Young people with serious mental health conditions will have times when things are going really well, symptoms are under control and daily routines are possible.
Sometimes, during times of stress or change, symptoms can prove challenging once again. These times are often referred to as ‘relapses’. Sometimes relapse will require hospital admission or an inpatient stay in a residential facility similar to The Wave. Sometimes the consequences of a relapse or worsening of symptoms can have more serious consequences. Without inpatient support symptoms can escalate requiring a crisis intervention.
The most common type of ‘relapse’ is related to medication. Sometimes, we feel driven or able to stop medication suddenly or to reduce without medical supervision. Sometimes, we feel able to stop as we have had some ‘good times’ which lead us to belts we that we may no longer need the help of medication or mental health teams.
‘Relapses’ can also happen even when medication is taken correctly, during very challenging times.
Triggers to relapse can include:
- Stopping prescribed medication
- Reducing prescribed medication
- Using drugs and alcohol
- Stressful situations
- Moving home, starting university
- Major life changes
Developing skills for you and your family to cope with these times is one of specialities of mental health teams. Here at The Wave we have intensive family weeks where all members of the family are invited to participate and learn new skills. Living in close proximity to our teams, allows the family to benefit from our intervention in the little things, not just the big challenges.
Some relapses are slow burning. You may notice small but significant changes in behavior. Other relapses are sudden. Watching for your own triggers or symptoms in someone you care about can prevent a crisis.
Look out for:
- Changes to sleep patterns
- Changes to medication
- Hiding, manipulating or lying
- Confused speech
- Feeling tense, stressed and snappy
- Isolating, withdrawing
- Non attendance of school, work or uni
- Hearing sounds or voices
- Seeing things that others cannot see
- Smelling unusual smells
- Complaining of unusual tastes
- Not taking care of personal hygiene
- Increased paranoia
- Feelings of being watched
- Taking bigger risks than usual
- Changes in sexual behaviors
If you notice symptoms and you are worried, call you Doctor or the clinical team at The Wave +60128282762
There are several things that we can take part in to prevent relapse:
- Talking to others. Sharing our experiences
- Attending regular therapy or group therapy
- Taking medications as prescribed
- Joining support groups
- Learning about your symptoms and the causes
- Discussing changes in medication with your mental health team
- Yoga, stretching and gentle daily activities
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol