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9 Natural Approaches To Coping With Schizophrenia

9 Natural Approaches To Coping With Schizophrenia

Though it is difficult to pinpoint the actual cause of schizophrenia, the many symptoms — including hallucinations, abnormal motor behavior, lack of personal hygiene, lack of emotion, and many others — can be managed through treatment. Most doctors will recommend antipsychotics for this, but the side effects often make schizophrenics wary of taking them. For those looking to manage their symptoms in a more natural way, the following natural treatments may provide some options.
Please note that some of these herbal remedies may possibly have negative side effects and should not be combined with medications, so please consult with your doctor before commencing use. Also, be sure to notify your doctor if you experience any negative side effects during treatment.

1. Panax Ginseng

This herb can help improve memory and concentration. It also helps to reduce the lack of emotion that some schizophrenics experience. Ginseng can also boost a person’s energy. It is important to remember that Panax ginseng is Korean, and not to be substituted with Siberian or American ginseng.

However, researchers believe that Panax Ginseng may have some hormone-like effects that could be harmful with prolonged use. Be sure to discontinue use if you develop negative side effects.

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2. Fish Oils

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for healthy development of brain cells. Because people with schizophrenia usually have lower levels of these fatty acids in their bodies, taking fish oil supplements that are high in eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, is an effective way to not only reduce their symptoms, but actually improve their functions as well.

3. St. John’s Wort

Also called Hypericum, St. John’s Wort is listed among the natural alternatives to psychiatric drugs. It helps to reduce feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and fear. It also helps to relieve depression and elevate a person’s mood.

Prolonged use of St. John’s Wort can have negative effects, so remember to do the proper research and consult with your doctor before commencing treatment.

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4. Brahmi

Though it is not clear exactly how it works, Brahmi, or bacopa, can help by enhancing cognitive ability. It may also help schizophrenics by stabilizing some of the brain’s chemicals, as well as offering neuroprotective properties.

Brahmi may also have some side effects, but is considered safe to take for short-term periods of up to 12 weeks.

5. Regular Exercise

Exercise is not just great for a healthy body, it also helps to improve a person’s mood and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. This can be achieved with just half an hour of walking or jogging each day. Yoga is also a healthy alternative, as it can help reduce any psychotic symptoms. It can also help to improve cognition, as well as producing changes in neurobiology. Regular exercise can help create a better quality of life for those suffering from schizophrenia.

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6. Ginkgo Biloba

Due to its ability to improve memory and cerebral circulation, the leaves of this tree have been used in medicine for years. It can also help reduce fatigue and poor balance. Headaches and mood swings are also relieved when using ginkgo biloba, making it one of the better mental health approaches to schizophrenia.

Ginkgo leaf supplements are generally safe, but remember to consult with your doctor before use.

7. Antioxidants

There is the possibility that the development of schizophrenia in the brain may be affected by oxidative stress, and the use of antioxidants can help to reduce this problem. Certain vitamins, such as A, C, and E, can help by lessening the severity of the symptoms. Vitamin C also has the ability to lower stress. These vitamins can be taken in supplements or by including foods with high levels of antioxidants, such as blueberries, spinach, lemons, or carrots, into the schizophrenic’s diet.

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8. Ashwagandha

This herb has a calming effect on schizophrenics thanks to its ability to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. This is quite useful for those suffering from schizophrenia, since those two symptoms can lead to other worse ones, including suicidal thoughts.

While ashwagandha is considered safe for short-term use, large doses can cause negative side effects, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Consult with your doctor about proper dosages.

9. Music

There is an old saying that claims music can calm even the most savage of beasts. Though the latter part is not quite accurate in relation to a schizophrenic, the statement of the calming effects of music rings true. The ability to express themselves through music has been proven to reduce many symptoms of schizophrenia. This is due to the ability to use any instrument, or piece of music, a person desires. They can play a variety of instruments, or just one that they find particularly soothing, and spend their time focusing on only the music, letting their stress and anxiety slip away.

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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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