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Schizophrenia: Lack of Support

"People with schizophrenia are more likely to experience discrimination by those closest to them than by employers or officials, a global survey suggests...Some 47% of those asked reported discrimination when it came to making and keeping friends, while 43% found similar problems with family." (Click on the title of this post to read the article in its entirety). I found the article on the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) blog)

This irritates me on so many levels, because the person with schizophrenia had no choice but to develop the illness as a result of genetics and environmental factors. The person living with schizophrenia must succumb to the illness's terrors. If they had a choice they wouldn't experience the harsh symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions and hallucinations. Also, family members should not deny other members of the family because everyone needs support. It's already bad enough that some people outside the family discriminate and want to see others fail.

Support can come in so many ways. For example, reminding an individual to take their medication, or just talking to them. Performing recreational activities with the individual with schizophrenia. Researching information on the other person's illness and discussing it with them. If a member sees the individual with schizophrenia drifting away, they can seek professional help for that person, in order, to prevent a full blown relapse.

Twenty percent of people living with schizophrenia end up being homeless, and 15 percent end up incarcerated for minor crimes. I believe these statistics are the result of lack of support from family, friends, and health professionals. Another article (A Four-Part Series on Young People With Mental Illness...) found on the Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) blog decribes a woman with an adult child who suffers from schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder. The person with the illness has had several hospitalizations, however, health professionals continue to release him without confirmation of community support. This patient almost killed his mother by choking her. He was sent to jail and then a psychiatric hospital, however, released. The mother cannot get health professionals to get him to stay in their care. Therefore, there is an ongoing cycle of hospitalizations and jail.

I strongly encourage you to check out the SSNS blog and to read the article about the survey of people with schizophrenia not getting support from families (by clicking on the title of this blog). Also, read my December post, "Families Need Support Too."

What are your feelings about the statistics in the article? If you had a relative with schizophrenia would you acknowledge them or shun them?

If you have a mental illness do you get support from family? What other ways can someone support the individual with mental illness?


andrew said…
Hello Ashley,

I think the prejudice against any form of mental illness is so debilitating in itself. Clearly if we know someone or soceity has negative pre-conceived ideas about us, then this can only hinder any form of recovery. Like you this makes me very sad. I would like to get angry about it, but this is just areflection of where I am at the moment.
I am very grateful that you visit my posts. Pleased to follow your blog. All the best to you.
I receive absolutely no support from my family. If it weren't for my husband I don't know where I'd be.
A. Blues said…
From the other side of the coin, *successfully* living with someone who is mentally ill is not an ingrained trait. It requires a good deal of effort, and support as well. Especially for those of us with no prior mental illness experiences.
Richard said…
The family and friends can help more than the drugs. If a friend see a friend drifting off, at least they can try to distract them. Something as simple as talking to them or grabbing there hand.
Just a theory from someone that is not literate on the subject.
Valash said…
Thank you all for your feedback.

Thank you again for following my blog.

Anonymous Drifter,
You must have a very strong husband.

A. Blues,
I suggest you read my December post."Families Need Support Too."

Great list of ways to support an individual with mental illness. I welcome suggestions, I'll edit this post to include it. Thanks!


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