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Outcomes and Recovery Factors of Schizophrenia

Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 20th 2017


There is currently no cure for Schizophrenia. There are effective treatments that can:

  • reduce symptoms
  • decrease the likelihood that new episodes of hallucinations and delusions will happen
  • shorten the length of psychotic episodes
  • offer many people suffering from schizophrenia the possibility of living more productive and satisfying lives.

With the right medications and counseling, the ability of people with schizophrenia to live and function relatively well in society is excellent. The outlook for these patients is optimistic.

sad man outside Ten years after initial diagnosis, approximately 50% of people diagnosed with schizophrenia are either completely recovered or improved to the point of being able to function independently. 25% are improved, but require a strong support network. 15% remain unimproved and are typically hospitalized. Unfortunately, 10% sees no way out of their pain except through death and ends up committing suicide. Long-term statistics for 30 years after diagnosis are similar to the 10-year point, except that there are even more people who improve to become independent. However, there is also an increase in the number of suicides to 15%. Over time, women appear to have a better chance at keeping up recovery from symptoms than do men.

It is an unfortunate fact that people with schizophrenia attempt suicide more frequently than do people in the general population. 5-6% of those with the condition will die from suicide. 20% will attempt suicide one or more times. This may happen for many reasons, including fears and anxieties that come with the hallucinations or delusions. It may also be affected by depression and hopeless feelings that may happen when the person realizes that they have a serious, ongoing and life-changing disease. Being unemployed, having a recent episode, or being released from the hospital can also be high risk factors for suicide attempts. It is always difficult to predict which people are at serious risk for suicide. While people in the general population talk about suicide from time to time, professional mental health help should be sought right away for people who:

  • make a habit of discussing suicide
  • express a feeling of hopeless and believe that nothing will ever change or get better
  • feel helpless and like nothing that they do will make any difference
  • feel like they have become a burden to family and friends
  • express any sort of plan to commit suicide
  • stockpile pills, tools (rope, razors) or weapons to commit suicide or self-harm
  • act out a suicide or self-harm plan, however half-heartedly
  • start abusing alcohol or drugs (or abuse drugs and alcohol that much harder)
  • begin the process of putting their affairs in order. This could include organizing finances or giving away possessions as a way of preparing for their death
  • write a suicide note
  • become impulsive and start taking risks that put them in harm's way, or into situations where there is a danger of being killed

The impulse to commit suicide is almost always a temporary crisis that can be overcome with time and proper care. With the right treatment, the chance for a reasonably balanced life is good.


The key to successful recovery is early diagnosis and treatment. In general, the earlier someone is diagnosed and stabilized with an appropriate treatment plan, the better their chance of recovery. Because of this, anyone who suspects that they (or someone they know) may have signs and symptoms that could be schizophrenia should see a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

Multiple factors appear to influence outcomes in schizophrenia. Family history of those with the condition is relevant. If no one in the immediate biological family (parents or siblings) has schizophrenia or a related condition, that is a good sign. Multiple relatives who have the condition is a bad sign.

Other good signs include:

  • being adjusted well at work and in social relationships prior to the start of symptoms
  • being aware of symptoms as signs of a problem, not just having a reaction to symptoms without seeing them as an issue.)

People who have both good signs may sometimes recover completely.

Chances for recovery are improved if the disease comes on suddenly, rather than when it comes on slowly. The older a person is at the start of schizophrenia symptoms, the better the outcomes are likely to be. If schizophrenia is treated quickly and consistently with a good response to treatment, the outcome is usually very good. Suffering with severe symptoms for a short amount of time and not having symptoms during periods between severe episodes are also good indicators of potential recovery. A personal history or family history of mood disorders may help a person to pass through a schizophrenic phase quickly. This happens because their primary condition may be some other disorder. Since schizophrenia is a brain disorder, a good outcome is also expected when the brain has a normal structure and function as shown on a brain scan.


Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Double check diagnoses. - stef - Dec 28th 2014

Some people are mistakenly diagnosed as schizophrenic.There are many other psychotic disorders which can include paranoid delusions and auditory hallucinations- dysphoric bipolar, psychotic depression,schizoaffective disorder, emotionally unstable personality disorder and as a transient response to acute stress.Anti psychotic meds alone won't cure these and may actually 'cause' negative symptoms, such as poor hygiene , an unwillingness to take care of yourself, apathy and passivity. Always worth having a second diagnosis if things still don't seem right.

How to understand my son s disease and cope - Gordana - Dec 14th 2014

my son is 20 year old that has been diagnosed with depression for 3years then we went to another doctor who said he has add and put him on adderol.Now he is on brrintlex new antidepressant and aderol and trazadone for sleep.He was attending college for one year and then stopped he just was not organized And stated needed a break he also was saying that students were talking about him and he could not deal with that.He started working for 2 months but just quit he stated he was hearing voices and did not get enough sleep.his doctor wants him to start abiliffy .before ability he gave him respiridone bout he refused to take it.I am so worried and I do not know what to do anymore!What can I do to help him.He is very bright and smart kid. But I can not let him just stay home and not do anything !i clean his room wash his clothes clean his car because  he leaves mass behind him all the time.he is very forgetful and uncooperative .he had a therapist that he was going and helped him but he refuses to go again.we even did genetic testing to make sure we are on correct medications.please give me advice how to cope with this situation?my husbands father had some similar issues but was never treated or diagnosed!worried mom

cont.... - Julie - Jul 18th 2013

Wow! Most of my story was drastically cut off! It took me over an hour to write too. It had some very detailed information and could have helped many people on here. Where did it go???

