Coping with childhood schizophrenia can be challenging. Medications can have unwanted side effects, and you, your child and your whole family may feel angry or resentful about having to manage a condition that requires lifelong treatment. To help cope with childhood schizophrenia:
Feb. 28, 2014
- Learn about the condition. Education about schizophrenia can empower you and your child and motivate him or her to stick to the treatment plan.
- Join a support group. Support groups for people with schizophrenia can help you reach out to other families facing similar challenges. You may want to seek out separate groups for you and for your child so that you each have a safe outlet.
- Get professional help. If you as a parent or guardian feel overwhelmed and distressed by your child's condition, consider seeking professional help from a mental health provider.
- Stay focused on goals. Dealing with childhood schizophrenia is an ongoing process. Stay motivated as a family by keeping treatment goals in mind.
- Find healthy outlets. Explore healthy ways your whole family can channel energy or frustration, such as hobbies, exercise and recreational activities.
- Take time as individuals. Although managing childhood schizophrenia is a family affair, both children and parents need their own time to cope and unwind. Create opportunities for healthy alone time.
- Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed May 8, 2013.
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- Schizophrenia. National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/complete-publication.shtml. Accessed May 8, 2013.
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- Factsheet: Schizophrenia in children. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/index.cfm?objectId=C7DF8F81-1372-4D20-C84C5539FAB14576. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- McClellan J, et al. Practice parameter for the assessment and treatment of children and adolescents with schizophrenia. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 2013;52:976.
- Facts for families: Schizophrenia in children. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Schizophrenia_In_Children_49.aspx. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- Staying well when you have a mental health condition. Mental Health America. http://www.nmha.org/go/mental-health-month/staying-well-when-you-have-a-mental-illness. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- Abidi S. Psychosis in children and youth: Focus on early-onset schizophrenia. Pediatrics in Review. 2013;34:296.
- Huxsahl JE (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2013.
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