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Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Relapse of Schizophrenia

Relapse of Schizophrenia

Overview

Preventing a relapse

When you have schizophrenia, your symptoms can sometimes come back. This is called a relapse. There are things you can do to help prevent a relapse.

  • Be active in your own recovery.

    Work with your doctor and take care of yourself.

  • Take your medicine, even if you're feeling better.

    Not taking medicine is the main cause of relapse.

  • Talk to your doctor about your medicines.

    If side effects are making your life hard, talk with your doctor to see whether you can try a different medicine. Your doctor may be able to change the medicine or how much you take.

  • Stay in counseling or therapy.

    Go to your sessions, and continue with your recovery plan.

  • Get support from family.

    If your doctor recommends family therapy, be sure to have all family members attend each session.

  • Join a self-help or support group.

    Self-help and support groups are usually run by the members of the group, not health professionals.

  • Find ways to reduce stress in your life.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs.
  • Learn how to recognize the first signs of relapse.

    Have a plan for what you'll do when you notice signs, and get help right away. Common signs of relapse include:

    • Staying away from or not being interested in other people.
    • Forgetting things.
    • Having problems concentrating.
    • Daydreaming.
    • Not paying attention to what is going on.

Relapse action plan

An action plan says in writing what you can do to help prevent a relapse of schizophrenia and what you need to do if you have signs of a relapse. You will need the help of others to get through a relapse.

An action plan also lists the general signs of a relapse and those that may be special to you.

  • Write down the common signs of a relapse. They include:
    • Staying away from or not being interested in other people.
    • Forgetting things.
    • Having problems concentrating.
    • Daydreaming.
    • Not paying attention to what is going on.
  • Work with your doctor to find out if you have any special relapse signs.

An action plan lists things that need to be taken care of during a relapse. Think about:

  • Who will take care of your children if you have any.
  • Who will manage your money and finances.
  • Which hospital or other facility you'd like to go to.
  • Who to tell if you have a relapse.

Action plans also can include legal documents. Write these when you have few or no symptoms, and ask your doctor and lawyer to help you.

  • An advance directive tells your wishes for treatment during a relapse. It can be very useful if you have severe symptoms of fear or suspicion of others during a relapse.
  • A durable power of attorney says who will be in charge of making decisions when you can't decide things yourself. This document is very helpful if you refuse treatment during a relapse when you would otherwise accept it.
  • A power of attorney lets you choose someone to help you deal with money during a relapse. Find someone you trust to co-sign financial documents, such as credit card applications or mortgages, to protect yourself financially while you are having a relapse.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

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Related Links

Schizophrenia and the Caregiver Schizophrenia: Social Skills Training Schizophrenia

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