20yr. old daughter with schitzophrenia - Julie - Jul 18th 2013

Hi all. My daughter was diagnosed with schiz last year at age 19. Very bizarre behavior, ie. staring in mirrors, brushing her teeth 20 times a day, thinking food was poison, laughing at nothing, staring into space. It really scared and freaked me out! Her older sister, brother and myself had to take turns watching her because we were terrified what she was going to hurt herself or run away and we would never see her again.I found out that she had been smoking Spice (synthetic mariquana which is LEGAL) for a few months before her psychotic behavior and I thought that was the cause, but throughout educating myself with mental illness research I can to find out that there is no way of knowing a specific cause. 

 With a difficult time getting her to go to get help and the behavior health hospitals making it almost impossible to admit her, (the requirements are pretty much if they have already hurt themselves or others), she was finally admitted. Another difficulty is that once a person is over 18, they have to voluntarily accept help or is admitted on a \\

Wondering about boyfriend's behavior - Jen - Apr 28th 2013

My boyfriend of 9 years is almost 65 yrs old. He just got off valium a month ago after 30 some odd yrs of being prescribed it because of a terrible dune buggy accident yrs ago. He is still on morphine which is monitored. I am on this site because now I see this man who looks like Jack Nicolson in the Shinning. His eyes get big and just today I was talking to him about my flooring in the bedroom. He was trying to tell me he'd staple some linoleum down and I replied by saying NO, might as well do it right if we're going to do flooring and his eyes got big and he got really angry like the devil. It was weird. I'm wondering if he's been on the valium for other reasons all these years.

brutal side effects - mark mcgoveran - Feb 1st 2013

When you decide to give a drug for a condition wiegh the siude effects of the drug against the down side of the condition. If you look at the absolutely brutal side effects of the drugs they give for shcizophrenia, you might want to reconsider what the balance is betweent side effects and symptoms. Since the psitive changes may be dificult to mesure many praticitoners run the dose up till you get the side effects so they are sure that you are getting enough. If gaining thirty pounds, losing all the atheletic ability you have, sticking your tongue in and out can help you, try accomplsihing all that with out medication.

On and Off medications - Josh Frye - Jan 28th 2013

Schizophrenia sucks. I am at a point now and i dont see i have the resources to help myself. I got diagnosed with shcizophrenia when i was 18. They say that it can be triggered by a dramatic event. I lost a leg in a motorcycle accident and 8 months later had a sudden severe onset of schizophrenia symptoms. I was definetly not well adjusted in society before i became ill, not proffessionally or socially. My family structure wasnt the best and i guess the stupid kid i was i made the worst out of it. It really is so hard for everyone involved. I was given zyprexa at the onset and stayed on it through hell and high waters till i was 28. I had gotten off it from time to time for weeks or months. The last time i almost did not come back, and that was freaky let me tell you. The hardest part i think for schizophrenics is that however you measure your life, in good moments and bad moments, happiness and saddness, ups and downs is that the downs are so deathly low that it is enough to fill two lifetimes. So what really is the point of going through that kind of stuff i ask myself a lot, because even when it is good it doesnt not fill the measure and severity of the bad times. Now i am thinking about getting off meds for a little while. I have a severe aggitation up and down my central nervous system. I know the meds cause it, and like i said what's the point if your going to feel this way. Please no responses to me trying to cope off meds. I can already hear those fingers cracking ready to send me a message. I'll be alright. I just wanted to shine the light on the subject at least at this particular moment for me now. Life isn't for whimps,and my best regards go out to anyone that has this illness and to the family and friends that feel it for them. Peace:)

Lost Angels - Mary - Oct 12th 2012

JMT - I felt as if you were writing about my daughter, Shannon.  First diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 17, she goes on and off her medication.  She had been living with me in northern California for the last year and a half but now is living in a homeless shelter in Seattle, Washington and has cut off all communication with family.  She has no friends to speak of.  I worry constantly that she may commit suicide, which she has indicated in the past, or that someone will take advantage of her and cause her harm.  This illness is truly heartbreaking to everyone involved.  I have to keep reminding myself that her illness and behavior is not my fault.  

My thoughts are with you and yours in your struggle to cope.

pregancy and taking mental medicines - - Mar 12th 2012

Want to write a note for pregant ladies on mental medications, who are taking aripiprazol and citalopram. I had a healthy baby on november 2011, being on aripiprazol and citalopram during all my pregancy. Though i was worried about the outcome as like any other pregant mums who are on mental health medications would think. I have not stoped my medicine but took reduced dozes with consultation of doctor, as if i would have stoped it i would have had a relaps which would have put me to higher dozes. Took pregancy care vitamins during whole pregancy.

Is it Schizophrenia or Traumatic Brain Injury? A real life example - Andrea Duarte-Rambo - Jan 18th 2012

At age eight, my usually obedient, gleeful child had a sudden onset of violent outbursts followed by staring. He was awake but non responsive-his eyes vacant-like "there was no kid in there". He went in and out of mental hospitals for over ten years-losing his precious childhood. What I didn't konw was that exactly three days before the sudden onset of his bizarre behaviors, he had been in a horrible accident in which he sustained a traumatic brain injury while in the care of his older brothers who were afraid to tell me as they feared "getting into trouble". He did have hallucinations and delusions calused by the Partial Complex Seizures related to the head injury as well as damage to the auditory nerve. The symptoms are similar to Schizophrenia, but he treatment is very different. Feel free to contact me if you would like further information.

