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The best sources of schizophrenia support differ regionally, and recovering schizophrenics and their families have a serious need for local resources. People with acute illness derive principal schizophrenia support from psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and possibly hospitals. As patients recover, they may access services that offer financial assistance, promote independence, and that increase coping skills. Many families care for schizophrenics and they might look for different forms of schizophrenia support. Sometimes they get financial help, but any community services, groups or literature that can help educate and/or reduce isolation or stress are usually welcomed.
Schizophrenia can be anything from a mild, controlled disease to a condition that renders people unable to live on their own or provide proper self-care. Sometimes it takes a while for symptoms to be controlled. In acute stages, the most appropriate schizophrenia support for patients is provided by knowledgeable psychiatrists and psychotherapists. Psychiatrists look for the right medicines to promote recovery, and psychotherapists use a variety of psychosocial methods to help normalize the patient’s life. In these stages, support is especially given to urge medication compliance because this is a predictably problematic issue for many patients. In most severe forms, schizophrenics require support in hospital settings.
After hospital care, family members might continue to provide schizophrenia support at home. Responsible family care frequently predicts a better outcome for the schizophrenic, though it is not always appropriate or possible. Along with this support, psychiatric and psychotherapeutic help continues, but there may be local programs that might help schizophrenics reintegrate into society. Doctors, therapists or social workers at mental health facilities may be able to steer the schizophrenic toward these programs, or social workers at community health or mental health agencies may have access to information on what resources are available.
These additional support services must go slowly, as people with this disease may have extreme anxiety in social settings. This is why things like peer support groups are rarely useful for acutely ill schizophrenics, though the impersonal aspect of Internet groups occasionally is more acceptable. As schizophrenics recover, they might instead find assistance in the form of books and literature that can provide education about their disease.
For families caring for the schizophrenic, participating in support groups may be of great use because barriers to socialization don’t exist. Family members may ask psychiatrists or psychotherapists to recommend local groups, and they could also pursue private therapy to handle the rigors of caring for a loved one who is deeply ill. Other good sources of schizophrenia support are found through organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) or its foreign equivalents, which can direct people to local resources. Schizophrenia support in financial forms may be regionally available to people with severe disability, and might help families meet some costs.
A number of Internet groups exist for family members who care for schizophrenics. These may have impressive credentials and be run by mental health experts or they may be privately run by medical laypeople. Both types of Internet groups can be of use, but families shouldn’t rely on peer-run groups for medical advice. There are many books focused on providing care for schizophrenics or family members with chronic illness. These can be a useful source of schizophrenia support too, and families are encouraged to use books that educate about the disease so that they better understand it.
@talentryto- I think that meeting in person is always best, because you have the support of others who are going through the same thing that you are. They are right there if you need them, too. However, some people do worry about their privacy when meeting strangers to discuss touchy subjects.
If this is the case for you and your family members, then an online support group may be your best choice. Though not as personal, you will have more confidentiality while still being able to connect with others who are dealing with schizophrenia.
My family has a member who is schizophrenic, and we are looking for an additional support system besides his doctor. Does anyone have some thoughts about whether an online support group or an in-person support group is best?
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