When you have schizophrenia, you need
more than medicines and counseling to move forward with your life. You need to
partner with your health care team to find and meet your personal goals. This
life-long partnering is known as recovery.
Recovery isn't the
same as being cured, and it doesn't mean that you will be symptom-free. It is being
able to live a full life and enjoy favorite activities with as little trouble
as possible from your symptoms. Recovery may help you manage your symptoms so
that you can be an active member of your community.
You may think holding down a job is too much for someone with schizophrenia. But with treatment, many people can -- and should -- stay in the game.
"People feel better about themselves if they're doing something productive," says Steven Jewell, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University. "It's critical to recovery to move forward with your life, whether it's at school or at work." Jewell advocates a team approach to providing patients the treatment, skills, and support...
10 principles of recovery(What is a PDF document?) that can guide you as you work toward your goals and learn
new things to help yourself. They help you gain self-confidence and respect for
yourself. They make it clear that you make your own decisions with the help of
your doctor, counselor, and family. And they encourage you to be as independent
as possible while living with schizophrenia.
It may be hard to understand
and accept that you have an illness, and it's easy to become discouraged. You
can help yourself by focusing on your recovery goals and learning to see
schizophrenia as one part of your life, not your entire life. Make managing
schizophrenia well one of the many successes in your life.
You have schizophrenia, but like other
people, you have wishes and goals for your life. You most likely want healthy
relationships with your partner, family, and friends. You may want a job that
gives you a sense of self-worth.
Your family and community can
support you and help you meet your goals.
Your family can help you get the right
treatment, deal with your symptoms, and get along in your community.
Family therapy is an important part of
Your local or state health department may have programs to help
you. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) provides contact
information for support organizations nationwide. For more information, go to