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Schizophrenia treatment & recovery tip 2: Build a strong support system

Schizophrenia treatment & recovery tip 2: Build a strong support system

Schizophrenia treatment & recovery tip 2: Build a strong support system

Support makes an immense difference in the outlook for schizophrenia—especially the support of family and close friends. When you have people who care about you and are involved in your treatment, you’re more likely to achieve independence and avoid relapse. You can develop and strengthen your support system in many ways:

  • Turn to trusted friends and family members. Your closest friends and family members can help you get the right treatment, keep your symptoms under control, and function well in your community. Tell your loved ones that you may need to call on them in times of need. Most people will be flattered by your request for their help and support.
  • Find ways to stay involved with others. If you’re able to work, continue to do so. If you can’t find a job, consider volunteering. If you’d like to meet more people, consider joining a schizophrenia support group or getting involved with a local church, club, or other organization.
  • Take advantage of support services in your area. Ask your doctor or therapist about services available in your area,  contact hospitals and mental health clinics, or see Resources & References section below for links to support services in your country.

The importance of a supportive living environment

Treatment for schizophrenia cannot succeed if you don’t have a stable, supportive place to live. Studies show that people with schizophrenia often do best when they’re able to remain in the home, surrounded by supportive family members. However, any living environment where you’re safe and supported can be healing.

Living with family is a particularly good option when your family members understand the illness well, have a strong support system of their own, and are willing and able to provide whatever assistance is needed. But your own role is no less important. The living arrangement is more likely to be successful if you avoid using drugs or alcohol, follow your treatment plan, and take advantage of outside support services.