Caregiver Center

Managing Mental Health Symptoms

Managing symptoms is a critical part of the recovery journey. You can play a role in helping your loved one to stay well and out of the hospital.

Schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder are lifelong conditions. Along the recovery journey there can be down times—called relapses—when symptoms worsen and additional support or hospitalization may be necessary.

A relapse can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common causes of relapse is stopping medication. Try to find ways to help your loved one stay on track with his or her treatment.

Helpful tips include:

Find the Right Medication Option
You and your loved one can partner with the doctor to consider all available medication options. Together, you can weigh the pros and cons to find the option that’s best for your loved one.

Supportive treatments, such as psychotherapy, also are important.

Follow Through With Treatment
Taking medication regularly, as prescribed, is important for your loved one’s well-being. When your loved one is involved in his or her recovery process and plays a role in choosing the right medication, he or she may be more motivated to follow through with treatment and supportive services.

Ask for Help
If your loved one is having side effects, difficulty with a certain medication, or cannot remember to take it, talk to the doctor right way. He or she may be able to adjust the dosage, recommend other available medication options, or offer tips for remembering to take it.

Watch for Signs of Relapse
Ask your doctor about common triggers of relapse. Contact the treatment team right away if your loved one is showing any of the warning signs of a relapse. The earlier you get help, the better.

Be Prepared for Crisis Situations
Help your loved one create a crisis plan with his or her preferences and the contact information of important treatment team members. The Treatment and Recovery Log organizes this information in one place so it is handy.