Hope not lost - Kat - Jan 18th 2012

Please do not dismiss the power of prayer. I 100% know people will get upset at just the mention of God, but when your in a hopeless situation how can it hurt? 

Does anyone answer these posts? - JMT - Nov 1st 2011

You ALL are speaking directly to me with similar pain, questions and, I know, suffering. Does anyone answer these posts?  People are asking for help and I don't have any to offer ---none, I'm so sorry.  After 5 years of this battle, we're losing.

Kat - your daughter Kate sounds like my beautiful baby girl who has left us to live in the world of 'reincarnation/witches/demons/powers'.  She was diagnosed at 17 years old first with MS (numbness left side), then vasculitis (15 small lesions in her right frontal lobe), then after 3 stays in a psychiatric ward, Schizoaffective.  She has been on just about every antipsychotic/antidepressant, but settled on Saphris, finished her AA (with lots of parenting) and is now working toward her BA (23 yrs old), but she insists she is fine and the meds are NOT needed.  She takes them only (we think) because we threaten to stop supporting her education.  She is studying psychology, but doesn't believe in it - weird, huh?  She has joined only the Pagan Society at school. She is not the same person she was 6 years ago and we fear she will never return.  Although diagnosed with ADD in 2nd grade, she did very well throughout school (on Concerta) and we had hope for her future.  She is not on 'speed' anymore, of course, but she is functioning only because we support her 100%.  She is very slowly making her way through a degree she will not use, but it's better than the alternative.   

Yes, we feel completely ALONE in this.  She isn't 'sick enough', but she isn't well and won't/can't admit it.  We are terrified of stressing her out for fear or initiating another psychotic episode, so we will continue to work to support her anyway we can.  We all tip-toe around her when she's home.  If she gets depressed, it's miserable. If we question that she was murdered in 1290, she exploded.  But, there are days we dream of quietly leaving town without a forwarding address.  Not good, huh?  My baby, my only daughter, my life-long dream - where is she?  Can't tell you how I dreamed of a daughter (since age 12) - I had no sister and couldn't wait to have a daughter.  There is no 'connecting' honestly with my daughter.  It's all a game to keep her calm and as focused as we can. 

We have no history of mental illness in our families.  She had a long birth, but nothing really unusual, except she didn't have a sucking reflex at birth, just biting and had swallowed meconium.  She was large, past-term, suction birth, but otherwise a 'pretty-normal' baby.  The lesions in her right frontal lobe were discovered when the MS scare hit in High School.  15 separate, small lesions - no increase in number, no proteins in spinal fluid (several LPs), so she didn't meet the MS criteria.  Failed/kicked-out of Vasculitis ward, too. Then, the paranormal  activity started during her first year at college and then the voices (horrible for ALL for 12 months).  

I fear it was too much "Harry Potter" during those important developmental years (10-14).  Wrong, huh?  I know there are no internet answers available, but just wanted to tell Kate (Kat) that I know what she is going through.  You are not alone.

Thank you.

My son is 19 .. - Mother - Oct 7th 2011

My son has been recently dx with psychos nos and was catatonic ?mute now for2 1/2 months . He is in the hospital on Seroquel 600 mg , haldol 5mg 2x a day Zydis 5mg 2x a day cogentin 1 mg 2x a day, ativan as needed.I am so scared and worried .I want him to snap out of this and I worry he may never be the same again and never speak. It is looking bleek . please help!

to all hang in there.. - grace - Oct 3rd 2011

i guess im not alone, after reading so many experiencies, i just want to say this, dont give up, try different meds, if your doc doesnt help find another one..BLESSINGS TO EVERYONE..

25 year old daughter - Kate - Jun 17th 2011


My 25 YO beautiful daughter has had issues with drugs and alcohol since she was 14. She was sent to a private rehab out of state when 15 in hopes of stopping any further problems of addictions. Since then she's been in and out f the hospital & jail many times, and her mental clarity has decreased immensely. She use to dance, sing,model,  and was very athletic with a promising future since she was expected to earn a college scholarship due to her talent and acedemics. She was very popular, with a sweet, funny, and sharp personality. Today she has 3 DUI's, and is on probation for physically abusing her boyfriend. She will not leave the house, cannot work, is on SSI. She accuses her father and me of being abusive to her, tells others that her father broke her nose when she was young, then sent her to the bus stop with a bloody nose, says that we want to control her life, says that her boyfriend is cheating on her with a hooker, says that he is poisoning her food, and everything is all others  fault, even her constipation, hemorrhoids, sleeping habits, that she doesn't want to leave the house, and the fact that she cannot drive since she has received 3 DUI's. She blames her life on us and that we are why she gets arrested and has these emotional problems. I thought that those who become schizophrenic have a strange behavior as young, not able to keep friends, usually loners? My daughter has always been the opposite, until recently, but it's been over about 3 years that her symptoms have become alarming. She has violent outburst, has trouble sleeping, argumentative. My birth mother was schizophrenic, I found out after meeting her later in life. My Mother's  sister, brother, father and G Father also had these issues. My daughter will not tell her psychiatrist her symptoms, only that she is depressed and anxious, to get the drugs she wants. Does this cause someone not to know right from wrong? It's like she doesn't, and her ability to figure things out is gone. She doesn't know where the sun sets, when Christmas Day is, how to look up a # in a phone book, or any common knowledge. Her hygiene is neglected and takes a shower every couple of weeks, with her hair growing past her behind.  She is a danger to herself and others but when the court issues a mental inquest on her, they take her to the hospital, but she talks herself/the doctors out of being admitted. Recently though her symptoms are becoming harder to hide. Is she just scared, just wants drugs, or both? Do not know what to do. This illness is horrible as well as all mental illness and should be #1 for funding for research. If we do not have our minds, we don't need or body to be healthy. Wish everyone would advocate for more mental health funding.  It seems to be in all families.

