The family is in the best position to provide a helpful and supportive atmosphere for the patient. The first step is to recognize that the patient is ill and nor being lazy, stubborn or anti-social. Once the illness is identified and being treated fore the family should encourage the patient in every way possible.
Assign small responsibilities
As the patient improves, it helps to bolster his sense of worth by getting him to perform simple tasks around the house. Keep these tasks small and uncomplicated, do not push him, for 'over-loading' will only tire and confuse him. Let him feel that he is as valuable and productive a member of the family as any other.
Do not exert social pressure
Trying to make the schizophrenic aware of his social and financial responsibilities while he is undergoing treatment is the wrong thing to do, for now, just show him that you believe in him and him that you believe in him and aim at self-sufficiency. As the patient improves, he himself should be allowed to grow slowly into a realization of his own abilities and responsibilities.
In order that the patient may function normally and become a productive member of society social rehabilitation becomes essential. One aspect of rehabilitation is Occupational therapy which aims at the acquisition of simple social and trade skill in keeping with the patient's capabilities so that he may be gainfully employed and resettled in life. A second aspect is Group Therapy by which means a patient is enabled to interact freely with others and thus to regain and strengthen his inter personal skills and his self-confidence.
An important feature of this efforts to rehabilitate the patient is Family Counseling where the family can discuss the patient, his problems and theirs with a professional psychiatrist and be given guidance on how to treat the patient and how best to aid the recovery process.
All aspects of this program are important although it must be emphasized that medication, as prescribed, should never be neglected, even in case of substantial improvement, since that may lead to a relapse . The overall result of such a comprehensive approach to the treatment of schizophrenia is that the patient not only improves as a result of medication, but as he becomes proficient at some trade and continues his counseling sessions, also recovers his self-esteem and become more confident of his place in society.
In India, we now have Clozapine and Risperidone and Olanzapine is expected to be introduced shortly.