The sudden change between fantasy and reality among the characters suffering from schizophrenia intrigues film directors for several decades. Usually, directors want the viewers to enter the horror world of abnormality, complexity, and field of the unknown. Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness which confuses the individual in distinguishing reality from illusion. In movies, it is presented either the observable matter from the outside or take the viewers into the same mental state as the character.
Angel Baby is an excellent Australian film that deals with the lives of two people with schizophrenia, Harry, and Katy. It discusses love, hope, passion and the trials of living in a world where the odds aren’t in their favor. They meet at a group therapy session and fall passionately in love with each other. The movie points out the difficulties of women with schizophrenia when they are pregnant because the medication used to treat the disease can be harmful to the fetus. Overall the movie shows a sensitive and honest approach to schizophrenia and tells a love story that is not usual to be watched in cinemas.
Having a family member with schizophrenia will be very difficult for the entire family. For those who have this kind of situation, here are some tips that can help in managing someone with schizophrenia in the family.
The Closest Family Members Must Be Their Advocates
“Schizophrenia is a thought disorder,” says Simon Rego, PsyD. In times that they will be brought for treatment, their closest family members must volunteer to give information because they are most likely aware of strange behaviors or ideas that they expressed. It will also promote accuracy regarding considering all relevant information from the patients.
Follow-Up At Home
After hospitalization, it is imperative to continue their medications or treatment in order not to return psychotic symptoms. Family members must be reliable enough in making sure that they receive appropriate intervention at home. “It’s important to underscore here the importance of monitoring your mental health and knowing how different medications and lifestyle changes can impact your mental health.” says Julia Hogan, LCPC.
Know How To Respond To Bizarre Statements Or Beliefs
Instead of believing the hallucination uttered by a family member who has schizophrenia, they must present the reality by acknowledging that they do not see or hear things as he/she does. For them, these hallucinations are quite real and not just “imaginary fantasies.” In the same way, do not challenge the person’s beliefs or delusion but change the topic into something that both parties may agree upon.
Keep A Record
Keeping a record of the symptoms exhibited by the patient, medications are taken, and treatment received must be done by a close family member. It will help them predict or give them an idea what to look for in the future. It can also help prevent the return of psychosis by providing an appropriate treatment in order not to fall to a full-blown relapse.
Help The Person Set Attainable, Simple Goals In His Or Her Life
Those people who have schizophrenia are still people who need to find purpose in their life by establishing their goals that are very attainable. Unrealistic goals may lead to pressure and stress, and others may criticize them if it is not achieved. They need to know if they are doing things right so family members must always keep an eye on them. Lastly, prevent criticism, instead, do it in a positive approach. “The most helpful definition of being positive is having hope and confidence in one’s ability to handle what’s tough, along with remembering that nothing is all negative all the time,” explains Jo Eckler, PsyD, a therapist in Austin, Texas.