Take Care!


ex- schizophrenic - ryan - Nov 8th 2010

i just wanna adress to all schizophrenics,that i was dellusional over a year felt all my friends turned on me

and everybody are conspiring on methen suddenly after a year of having strange feelings i was talking to myself all the time and started hearing voices inside my head like everybody is talking with me at the same time saying alot of things tht dont make anysense luckily my family noticed that i was not acting normal and put me to a hospital for a month where i started taking medication after a week on medication the voices went away but the doctor said i need to keep on medication for about a year.i was feeling unconfortable on medication but i delt with it now its been four months i stoped medication and im working now.i no longer have those feelings abt the people around me i am totaly cured.within a year i was able to get back to normal.with strong will you all can be cured cheers

Schizo affective Disorder - Smiles - Oct 13th 2010

Short Version,

Diagnosed,  Very Ill,  Found the right Meds to help, 

In College at MIT,  I WILL perservere and overcome the obstacles in my path.  Never give up!!!!!

God Bless all who read this!!!!!

Have Hope for Schizophrenia; - Teresa - Oct 12th 2010

Hi,  I need to write a  little note offering hope.  I was diagnosed with Schizophrenia approx 10yrs ago.  I was an impossible case.  I was on EVERY drug known to man kind for mental illness.  NOTHING WORKED.  I decided in my insanity to go off all meds 2yrs ago.  They called that "non compliance".  My Mom and Dad decided to force me to go to the hospital approx 2 yrs ago. They decided to try a new drug.  This time it was a shot.  Risperdal consta.  An injection that i take every two weeks. Guess what?  IT WORKED!!!  But it was the added "Abilify" that cured me completely.  I have been like my old self since Feb 20, 2010.  My family feels an answer to a prayer has been given. 

I dont sleep 18 hrs a day anymore.  There is no side effects of the drugs except weight gain. (i have lost 20 lbs so far by diet and exercise) . But the anger is gone.  The Delusions are gone.  for the first time in 15 yrs,  I can think clearly.

I am looking to return to school and begin my life over at 41 yrs of age.  I now Date again,  And I am slowly returning to full time work and training with the help of OVR from my state.

If all else fails.  TRY anti psychotic injections.  It took a year for it to really work, DON"T give up hope.  Advocate for your loved ones.  And show them this letter if you need to. 



Healing in PA

PS.  My last psychiatrist didnt even know how to write a prescripton for the Risperdal Consta Injection.  I was his first patient to get one.  I have since changed doctors.  And it is my current doctor who has helped me the most.

dont know what to do - flopsyyy - Sep 17th 2010

Hi.Me and my partner r planing to have kids.but i only just find out that his mum is suffering from Schizophrenia.Im a bit worried now.and he is suffuring from dipresion too,not sure if is the same there a big chance that our kids will get this illness???

Thank you

for Larree - anonymous - Aug 12th 2010

Hi Larree

I was very sad to hear the pain in your voice. I have a daughter with SD and have been through of the torment and pain you are experiencing. Without wanting to offer any medical advice to you at all (I am not an MD) the only comment I can offer is that you must look after yourself. You cannot help your family if you are not well and you might need something to take your mind away from your problems for a little while.

Have you considered adult education? I am currently undertaking a second degree and although it is difficult as I work part time and live with my daughter, I find that the need to reflect and undertake academic work has been a great help to me. Maybe it would help you too.


for Laree - sue - May 2nd 2010

Laree I am in the same situation as you. My husband has schizophrenia and does not trust me the voices say awful things and he believes them. Because the voices constantly tell him that I don't want him he has left me for the fourth time. I can only say to you it won't be easy but you have to know that they don't mean to hurt you it's the illness that takes over. I have wanted to give up so many times but we love each other and each time it happens I understand a little more if that makes any sense. I wish I could help more but all I can say is if you love each other hang on in there but don't lose your self-respect. 

Husband also - Laree - Mar 27th 2010

My husband has shown signs of schizophrenia for about 16 years.  It is getting worse; he becomes more and more delusional and hostile.  His father was diagnosed schizophrenic and lived his own life heavily drugged and unresponsive. 

My husband recently cleaned out our savings accounts and told my 15 year old and I that he was taking all of our money and starting a new life. He has done this once before, adding to the many irrational things that he does on a regular basis (occurances are about every 8 weeks.)   I believe his brother, who has similiar symptoms, encourages him toward this behavior.

