jravi, Everyone’s illness evolves differently. I would ask what your sister means exactly by “success” and “recovery”? Schizophrenia doesn’t go away, but symptoms can be managed. And a definition of success depends on how far you have to come. I’m the spouse of a schizophrenic, (maybe schizo-affective). We’ve been married for 6 years. He is doing very well, all things considered. He has insight, he’s med compliant, and totally abstains from all drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. He use to be on drugs, alcoholic, and smoking 2 packs a day. He was able to stop the drugs on his own, when a psychiatrist explained that he would have to in order for the medications to make him feel better. He stopped the alcohol and cigarettes at my prompting, as a precondition for us having a relationship at all. He’s on disability, and doesn’t work, but is trying to learn to repair bikes, for a possible future part time job. He’s pretty active, lifts weights, rides his bike, has friends. He’s not able to manage his own money. I don’t expect that he’ll ever be able to work full time. He’s a sweetheart, and brings me coffee in bed every morning. I think that we have a pretty decent life, and I would call that success.
The prognosis depends on a number of things. First, each person’s illness can have a different level of severity. Then, whether or not he’s med compliant, and whether or not he uses alcohol, and/or drugs, will be a big determining factor. His support network can also make a difference. She should definitely read the book someone already mentioned, and join a NAMI group. I can tell you that statistically 17% of people have functionality on par with someone that doesn’t have the illness. That doesn’t mean that the rest of them don’t manage to have a decent and fulfilling life. I don’t know if my husband would be considered part of that 17% for instance. Overall, I think your sister needs to learn what reasonable expectations are, in order to figure out what success might look like for your nephew.