient takes in (avoiding drugs and alcohol), managing stress, leading a healthy life (with enough sleep and exercise) and careful monitoring for signs of a possible relapse.