His obsession is that I will leave him, am planning to leave him, plotting to have him thrown from the house, am emailing other men, etc.  He is outraged when I have contact with other woman (I do not work and have only a couple of friends) or enjoy any kind of hobby (I am a photographer.) He becomes completely normal after these outrages and that's what makes it so hard.

My son finally convinced him to go to a doctor and we are waiting for an appointment.  Questions:  will the doctor share his diagnosis with me without my husband's permission?  If not, how will I know if he is receiving treatment?  How will I know whether or not to expect him to get better? 

We do not have insurance.  I have no living parents, and my husband's mother, two brothers, and sister all seem mentally ill.  I do not work and depend on him for all of our support. I have only a brother for (very limited) support and no church, co-workers, or anyone to turn to.

I am scared.  I don't know where to turn.  I feel very alone, and have a 15 year old, who is exceptionally bright, to raise and provide for. I don't know whether to agree to a divorce, like he insists that I do when he is irrational, or keep living this way.

Can someone please help me?

30 year old husband schizophrenic...... - ilene - Mar 22nd 2010

My husband has schizophrenia.  I can't even begin to explain how painful the past two years have been.  He started having crazy bouts of rage over nothing.  Then he started getting so angry that he somtimes would lose control of his body.  He alternates between becoming rigid and contorting in strange positions- to sometimes moving as if he was having a seizure.  Sometimes he will make weird sounds or speak nonsense ( it sounds like he is speaking another language)... during these times he is completely unresponsive to me. Occasionally I have found my husband hiding and covering his ears frightened by the voices he hears.

 After a few months of this he became very depressed and started to threaten suicide (many times).  I convinced him to take an organic form of lithium, see a counselor, a marriage counselor and take natural supplements.

Then for about a month he seemed better.  And I was thrilled.  My husband was back!


 Suddenly  he started getting angry again and his anger was towards me.... and it was scary

When his anger is directed towards me often times he will speak with a different tone of voice, sometimes he will growl or hiss, and more than once he has told me  that a demon has taken over.  That my husband was dead and a demon was living in him.

He has punched holes in the walls, broken furniture, charged at me swinging a crow bar, thrown me down and jumped on me calling me every name one could possibly imagine.  My son and I have watched him hit himself, we have watched him scratch his face bloody.  And on several occasions we have locked ourselves in a bedroom to be safe from him.  I have seen evil in him.  An evil so frightening that it almost makes me wonder about demonic possession.  He has been close to killing me.  I know it... and when he has moments of clarity, he knows it too.

The crazy thing is that I truly do love him.  I know he is sick.  I know he is dangerous.  It is just heartbreaking.  This person was the love of my life.  Funny, handsome, charming, sweet, everything a girl could want. I am totally heartbroken. 

 The person he is now- is NOT the person that I married. 

He has been hospitalized before.  He will not stay on meds.  He was put on zyprexa and lithium and he seemed better for a couple weeks... and then he stopped treatment and became worse than before.  He thinks the meds are poison....

Right now we are seperated... and it was his idea. Luckily he has left the state.  He believes that I caused his illness.  And he strongly believes that once he is away from me he will feel better. 

I am worried for his safety... and I am worried for my safety and the safety of my son.  We own a house together and I am terrified that he will come back.  I simply cannot deal with him unmedicated. 

Schizophrenia has caused so much pain and confusion in my life... that I truly feel for anyone affected by it.  Hopeful we can all stay safe and strong.

Take care.



Persavire through Schizoaffective Disorder - I would like to remain anonymous. - Feb 1st 2010

I am the mom of a 27 yr. old son, who has been living with schizoaffective disorder for 4 yrs.  He lives with me and his dad and I stay home with him during the day. He is on disability income.  They first thought depression, then bipolar, finally changing to SD.  The first two years were the worst.  The last two have been more bearable. I just want parents to know that we have to advocate for our children. The world does not understand them. Its hard even for us as parents to understand them. I hope he will continue to improve. Before SD he worked and lived completely on his on. Very successfull job as manager of a successful sales company. The changes started out slow them progressed.  First paranoia then dellusions, and hearing voices, with a vast mirad of symptoms. I saw the change in him in such a way that I am convinced it is truly a disease.  He did not want this but has been forced to live with SD. To be honest the first year when he was so bad was a living hell.  My reason to write this is to say it does get better. But you have to fight to advocate for them, or they are lost in this world. He may also have aspergers, not been tested for that yet, but has tendacies, and may never be on his on again.  But love and patience does go a long way, they will see that, if you persavire.  From Mom of a Beloved Son with mental illness.

Yup, I have it - Yup, that's me - Jan 1st 2010

I was diagnosed with OCD (Obssessive Compulsive Disorder) when I was about 20.  I'm in my late 40's now.  I learned to deal with the OCD, got married, had a family, and held good jobs.  Then after a divorce, I lost my dream job and my family in one shot.  I developed paranoid-schizophrenia. It was traumatic to say the least.

I thought some of the same coping mechanisms I learned with OCD would work.  I have been faithfully taking my meds and this helps tremendously.  Thank heavens that I have a supportive family.  I have my hopes and dreams, but sometimes I get discouraged. 

Indeed some of the coping mechanisms for OCD DO help, but I'm beginning to think I need a few more different ones to deal with this different disease.  As with my OCD, I view schizophrenia as a biological disease.  That model works for me.  It also helps me remain compliant with my regimen of meds (six of them). After being an overachiever in life, I now just get by.  I have a part-time job which I enjoy.  I have some great kids.  I know I'm a lucky person.

