If left untreated Schizophrenia brings dysfunction to all the areas of life. The treatment of this mental health disorder includes medication and counselling  But rehabilitation of the sufferer requires a extensive education and training of all the people who have close interaction with the patient. Unfortunately, the emphasis remains solely on the patient’s medication and counselling and very few mental health professionals endeavour to educate the family members, relatives, friends, neighbours and colleagues on how to effectively handle the sufferer.

The rehabilitation of the patient must be a priority.  Holistic rehabilitation includes helping patients manage their disorder and to become comfortable at their work place. It is usually because of the inappropriate handling of colleagues and ineffective communication with their schizophrenic colleague that the patient faces the most difficulty. This article is basically a guideline for those who have any colleague at their work place suffering from schizophrenia. If they follow certain behaviours or tactics, while handling their schizophrenic colleague, they can help them better handle their workplace challenges.

Working with a person who is suffering from schizophrenia or any other mental disorder, at times, is very much upsetting. When you don’t know how to manage the upsetting moods of your colleague at work, it may become the trigger for more upsetting situations at work that ultimately lead to  his relapse. The following tips will help your schizophrenic colleague to feel at ease and help you as well to handle the stress, which you can experience while interacting with him.

1. First you need to be aware of the symptoms: like: Depression, Anxiety, Fear, Panic or any other signs … 2. Treat him with respect and dignity. 3. Listen to him carefully, when he is under stress. 4. Repeat his words so that he knows that you were paying attention. 5. Don’t force him to talk but do let him talk as much as he wants when he is stressed. 6. Avoid staring at him when he is sharing and being very close. 7. If it’s necessary to ask questions, use neutral language, and ask open ended questions.. like “May I ask,  how are you feeling now?” 8. Don’t force him to answer quickly… 9. Reassure him of the confidentiality of his disclosure.. 10. Don’t pass the judgements and diagnose the problem.. 11. Talk about his well being, exercise, proper diet, sleep patterns, and precisely what support system he has. 12. Respect what he is feeling, its not necessary that you agree with what he is saying. You can show humble disagreement but not rejection of him.. 13. Offer your help in finding out the available professional help for his issue.. 14. Don’t make fun of him with your other colleagues nor laugh at his confidential sharing. 15. Take him to the lunch or tea with other colleagues..

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