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Schizophrenia - Recovery


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 this.
  • Social support and support groups give you the chance to talk with people who are going through the same things you are.
  • Case management and assertive community treatment can help you deal with the many different parts of treatment and recovery. If you feel overwhelmed, ask your doctor or therapist about these programs.
  • 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


If your symptoms come back, it's called a relapse. Anyone with schizophrenia can have a relapse, but it may happen much more often when you don't take your medicine.

You can help prevent a relapse by taking your medicine, going to your counseling sessions, being active in your own recovery, and not drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs.

If you are having trouble taking your medicine or feel that you don't need to, talk to your doctor or another trusted person. Your doctor may be able to change the medicine or how much you take. A partner or spouse may help you find ways to remember to take the medicine.

A healthy lifestyle

The symptoms of schizophrenia can make it easy to forget some of the basics of good health. But it's important to try to have a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some things to do:

  • Don't abuse drugs or alcohol. Having a substance abuse problem makes treating schizophrenia harder. If you have a substance abuse problem, you need to treat both problems to help your recovery.
  • Exercise and be activeExercise and be active. Exercise can help relieve anxiety, depression, and stress. Exercise and activity also make other diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, less likely.
  • Relieve stressRelieve stress. Reducing stress may mean fewer relapses.
  • Get enough sleepGet enough sleep. This is very important. Sleep can help your mood and make you feel less stressed.
  • Eat a balanced dietEat a balanced diet. This helps your body deal with tension and stress.
  • Stop smoking, if you smoke. Smoking increases the risk for other diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. For information on how to stop smoking, see the topic Quitting Smoking.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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