I figure also that I will always have this condition.  It will need to be treated by competent doctors and meds.  I'm in it for the long haul I guess. 

Was it John Lennon who said, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans"?  I think my illnesses may have had a mellowing affect on me, but how painful.  I don't think there's much in this life that is as painful as mental illness is to the patient and loved ones.

Well, that's enough I guess.  I do have my faith and it sustains me, though it doesn't have all the answers.  Just like it doesn't have all the answers for say, Diabetes.  But it does answer (I think) why I have some of the trials I do.  I do find some solace in my faith.

There is hope - - Dec 25th 2009

I was diagnosed as schizophrenic at age 20. That was 32 years ago. It's been very tough but I've found that getting on a medication that works best for you, exercising every day or every second day, especially walking for at least 1/2 an hour a day, and the best nutrition make a lot of difference. Do these things, always stay active and you will improve. Love to you all. Joseph K.

Is it or not? - Faith - Nov 6th 2009

I don't know if this is what I have or not, but I hear voices a lot, and I can't remember is something in the past, if I drempt it or did it really happen, and If I think about saying something to someone, a few minutes later I can't remember if I actually said it or not. And if I watch a horror movie or something, I know it's not real, but I'll walk outside at night and see shadows and stuff like what was in the movie, and my mind can't make out if it's real or fake. I don't wanna go to a doctor and they tell me that I'm crazy or something, so I don't know what to do about it...

Father - maria - Sep 16th 2009

since my dads been out of jail hes acted weird he wasnt the same man as i use to know he's always talking to himself and his attitude changes quickly when he's on drugs he's happy and we always have a good time when there is nothing in his system he acts up and thats when his voices nag him to do stupid things like running around the city naked he's hitchiked to far places he's tried to commit suicide and his medication makes him tired and talk slow is there anyway i can help him he's been into the mental hospital alot of times but that doesnt work cause his voices seem to come back

Drugs & schizophrenia - Georgia - Sep 7th 2009

My daughter stop to use a marihuana in Sep08 , she experienced voices and hallucinations . She refused to go to doctor. We could not be able to help her as she is 24 , we do not have any rights.Unfortunately   I have to say that we have been " lucky" as she tried to kill herself and then doctors jump into it and put her in the hospital for the treatment. She still has a voices and strange toughts , but it is comming better and better. I hope one day she will recover . 

drug induced Schizophrenia - - Aug 6th 2009

i just found out that my husband was a meth addict for some years. He has said he is clean about 3 months. Well in that time he has had hallucinations both visual, and auditary. He feels I am threatening him and consipiring against him . he has moved out but continually tells me he knows this happened. he quit his job becuase i rigged my voice to come thru the vents both at home and at his job. he will not seek help because "he is not sick" my question is , has anyone experienced this type of schizophrenia or am I totally off base. will this ever end and him realize that it was a hallucination.

Editor's Note: There is a diagnosis known as Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder which can happen in the aftermath of amphetamine abuse which looks more or less identical to Schizophrenia.  It is more typical for this to occur during intoxication as opposed to withdrawal, but once established, it can hang around for a while even if the drug is not being actively taken.  It is also possible for amphetamine use to "wake up" an otherwise latent disposition to develop psychosis.  In either case, the smart play would be to have your husband be seen as soon as possible by a psychiatrist who can evaluate his condition and prescribe an appropriate treatment. 

Fience-35 - Fience - Jul 31st 2009

I met my fience 7 years ago when I was 18, he 27. He told me he was hard to love but  I was determined. He has never worked, jobs lasted no more then 2 weeks if that. He is now 35 and we have a 5 1/2 year old. He is a wonderful father but in the past has hit walls and he throws things when he gets mad. My family has always hated him. I smokes pot every day. 2 years ago it really started. He told me that someone was sending him hidden messages through junk email. That someone, most often my family, was trying to black mail him. At one point he quit pot for six months and he was like a knew man. then he started smoking again.

This past week we went to his moms, at first he was fine then he woke me up telling me that I was cheating on him with an old classmate through out status messages on facebook. I tried to convince him I wasn't but he didn't believe me. He calmed down a little untill the next night when he said his cousin and I were having an affair through the messages we sent him on myspace. I wrote, I love you and he started changing letters with numbers and other words trying to prove to me that he knows. He keeps threatening to kill himself. He says he won't because he loves our daughter but will never forgive me.

He has also started a business 2 months ago and for the first time is doing something positive. How do I get him help without destroying his new business, and do I stay with him and keep exposing our daughter to this?

schizoaffective - Single Mom - Jul 17th 2009



16yr old with schizo mother - claire - Jul 1st 2009

I'm 33 with 4 young children and grew up with a alcoholic, schizophrenic mother who was extremely selfish.  She had loud non sensical and repetative arguments with my dad for 21 yrs of my life day in day out all through the night and i was often falling asleep in class at school.  My behaviour became disruptive but b/cos there wasn't the same awareness then as there is now no-one asked me if i was ok, they just branded me a naughty child.

When my older sister turned 18 she left home and no-one has ever heard from her again, she can't bare to be reminded of her "family".  Please make sure you stick together with your sister, you need eachother not just now but in years to come, remember you are the only ones that will know what you've really been through.

