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Getting Help For Loved Ones With Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia related image Photo: Getty Images

Not only are we coming full circle with mental illness, seeing it as a true illness rather than attaching judgement, blame, negativity and shame to it, but we're also, as a society, embracing the crucial importance of support for people with all types of mental illness, including schizophrenia.

At one time, schizophrenia caused people to be brutally abused in ways we can barely imagine today. All sorts of "treatments" were given, from playing certain types of music to dousing people in freezing cold water; using exorcism as a means of releasing "evil" spirits from a person's body; and even drilling holes in the head of a person suffering from schizophrenia.

Now that more understanding and treatment are available for those with schizophrenia, life can be more manageable and functional. Not only can those with schizophrenia lead a more productive, healthy and happy life, but also loved ones and family members close to these folks can have improved quality of life as well, given the right type of support.

Websites can provide a wealth of information for supporting loved ones with schizophrenia, including providing information about medicines, therapy, care facilities, long term treatments and other resources.

Some valuable websites to research include:




While living with and loving a person with schizophrenia may be challenging, difficult and even frightening at times, there is no one to blame. As is true in terms of emotionally relating to any illness, it's so important to remember the person suffering with schizophrenia is not at fault. They did not choose mental illness over other options in life. Similarly, it is not the fault of this person's mother, father, siblings or socioeconomic status; it is simply an illness much like a physical illness and, as such, must be treated and handled with respect and propriety.

Keeping the needs of loved ones and caretakers met is also very important.

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EmpowHER Guest

Before the days of anti-psychotic drugs, if you were schizophrenic, you were going to live in a hospital for the rest of your life. Albert Einstein's son Eduard was schizophrenic, and even the reasoning and financial support of one of the smartest men that ever lived could do nothing to bring Eduard back to reality. A couple decades later, there were anti-psychotic drugs alright, but the choice schizophrenics had were between (for men, anyway) being impotent and sleeping all day or being psychotic. Now there are a lot more options for male schizophrenics. There are a lot of drugs that can preserve your sexual functioning to an extent, keep you relatively sane and out of trouble and not make you want to sleep (or eat) all day long. If you exercise, eat right and maybe do some physical work you can actually have a pretty good life if you are a young schizophrenic man. A lot of the younger schizophrenics do not realize that there are some great drugs out there and that the old school anti-psychotics (including the ones that make you hungry all the time) are fading into the past. I think this is why some of the younger guys you see in the news are so averse to medication. Many if not most of them have no idea just how awful the 'bitter pills' were fifteen to twenty years ago. I won't even get started on what was available when the drugs first rolled out in the fifties; I wasn't around then, but I have a vague idea, and it's not pretty.

So if you're a young guy who's psychotic, maybe if you go on anti-psychotic drugs you won't be able to make love all day long like a normal, athletic college freshman, but chances are if you eat right, exercise and maybe do some physical work, you can be okay in that regard, and even if you have weight or hormone issues to begin with, there are a number of ED treatments that weren't available during the days of the bitter pills, which only ended about fifteen years ago really. Think of the men before you that took old school anti-psychotics, worked, slept a lot, had a non-existent sex life - and stayed out of trouble. There were some men that went to their graves having always taken their medication and having had an absolutely torturous, humiliating existence, almost completely devoid of the pleasures ordinary male humans take for granted. It's time people woke up and realized that by and large on the new medications, your life isn't over, you're not going to be sleeping all day long and you will probably be able to have sex, and maybe even several times a day if you are really young and TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.

August 24, 2011 - 6:41pm
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