Learn about Schizophrenia. There are a number of different kinds of schizophrenia and schizotypal disorders. Some have genetic predispositions, some are long-term, and others only last for a month. This takes you out of the dark and gives you some solid ground to work from.
If you’re worried about others finding out about your illness, you can say you’re researching mental illness and got onto that or borrow books about mental illness and only read about your illness.
Avoid harming yourself.
Keep away from drugs, alcohol, self harm, and smoking if at all possible. In most cases this will make symptoms worst and at best will only create a dependency on top of the illness. If you find yourself drawn towards these behaviours talk to a therapist as soon as possible. Avoid these behaviours with calming techniques, grounding techniques, and reminders that whatever you’re experiencing will eventually pass.
Get professional help.
Seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist is the best option. They will give you advice on how to cope with your specific environment, situation, and symptoms. Listen to Psychiatrist and take on board as much as you can. If they are impatient or their personality clashes with yours, then see someone else; there’s no point getting help from someone who doesn’t help you.
Remember that it’s all in your head.
All the hallucinations are in your head. The voices are no different to a stranger yelling at you. The visions are no different to a movie. If you really need a reality check, ask someone close if they experienced the same thing. If they say no, take comfort in the fact that what you heard was not real.
Check your own behaviour.
If you’ve been avoiding people and acting more paranoid it may be time to check in with your doctor. Signs of an episode can be subtle at first but could quickly lead to full psychosis. It’s better to be over-prepared for a minor hallucination than under- prepared for a complete breakdown.
If a stranger told you to go out in a lightning storm with a metal pole taped to your head you’d think it’s a bad idea. Employ the same mindset when dealing with your symptoms. If something seems dangerous or suspicious then ask yourself if you’d do that if a stranger asked. If the answer is no then it’s probably best to avoid it. If the answer is yes then double check if a friend would do it, just in case you’re having a delusion or paranoid episode.
Dr. Rameez Shaikh (MBBS, MD, MIPS) is a consultant Psychiatrist & Psychotherapist in Nagpur and works at Mind & Mood Clinic. He believes that faith-based treatment, encompassing spiritual, physical, and mental health, will provide you with the long-lasting knowledge and tool to find happiness and wholeness again. In his spare time, he’s an aspiring singer and writer.