Understanding psychoses

Self-help measures

If you enter a psychotic, manic or depressive crisis some self-help measures can help:

  • It is important to be in familiar surroundings with people who you trust without asking too much from you.
  • It can be helpful to keep up usual activities. In the event of depressive tendencies, you should praise and reward yourself for every small thing that you still can manage to do. Avoid the standards of others, search for your own. If you rather tend towards manias, try to find out how unusual experience can also be integrated into everyday routine. It always applies: you must find your own standards.
  • It is good if you have a therapeutic person on whose ability to relate and support you can rely and whose judgement you trust.
  • If you require and want to take medicaments, insist on a careful selection and consultation even if possible several attempts are necessary until the medicament suitable for you and its optimum dosage is found. Pay attention to side effects and discuss all reactions of your body with your doctor. He should listen to you, even if it takes a long time.
  • Do not allow yourself to be persuaded that your crisis is only physically induced. Refer to the differentiated contact of physicians with fever, and also demand a consideration of the background of the current conflict.
  • If you take part in a psychiatric education, listen carefully: you will discover that the knowledge of the psychiatrist is also relatively limited. The real answers can be found most easily in dialogue.
  • Pay attention to the early signs important to you personally, however try not to look permanently through the spectacles of illness. That can only confuse and spoil the most beautiful life. Also look for self-help groups in order to look after yourselves jointly – this is more enjoyable or come once to the psychosis seminar!
  • Pay attention to your basic needs: healthy eating and drinking, regular sleep, fresh air.
  • Try to find a degree of activity that is right for you – not too much and not too little: variety, but not confusion; consistency, but not monotony. What is unhealthy for everybody (e.g. shift work) is as a rule not particularly recommended for persons afflicted.
  • Pay attention in contacts and relationships to your quite personal standards and needs: a few good friends are better than many bad ones. Sometimes withdrawal can also protect; but everybody needs a little exchange. More distant but reliable contacts can also give support.

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