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. Constantly putting your own needs aside as you struggle to care for your loved one with schizophrenia will only lead to your own poor health and will contribute to a loss of energy, hope and the ability to really help anyone, in the end.
You can also seek out support groups and counseling, bringing yourself into the equation of who and what matters when it comes to schizophrenia.
For more on this, please follow this link:
Aimee Boyle is a regular contributor to EmpowHER. She lives and works in CT.
Edited by Jody Smith