My dad left my mum when i was 23 and i was the only one left looking after my mum.  As much as i hated her for this lifetime of misery and mental abuse, i felt sorry for her too and always lived in hope that i could one day get her help.  Well by 27 and 4 yrs of visits to my GP for help to get my mum on meds we finally did it. She was so convinced everyone was out to kill her and even the "they" people were apparently trying to kill my first daughter.  Now shes been on antipsychotics for 6 yrs she's gone to the other extreme, down, slow, dim.  some days are quite good others frustrating it's like the meds are eating away at her brain.  However, it's better than without them and i've even been able to talk to her a bit about my childhood.  Sometimes i feel bitter that i lost a dad and sister b/cos of her but with age you stop fighting it and accept that it's an illness and start to forgive.

Please, please any youngsters living with a schizo parent go and ask a teacher, family member or GP for help, don't suffer anymore b/cos trust me the pain you bare never leaves you it just gets easier to handle.  If you can get help early on the better your lives will be and you can heal yourself.  You are too young to carry the burden of your sick parent.  Early help will help your mum too remember and the sooner that's done the better for you all, hopefully you can get your mother back and find some peace.

Good luck, have hope and trust in God.

I need to understand - caring & concern mom - Jun 22nd 2009

I have a 19 yr old daughter who was just diagnosised with schizoprhenia, I want to do everything that I can to help her live a life as simple as possible, she has dreams and plans for her life. I had a grandma who was schizophrenic but no one ever talked about it and my uncle who was as well took his life into his own hands July 2008. Please help me with any resources, websites or anything that you may think I will need to help my daughter, she is the most precious person I know. I'm in colorado.

system needs work - linda - Apr 21st 2009

My brother, age 47 just took his life. On the outside he appeared healthy, good looking, well mannered...on the inside he struggled with depression, schizophrenia. Ambilify made him feel worse. Doctors came and went b/c he thought they were all crazy. B/c he lived on his own, nobody could monitor his habits. As a close loving family that had the means to care for him, we couldn't help him. Doctors couldn't help him. The "system" says the patient doesn't have to disclose information. After age 18 the patient can refuse care. How does a sick person have that right? How come the various places my brother went to (my parents paid) couldn't disclose what was wrong with him? Our system needs work. My brother should not have had to live in so much pain.

Schizophrenia does not have a cure but it can be successfully treated with the right medication - Sara Bonini - Apr 8th 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 42.  At UCLA when they diagnosed me they put me on Rispiredal, the side affects were dry mouth and lost of sex drive, but the symptems were gone so that worked for me.   When Geodon came out in the market I was put on this new drug and I have been on this drug ever since, and my treatments with these drugs were a miracle for me.    With Geodon by Pfizer, I don't hear any voices, I am not agressive and I sleep well.  Schizophrenia does not have a cure but it can be successfully treated with the right medication where the individual can function in a normal manner on a daily basis and have her or his life back. 

3rd Year With Skitzophrenia - JP - Mar 16th 2009

I have skitzophrenia. I live a pretty normal life, except all the time I am conscious, i hear voices. It is a group of them. Hopefully they will go away in a few years. Its really extreme. No medication has made any difference. Neither has prayer. I know that there is a reason i am going through this. I just dont know what to believe at this point.

 Im sooooo confused.

My advice to those with similar symptoms is to push on forward, because nobody has the right to stifle your dreams!

 Good luck to all suffering with skitzophrenia.






delusional wife - Dad - Jan 18th 2009
i have a wife who believes she is mary magdelene and is going to divorce me for a man she believes is jesus christ. she seems pretty normal with the kids, i come home for lunch sometimes just to check up on her. she is going to move out and live by herself. what should i do? i called some hotlines, but without any negative behavior, they won't come out. what to do?

To 16 yo with mom-problem - Monica - Jan 16th 2009

Please go to a school counselor or ask a police officer for help.  Child welfare may be about to help you.  Advocate and be very vocal about what you and your sister need and remember if no one else really helps you ask God for help he always answers prayers...

My 20 year old son is schizophrenic, we are in the first year of this disease.  I am handing this problem over to GOD.  He sits in the house all day listening to the radio, thank god he is not violent but he gets loud, yelling sometimes.

Schizo MOTHER - - Dec 2nd 2008
my mother is a schizophrenic and is ruining my life. she wont get a job and relies on other people to pay her bills. But she also treats them like they are out to get her, when really they are trying to help. im 16 and have a 13 year old sister. now the people who were helping her are not anymore so she is going to the police saying they were attacking her. i dont know what to do! im fixing to not have a place to live. i feel helpless. i need help.will someone help me or give me advice?????

Alone - Allan N Schwartz - Dec 1st 2008

Dear Mother of a 17 year old son with schizophrenia,

No need to feel alone. You need to find NAMI, national alliance for the mentally ill and they have a sister organization called FAMI, families allied for the mentally ill. You can find NAMI on the Internet and, once on their site, you will find FAMI. They are wonderfully supportive and are likely to have local chapters in or  near your community where you can attend and find lots of help.

Dr. Schwartz

15 year old son with schizophrenia - julia - Dec 1st 2008

My son has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia, I feel very scared.  He has been prescribed olanzapine; they seem to have helped a bit with the delusions, however he now seems more depressed than ever before.  It is as if the delusions protected him from the depression?  He hasn't gone to school today, that is getting more usual as the days go by.  I have taken yet another day off work; getting really worried about work.

