The idea of having schizophrenia can be frightening, but it doesn’t have to define your life. There are many misconceptions about the illness. With the right medication, therapy, and support, you CAN get control over your symptoms and have a fulfilling life.
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent many future problems, and improve the chance of recovery. So if you’re worried that you have schizophrenia, don’t hesitate to seek help.
Recovering from schizophrenia doesn’t happen overnight. Finding the right treatments takes time, and setbacks happen. But it is possible. In fact, most people with schizophrenia get better over time, not worse. So no matter what challenges you presently face, there is always hope.
Here are some resources you might find helpful:
RESOURCES CREATED BY DR. LISA COWLEY
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES OF PEOPLE WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA
- TWIN CITIES: Friends and Family Support group at HCMC
general, not specific to schizophrenia (612-873-3233)
- FACEBOOK: Friends and Family of People with Schizophrenia-Facebook support group
- Schizophrenia.com Forum for Family and Friends
- HealthCentral.com: Schizophrenia Family Members Forum
- NIMH site on Resources for Patients and Families
- Helpguide.org: Helping Someone with Schizophrenia while Taking Care of Yourself
BOOKS ABOUT SCHIZOPHRENIA
- The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia: Helping Your Loved One Get the Most Out of Life by Kim T. Mueser, PhD and Susan Gingerich, MSW, 2006, The Guilford Press—a very thorough, practical, and easy-to-read guide, highly recommended
- Surviving Schizophrenia: A Manual for Families, Patients, and Providers by E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., 6th edition copyright 2013, HarperCollins Publishers—an excellent resource, covers the nature, causes, symptoms, and treatment of schizophrenia, as well as how people and their families survive this illness
- I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! Helping the Seriously Mentally Ill Accept Treatment: A practical guide for families and therapists by Xavier Amador, 2000, Vida Press
- Diagnosis Schizophrenia: A Comprehensive Resource by Rachel Miller and Susan E. Mason, 2nd edition 2011 Columbia University Press—a great resource, includes many first-person accounts by people with schizophrenia, as well as chapters by professionals on a wide range of issues from hospitalization to rehabilitation
- The Everything Health Guide to Schizophrenia by Dean Haycock, 2009, Adams Media—an excellent resource with straightforward and easy to understand explanations
- The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness by Elyn R. Saks, 2007, Hyperion Books—an excellent memoir about living with schizophrenia
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)
NAMI is a nationwide nonprofit that supports people with mental illness and their families through support groups, mental health education, and advocacy.
Visit the National NAMI website or the NAMI Minnesota chapter to find:
- CLASSES: NAMI has classes and programs that may be of interest to the families of your clients. Hope for Recovery, Family-to-Family, and Children’s Challenging Behaviors.
- SUPPORT GROUPS: NAMI has support groups for families and for persons living with a mental illness.
- FREE INFORMATION: NAMI has brochures and fact sheets on the illnesses, adult mental health system, data practices laws, dealing with a crisis and understanding the criminal justice system.
- HELP LINE: NAMI provides information on locating resources and navigating the mental health system.
- WORKSHOPS: Hope For Recovery
- EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCES: NAMI hosts educational conferences with great speakers and information for providers, families and persons with a mental illness.