Skip to main content

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).

Comments

helenasmole said…
I love your work!

Take care
Helena Smole
Ashley Smith said…
Thank you!

Ashley Smith

Popular posts from this blog

Religious Preoccupation

After a talk, a woman asked me if my faith contributed to my recovery because she noticed that I mentioned it throughout my speech. In addition to that, she told me that she observed people with faith as having a better outcome in their mental health recovery.

First, I came from a family with Christian values. My faith in God started to get intense during the latter years of high school, which in my opinion, is when I started having symptoms. In my experience religion plays a major role in my mental health- its delusions, its coping skills, and in my recovery. In medical terms they call my religious rituals and delusions "religious preoccupation."

Before I was diagnosed I was highly religious. In fact, I wanted to be an evangelist and to go to a Christian college. I would read my Bible for several hours a day throughout the day, listen to hymns, and meditate. Sometimes I would ignore people if they wanted my attention while I was meditating I was in such deep thought. Also, I …

How Can I Support Someone with Persecution Delusions

Recently, a reader asked how to support, or what to say to someone who has persecutory delusions and confides in them. I thought this question was profound. By investigating this question it could help so many people maintain or develop a trusting relationship with their relative, friend, or client, etc. I asked the opinion of my therapist, and she gave some pointers and asked me to remember a time when I was psychotic and what could someone have said to me to make me feel more comfortable...

When I was at my peak of psychosis everything was a sign from God- that truck making a U-turn meant go back, that taxi cab driver telling me to stay out of trouble meant he was in on it too. While I was psychotic I heard conflicting voices. When I would ask someone a question on the phone the voices would give different information. I was extremely paranoid. And almost everyone was a threat. I couldn't confide in relatives because they would tell my secrets, I couldn't trust friends becaus…

Lack of Trust: A Byproduct of My Mental Illness

In this entry, I'll share my experiences with Schizophrenia in regards to feeling lack of trust in others, paranoia, and isolation.... I remember my many episodes with Schizophrenia where I felt uneasy because of lack of trust in others. In the past, isolation was a giant bullying me around.

Sometimes my mind would take me to a place of fear, hurt, and an unsettling spirit, which started with what seemed like a strange look, or a different feeling around an individual, when in reality it was another symptom of my undiagnosed illness- paranoia. My paranoia was rampant and dictated my life prior to experiencing a crisis, which led me to jail and into forced treatment and to receive an official diagnosis of Schizophrenia in 2007.

In other words, my illness created enemies in my mind. For instance, I once believed my favorite kin was against me and I felt like she wanted me to fail, and I eventually thought she was conspiring to harm me. However, she never said anything to imply these f…