Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Getting treatment early

Hello! I am diagnosed and not a caregiver. Every other week I attend support group for people with schizophrenia and it’s given me hope that people with schizophrenia can live good lives if they are treated early and take their meds. My best friend, who also has sz, was treated before it was ever full blown is very high functioning. She holds a part time job and goes to school part time and exercises and runs errands and goes to church and lives a really fulfilling life. I was treated after my parents let it go on for a whole year so I’m not as high functioning, but life is still good and I feel I still have better days ahead of me. Men tend to have more severe symptoms than women but a young guy who first started coming to support group with his grandma turned a new leaf after a year of stability. At first he was irritable and could barely talk or sit through a whole meeting. Now he comes on his own. He says he’s given up drugs and goes to clubhouse almost every day. There are things I really care about like support group, my parents, my best friend, my family in China, sometimes food, going out during the day - I’m in day treatment and start being a peer coach next month, going on trips once in a while with my parents, etc. I am hoping to get married and have kids one day and have a normal home. I’m not afraid if any of my kids get sz because if I educate them and force them into treatment early, they might still manage to live out their lives really well. My birthday is coming up and I invited over 10 friends to come eat lunch at a restaurant. My mom found a really nice cake shop this year. All my friends have some sort of disability and were met through places like support group. I don’t communicate too well but it hasn’t stopped me from trying to make friends. My short term goals are to go to cancer support group to learn how to support my cousin who is ill, work up to working 15-20 hours per week, make more friends, and eventually to grow closer to my Chinese family and my good friends here in America. My advice is not to “be nice” to someone who is having an episode. Send them into the ward. They will thank you once they fully understand the position they’re in. Also I think clubhouse or getting a peer specialist or doing day treatment or going to support group are all really good ways to get out. I remember my first NAMI group was when I first realized I what I needed to get better. I still have a little paranoia, to be honest, but it doesn’t really bother me… I’m trying to adjust to new anxiety meds and they’re causing me a lot of grief… I’m about to be a peer specialist which is someone with mi who spends time with another more seriously mi person and helps them live better. It’s 6 hours a week here in Hawaii and may be a good program to try for your loved one.

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Wow, your positive attitude can only help!
Can I ask how old you are?

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Hello Turkey, thanks so much for posting your experiences here for us. It makes me happy to see someone young who has the education to take care of their illness and live a fulfilling life. Wishing you all the best with being a peer counsellor. I think you will be great at it!

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Thank you for sharing your story. It gives me hope to hear of your journey. Best to you. Life is a journey, with it’s ups and downs. Taking care of others, and accepting the care of others are important ways to have a meaningful life, and to recover from a difficult life. I hope your birthday is wonderful!

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Hello, you are truly an amazing and positive person! It sounds like you have very supportive parents, as well. Being involved and helping others is an excellent way to look outwards and reach out to others in need. Your story, I am sure, has helped and enlightened many who visit this webpage. Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful birthday with your family and friends and best wishes to you!

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