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...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tonight's Support Group Meeting

I just got back from a NAMI support group. It was a very good meeting we covered a lot information related to coping with mental health, our attitude toward stigma, and various bizarre experiences. Afterward, I felt energized, uplifted, and empowered like the way church makes me feel, it was very good. I really enjoyed the company of my friends who are also in recovery from different mental illnesses. I look forward to next week's meeting!

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

4 comments:

Jen Daisybee said...

I love NAMI. I don't go to the support group here anymore, but I am involved with the Consumer Council. We are a small group, but we are very dedicated to advocacy, and I enjoy being involved. I'm glad you have found NAMI to be helpful to you, Ashley.

Ashley Smith said...

Thank you, Jen!

Corey b said...

I suffer from paranoid schizophrenia as well. I find the hard part is even realizing i have it.. then acceptance of it is just emotionally agonizing. I don't quit suffer from hallucinations, but sometimes the people around me make me feel that i am, which brings me back to the realization that i have schizophrenia. I'm lost. The people around me still have hope, im sure, but are expecting way to much from me, and get mad because i don't understand. everything goes in one end of the brain and out the other, for me and them. I'm looking for help from somebody but am not sure where to start. :/

another thing that bothers me is. keeping relationships during recovery. that's why i initially stopped.

Ashley Smith said...

Hi Corey B.,

I understand you and I are on different stages of recovery, as is everyone living with mental health concerns, with that said, don't let others influence your progress with the illness and continue to seek support.

I commend you for seeking support and coming forth as a person living with mental health, managing schizophrenia or any mental illness can be difficult.

Initially, I had a hard time with it, especially taking my medicine, but as time passed and I learned more about schizophrenia along with a lot of support from family, peers, and health care professionals, it got more and more manageable.

Recovery is a process that cannot be rushed. Although I am not a health care professional, from my experience, I would suggest to you to seek as much information about the illness as possible- a great book is The Complete Family Guide to Schizophrenia. Another great reading, that does not talk like a doctor but is in a more realistic way is one of my favorite books on the topic of schizophrenia, Welcome Silence My Triumph Over Schizophrenia.

Also, I am an advocate for the advantages of participating in a support group. Another great resource is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), they provide FREE support groups (and online chat groups) across the United States (at www.nami.org).

Whenever you are ready, I encourage you to try peer support again by attending a support group.

Thank you for your comment, I am confident that others can relate to you, I appreciate your candidness and wish the best for you and your supporters.

Best regards,

Ashley Smith