Should I look after the patient at long-term?

When the patient’s circumstance is rather severe, they may need more caretaking from family members. If the patient’s condition has improved, we can encourage them to learn to live independently.

Some of the caregivers reckon that the capability of the patient is greatly affected by the disorder, thus tend to overprotect or spoil them. This will damage the patient’s ability to be independent and may cause them to be reliant on the caregivers, which affect the recovery process negatively. 

Family members may be upset by the sudden onset of psychosis in the patient. Some family members may even consider themselves to be responsible for the patient’s condition, and try to compensate them. They may become overly concerned about the patient’s mental state, and put in all their time and effort on the patient; or become overly affectionate and protective. Family members’ concern, compensation and protection are all due to their love for the patient; however, we have to understand that excessive caring and protecting can impact the patient negatively, such as causing them to be dependent or even feel stressed. 

Therefore, during the recovery phase we can try to let the patient try and learn independently, and encourage them to take care of themselves. When it comes to everyday situation, family members may ask for the patient’s opinions more often and allow them to make their own decisions, so that they can practice living independently and taking care of themselves. At the same time, we can try to learn more about psychosis’ negative symptoms and the side effects of medication, so that we can try to help the patient overcome these problems positively. We also have to be careful not to spoil and overindulge the patient. We can encourage them to see their friends more often, strengthen their relationship with others, and reconnect with reality. 

Some of the families may not be able to take care of the patient at home; they could encourage them to participate in courses involving life-skills training; this may allow the patient to learn how to look after their own life and manage their finance, as well as to maintain a stable career. If they feel that this is too much to handle, or that the patient may require more practicing regarding how to live independently, we may consider supported hostel services. If you would like to learn more about the units that provide the supported hostel service, please click here.