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    Schizophrenia - For Family and Friends

    Schizophrenia affects everyone around the person who has the illness. It can be hard to watch a family member or friend develop symptoms and perhaps act in very different ways.

    You may feel helpless, but you play an important role in the life and treatment of a loved one who has schizophrenia.

    Recommended Related to Schizophrenia

    What Is Paranoid Schizophrenia?

    Paranoid schizophrenia, or schizophrenia with paranoia as doctors now call it, is the most common example of this mental illness. Schizophrenia is a kind of psychosis; your mind doesn't agree with reality. It affects how you think and behave. This can show up in different ways and at different times, even in the same person. The illness usually starts in late adolescence or young adulthood. People with paranoid delusions are unreasonably suspicious of others. This can make it hard for them to hold...

    Read the What Is Paranoid Schizophrenia? article > >

    What you can do

    You can also help the person with good health habits, like getting enough sleep and avoiding alcohol and drugs.

    Sometimes people who have schizophrenia are too sick to seek treatment on their own. If the symptoms are severe, you may have to force the person to get treatment. Talk with your health care providers and/or local law enforcement officials about the laws and procedures in your area for getting treatment in this situation. If you have this information before you need it, it will reduce your fears and concerns and may make it easier for you.

    Emergency help

    Some people who have schizophrenia may become aggressive or violent at times. Call 911 or other emergency help if you notice:

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