Can't Take It Any More? Group Therapy For Schizophrenia Includes Family Members Too

Otherwise known as psychotherapy or psychosocial therapy, group therapy for schizophrenia patients has proven itself to be beneficial, though there is only a limited amount of documentation on it. However, it is not only the schizophrenia patient who benefits from this type of therapy. Families and friends who are with a schizophrenia patient on a regular basis can also benefit significantly, as they play a vital, yet emotionally-draining role in their lives.

Group therapy for schizophrenia patients' families and friends can take one of several different forms. Firstly, there is the traditional support group meeting, where people in the same situation can get together and talk about their problems and ways to cope with them.

Secondly, there are online forums. These support forums offer group therapy for schizophrenia-affected families and friends regardless of their location. It is an invaluable tool when trying desperately to handle each situation in a careful and calm way.

Group therapy for schizophrenia-affected families is also an ideal way for family members and friends to discover new ideas and methods of how to handle psychotic episodes and events leading up to and taking place during a crisis. Learning the way to react the different stages of a crisis can benefit not only the schizophrenic, but their family as well, as it provides a much less stressful environment for both parties.

Usually, the places where group therapy for schizophrenia-affected families support sessions are held tend to be quite central, making it easy for everyone to get to them. More experienced family members will be able to help newer members who are only just starting to come to grips with the illness and what it entails.

Older members act as mentors or sponsors to newer members and can often provide a 24 hour telephone number, just in case things at home get a little out of hand and a word of advice is needed. New members can learn what signs to look for prior to a psychotic episode, get tips on how to calm a psychotic schizophrenic down, and what to do during the episode itself.

They can also sympathise with emotions felt by the family including despair, frustration, tiredness by the carers, and resentment, impatience, and jealousy by siblings. Such support groups can offer ways to cope with these feelings, and try to explain ways to channel the negative energy turning it into a positive force instead.

Also, in a struggle which can feel fairly solitary and isolated, family members and friends of schizophrenics can take comfort in the fact they are not alone in their struggle, and use the group therapy as a source of emotional support as well, being able to vent their anxiety without being judged.

Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood illnesses that exist today. Unfortunately, that means that the same misunderstanding extends to the families of schizophrenics too. With still no cure on the horizon, in order to maintain calm, perspective, and their sanity sometimes, group therapy for schizophrenia-affected families and their friends is an essential part of their lives.

Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #1

Schizophrenia is not the same thing as having multiple personality disorder. In multiple personality disorder a person has a number of independent identities that all share one host body. Typically one of the personalities is dominant and the others exist under the surface. With Schizophrenia, there could be independent personalities but the person suffering from the disease believes that these identities exist outside of him or herself.

Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #2

There are different types of schizophrenia. The most widely known is that of paranoid schizophrenia in which the schizophrenic believes that there are people who are out to "get" him (or her). Commonly the patient associates himself with an elite group and believes that it is his membership with that group that has made him a target of others.

Signs of Schizophrenia Tip #3

Schizophrenia is normally treated with anti-psychotic drugs. There are new drugs being developed all the time. Other treatments include Electro Convulsive Therapy in which the patient is driven to convulsions by receiving a series of shocks to the brain. This treatment is thought to fix the electrochemical balance of the brain.

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