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As a psychiatrist in Augusta County, VA, I know how hard a schizophrenia diagnosis can seem. With the threat of delusions, disorganized thoughts, and a full breakdown that could totally disrupt your life— it’s perfectly natural to be scared. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia and,

“Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—10 million, or 4.2%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities”

While schizophrenia is a disease you have to live with, it doesn’t mean it has to wholly control your life. With that in mind, here are 3 tips to get you started in dealing with your diagnosis.

1. Accept It

The first step to accomplishing anything is accepting that you have a mental illness. Deep down in your soul, accept that this is something that you’ll just have to live with. Your family and friends have to accept and acknowledge that this is something that is happening to you now. True acceptance isn’t  “I have schizophrenia but it will go away.” or spending hours why this happened to you. For your family members, they have to know that nothing in particular caused this or accept any blame. This is something that has happened to you but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. It doesn’t necessarily stop your life. You can keep going and you will continue to accomplish great things. You just need to work with a great team that can help you.

2. Keep Lines of Communication Open

This goes for psychiatrists and the friends and family that see you every day. A doctor might not see you every day, but if you keep communication open about how you are feeling and what is changing, it can only improve your heath for the better. Keeping communication open and truthful ensures that your support system can actually support you and keep you on the right track to live your life.

3. Stay On Track

Especially when it comes to medication and setting up your plan with your psychiatrist in Augusta County, VA, you need to by complying. Anti-psychotic medications don’t work instantly like over the counter pain reliever does for a headache. These medications take a while, sometimes weeks, to build up to a therapeutic level. This level will be different for everyone and needs to be done slowly and carefully. By trusting and committing, you can see a lot of improvement. You just have to be communicating and working with the doctor on that plan.

What Else Can You Do?

If you have a schizophrenia diagnosis, you absolutely should be seeing a psychiatrist regularly. Unlike some forms of anxiety and depression, it might not be so easy to find the right practice for you. At Shenandoah Psychiatric Medicine, we have Augusta County, VA based doctors that are dedicated to helping you with this mental illness. We have the experience to help you live fully with schizophrenia and would love to help you to that end. If you’re interested in getting started with us, contact us to set up an appointment.