The Author

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
I am overcoming schizophrenia, and I believe others can too. Here is how I am managing my condition...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quick Tips for the Newly Diagnosed

Recently, I spoke to someone who was newly diagnosed with schizophrenia. Although they did not know what to ask me, I suggested some things for them to do...

1) Find a healthcare professional in the mental health field.

It is best to find a psychiatrist, a doctor who prescribes medication, and also a therapist. A therapist is beneficial because they provide resources and support in addition to therapy. If someone does not have health insurance look into the county mental health centers for services or referrals.

2) Apply for disability benefits.

Because mental health can be so severe to the extent that a person cannot work I strongly suggest that person apply for disability benefits. However, many times people are denied benefits the first time around therefore a person should get support from an agency that provides that service. Lastly, the benefits may take a few months so do not expect a fast turn around.

3) Find a support group.

Many people do not understand mental illness. Participating in a support allows a person to connect with other people who have the same concerns- mental health. Support groups are usually free and are led by someone who is either living with a mental illness, is a family member, or a healthcare professional. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a great place to start, they provide free support groups throughout the United States.

4) Join an outpatient treatment center or clubhouse.

An outpatient treatment center or clubhouse provides many classes to help someone learn about their mental illness and other life skills. They also help people find resources they need such as healthcare, housing, employment or volunteer opportunities, and education.

All of these tips I have personally practiced and it has tremendously helped me to get to where I am today- high functioning, living independently and back in college. These tips can also help you or your loved one get on track to recovery. The benefits of these practices does not happen overnight, it takes time and even becomes a lifestyle to stay well, at least for me. I hope that you or your loved one will utilize these tips.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., NAMI, or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).

2 comments:

helenasmole said...

I love your work!

Take care
Helena Smole

Ashley Smith said...

Thank you!

Ashley Smith