Also in the section on pharmaceutical treatment:

The prognosis (future outcome) of schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders can follow one of three paths.

  1. 33% will live very normal lives, gaining great control over their symptoms
  2. 33% will have a decent existence, but will still be battling symptoms to a significant extent
  3. 33% will be very symptomatic, and live have difficult lives.

First and foremost, if someone dose struggle with a psychotic mental illness, and they live in developed society, they will much more likely than not need to be maintained on an antipsychotic for a significant amount of time, in order to have a life.

In order to manage one’s mental illness, they need to understand that they’re sick. In particular, people struggling with disorders of psychotic nature, oftentimes believe that they aren’t sick; I know, because I’ve been there. It takes a huge amount of trust to believe that significant aspects of one’s reality, are fake. Healthy people reading this, please put yourself in their shoes.

Once trust is established, the more fine, advanced and pleasurable parts that go into the lives of people who aren’t struggling with mental illness, become much more possible., largely because trust opens oneself up to therapy. People who in general have a mental illness, not just those fighting a psychotic disorder, turn out much better if they engage in therapy. Therapy is one of the three external pillars of recovery.

Group therapy in particular is helpful. There are many minds working to productively digest there troubles, not two! Also in dealing with psychosis, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is important. The patient learns how to battle irrational, unrealistic thoughts and feelings, with a more objective framework. Psychiatric medications are approved with the understanding that they be used in concert with therapy. Symptoms don’t always disappear; even with medication and therapy, but they’re usually made less threatening.

Even in the past 15 years or so, for psychotic disorders in particular: more effective medications; better screening techniques to detect abnormal behavior earlier; greater understanding of the science behind schizophrenia; and better therapeutic techniques; means that the prognosis (how things will turnout in the end) is much better.

There are a few ways in particular for dealing with voices

  • Keep a record
    • Write down what you’re doing when you first hear them
    • Look for a pattern after several episodes, such as being in a noisy atmosphere
    • Try to avoid the situation, but perhaps at first it would do well to try to enter the situation prepared to do battle against the voices
  • Distract yourself
    • Maybe reading out loud
    • Perhaps listening to music that you attend to
  • Talk back to the voices
    • This is where the teachings of CBT can be very helpful
    • It could involve asserting oneself by telling the voices to stop
    • You might respond, and say that you’ll only talk with and listen to them if they’re polite

A significant amount of people with schizophrenia, say that they feel less symptomatic if they’re doing something productive. This could involve anything from working intensively in a highly academic career, to volunteering for one’s community. Unfortunately, most of us are dumped in a group home, watching television, eating, and smoking large amounts of cigarettes, for the rest of our lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

It’s a great idea to try one’s hand at something new, to keep life novel, and strengthen the brain. Just the same as with other mental illnesses, but perhaps even more so when one is battling a psychotic disorder, boredom leads to worse symptoms! We don’t want our mind to self-destruct!

Going off this, practicing good hygiene, and cleaning one’s living space, both indirectly and directly promotes a positive mood. People show more respect to those who practice their activities of daily living (ADL’s), such as clean clothes and brushed teeth. Being in a neat atmosphere tends to help create a calm mind and spirit.

If you are unable to work full-time, you may be eligible to earn governmental assistance. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) involve monthly monetary payments. They oftentimes come with Medicare and/or Medicaid, public health insurances.

Sources: Ben Komor, Dr. Colin Dauria, Dr. Howard Feinstein, The Jenkins Center