As a family member or close friend, you may help take care
of your loved one who has
schizophrenia. You can help your loved one stay in
treatment, take his or her medicines, and prevent symptoms from coming back
Along the way, be sure to take care of yourself too. It can be
hard to watch a family member—who in the past was happily planning for the future—develop symptoms of confusion and paranoia. Family members may need to seek support or treatment to help them cope with the
demands of the illness and the loss they may feel.
Accept that schizophrenia is a long-term
problem. People who do this usually adjust better to helping their loved
in touch with your loved one's doctor, therapist, or counselor about how things
Keep your emotions in
check. Too much emotion can make recovery harder, because it can be very
stressful to your loved one. Try not to be critical, over-involved, or
mean. Don't blame your loved one for his or her behavior.
Be calm and soothing when your loved one has severe symptoms. Call the person
quietly by name, or ask the person to tell you what he or she is experiencing.
Don't argue or tell him or her that
the voices aren't real. Call for help if you think the situation could become
with your family member's health care team and teachers and with other members of your
community when needed.
Make a plan with all family members about how to
take care of your loved one during times of relapse.