As a first step in recovery, clients must first some understanding of their mental illness and how it affects their day-to-day lives. Psychoeducation helps clients learn about their diagnosis, what their rights are, what their strengths are, what causes them to relapse, what their personal warning signs and triggers are, what questions to ask their doctor, where they should go for different kinds of services, etc.
Remembering to take meds
Encouraged Sam to customize his medication schedule so it integrates smoothly with his daily routine. Asked him when he needed to take his meds each day, then suggested he use cues from the activities he usually performs at those times to serve as reminders. Meds he takes at night, for example, could be left at the base of the lamp on his nightstand. As he reaches to turn it off every night, he will be reminded to take his meds if he hasn’t already. Leaving notes for himself on his bathroom mirror could help him remember to take his morning meds, since standing in front of the mirror is part of his normal morning routine. Suggested he talk to his doctor and see if it would be possible to reduce the number of times he has to take his meds during the day. Taking them once or twice a day is easier to remember and reduces the chances of taking them incorrectly. Advised Sam that if he finds his medication schedule to be confusing or overwhelming, to ask his doctor if it would be possible to simplify it. Another thing he needs to keep in mind is whether his meds need to be taken on an empty stomach or with food. This can help him determine the optimal times for taking his meds each day. Sorting his pills into a pill cassette once a week could also be helpful. Explained to Sam that his nurse would help him learn to do this. Cautioned him not to use actual pill bottles for sorting meds, as this could result in pills getting mixed together and the wrong ones being taken. Some medications are available in blister packs from the pharmacy. These allow people to see at a glance whether they’ve remembered to take their meds. Practices such as turning pill bottles upside down when meds are taken at night, then rightside up again when taken in the morning, might also work for him.