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Schizophrenia

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects your emotions, thinking, and behavior. Your brain has a hard time knowing what is real.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if

  • You think about killing yourself or someone else.
  • You have a rash, swelling, or trouble breathing after you take your medicine.

When should I call my doctor?

  • You feel that you are having symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • You are not able to sleep well, or are sleeping more than usual.
  • You cannot eat or are eating more than usual.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

Do not stop taking your medicine even if you feel better.

  • Antipsychotics: These help decrease psychotic symptoms and severe agitation. You may need antiparkinson medicine to control muscle stiffness, twitches, and restlessness caused by antipsychotic medicines.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your psychiatrist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Treatment settings:

You will need to continue your treatments after you leave the hospital. You may be treated in the following programs:

  • A crisis residential program is a program where you live in a home-care facility. Mental health providers work in these homes just like in hospitals. This program is helpful especially when you are having a relapse (your symptoms return).
  • Day treatment program provides a chance to learn and practice skills. This also provides long-term support so you may have an improved quality of life.
  • In an outpatient program you meet regularly with your therapist. You may meet one-to-one with your therapist, or you might meet with your therapist in a group.
  • Partial care program is also called day hospitalization or partial hospitalization. This is group therapy and lasts 4 to 6 hours a day, 3 to 5 days a week. It may help you avoid going into the hospital or help you get out of the hospital sooner. It may also help you get symptoms under control and avoid a relapse.

Therapy:

  • Assertive community treatment includes a team of healthcare providers and support groups in your community that help you with your therapy.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy helps you to change certain behaviors. It will help you handle symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions.
  • Illness-management skills teach you what you can do to help manage your disease.
  • Family psychoeducation helps your family be a part of your therapy.
  • Social skills training helps you learn how to get along with other people.
  • Supported employment is a form of therapy that places you into a job that fits your skills. It will help give you independence and self-confidence.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Do not stop taking your medicines. Tell your healthcare provider or psychiatrist if you have any problems with or questions about your medicines.
  • Do not stop your therapies. It is normal to have doubts about or feel discomfort with your therapy. Tell your healthcare provider or psychiatrist if you are not comfortable or have questions about your therapies.
  • Get regular sleep. Try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Tell your healthcare provider or psychiatrist if you are not able to sleep, or if you are sleeping too much.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol interacts with medicine used to treat schizophrenia.

For support and more information:

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    3803 N. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100
    Arlington , VA 22203
    Phone: 1- 703 - 524-7600
    Phone: 1- 800 - 950-6264
    Web Address: http://www.nami.org
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications
    6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 6200, MSC 9663
    Bethesda , MD 20892-9663
    Phone: 1- 301 - 443-4513
    Phone: 1- 866 - 615-6464
    Web Address: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Schizophrenia (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Symptoms and treatments

Mayo Clinic Reference

Medicine.com Guides (External)

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.