Taking Care of Your Own Health
Taking care of an individual with schizophrenia begins with taking care of yourself. Caring for a person with schizophrenia can feel like a full-time job. You may be filling many different roles: nurse, cook, banker, and best friend. In short, schizophrenia has not only completely changed your loved one’s life; it has also completely changed yours.
It’s very important to take care of yourself, so that you have the stamina and strength to take care of someone else. How you can stay strong, healthy and capable over the long term:
- Don't do it alone. Make sure you get help when you need it. Ask family members or friends to share in the efforts and consider joining a support group for caregivers of people with schizophrenia. Click here for resources that can help you find a group in your area
- Take time out. It is important for you to have a balanced life. Keep in touch with friends. Spend quality time with family members. Go to social events and family gatherings
- Stay well. When you are caring for someone else’s health, it may be easy to forget about your own. Remember to look after yourself. Speak with your doctor about a healthy diet or exercise plan. Get a good night’s sleep as often as you can. Try to keep your stress level down and get support when you need it
- Stay informed. If you have questions about schizophrenia, ask the patient’s doctor for more information. You can also join local advocacy and support groups to get a better understanding of the condition. There are also many online resources with helpful information
- Stay safe. Most people with schizophrenia are not violent. However, if you feel threatened, call 911 immediately and get help—do not hesitate. Remember that your first responsibility is to always ensure your own safety and that of your family