He is seeing a psychiatrist but it is only once a week.  I feel very alone dealing with his illness.  any words of encouragement.  I also feel unsure about his prognosis as his uncle is a severe schizophrenic and his father (deceased) was quite unique himself.

7 yr old onset schiz. - Melissa - Oct 24th 2008

I just read "Jeff"'s comment and felt very sad but oddly comforted sometimes I think there isn't another person out there like me.  I'm a 34 yr old mom fighting to keep my son who just turned 9 in our home.  He was dx. with autism at 2, aspergers ocd at 7, schizophrenia at 71/2 and now  adhd.  It's probably all schizophrenia with some PDD, it is horrifying to see him grow younger at each turning b-day.  Sometimes I think I'llnever get it off my mind.  My new neurologist said the PDD made him suspectible to catching such a virilant onset at a young age.  He's on 4 psy. drugs and has been hospitolized 3 times.  Epilepsy has been a confusion because his eeg's aren't normal but also not epileptic either.  He's suffuring hearing loss with water noise periodically, this disturbes me more that visual hallucinations or hearing he's retarted or stupid because he's loosing time with these episodes.  It's taken me over 18mo. to believe this diagnosis is true (or a possibility).   Denial will be the largest danger in this house.  My sweet daughter(4yrs.) is now convinced he has magic powers and she has to do what he says.  I think having a sibling is whatis confusing things the most.  We have a therapist that comes here and are trying brutally to fight back against this.   Thanks for listening, wish I could contact Jeff.

Thank you - Joan - Oct 19th 2008

Thank you for this website.  I was given a bleak prognosis, i.e. recovery is impossible.  After reading the 10 year outcomes, I am much more hopeful for a complete recovery.  I have no family history of schizophrenia, have been in remission with no relapses using abilify for 4 years.  I am curious if a mengioma could be in any way connected to this illness as I was diagnosed with that at the same time the schizophrenia started...age 42.

Question - Shannon Ritterbush - Aug 9th 2008

what is the difference between someone diagnosed bipolar with psychotic features and someone who has Schitzo affective disorder?  When I was reading about psychosis for a schitzophrenic it sounded like the same experience I have? I have noticed a lot of the new medications that treat bipolar treat this disorder as well.  Is it possible to have both?

I thought I was hiding my outlandishness. To some extent I probably was but it is just like I was reading.  I got overwhelmed and I couldn't logically deduce anything. Anyway I am going to see someone wedensday. Do you have any suggestions about what I should discuss with her?

Editor's Note: the difference between a mood disorder with psychosis and schizoaffective disorder is that when psychosis is associated with a mood disorder, the psychosis remitts when the mood disorder remits.  With schizoaffective disorder, the psychosis can continue during periods where the mood disorder is in remission.  

Thank You! - Occupational Therapy Assistant Student - Jun 15th 2008

Wow! All the comments on this board are amazing and so heartfelt. I am a student and hope to work in the psychiatric field when I graduate. I am writing a research paper on schizophrenia and have found your letters online so open and honest. Thank you so much for that. You have taught me so much! You have also shown me that I know exactly where I want to work. I want to be able to help those with mental illnesses. I can't imagine being anywhere else. Thanks again for sharing so much of yourself on here!

- Belinda - Jun 11th 2008

Hi - it's Belinda

My 22 year old son was released from the hospital.  I have registered him as a full time student at the local community college in order to keep him on my insurance.  We met with a psych today and he is leaning towards bipolar.  He perscribed abilify.  My cost was $90.  He took his first dosage today and says that he does not like it.  I explained that he has not given it a chance.  I explained that even though he is not psychotic at this time, he is low functioning and that witha little help he may be able to lead a normal life.  I have come to believe that part of the problem is the disease but the other part is his personality.  I explained that if he was diagnosed with terminal cancer that I would expect him to get treatment and fight the battle.  I would not and could not accept his decision to let the disease  progress.  I cannot sit by and watch.  Maybe I am selfish but it would cause too much heartache and grief too see him suffer.  Mental illness does not affect a persons cognitive ability.  They know what needs to be done - it's hard to accept a diagnosis of a chronic mental illness but once diagnosed, they need to seek treatment and get on with their life.  He feels as though he is fine with the way things are but things are not fine.  If he continues to refuse treatment, he will need to find another place to live.  I am his mother always and forever but there are natural consequences for ones actions.  Mental illness is not mental retardation.  They are aware.  I feel like have done everything in my power to make his life better but my wanting him to fight this battle will not cause him to do so.  I wish him the best.  I have given him all the tools that I know how to give.  At this point it is up to him.  I love him to death but I do have to think about my 12 year old daughter and my husband.  My door is always open but it comes with conditions - seek treatment - want to get better - lead as normal a life as possible.  These things are not that difficult to do especailly when you have a family that is willing to help. His name is Zachary - I love you Zak!  I pray that life gets better for you.  

Daughter 13yr old also had Down Syndrome - Karen - Jun 7th 2008

In Nov. this year our daughter started having a hard time in school and a classmate died. Having down Syndrome makes it hard for to express any issues outside of a comment her or there. She started playing fantasy role play with High School Musical kids. She started over months making these pretend people her life. She then became psychotic. Auditory hallucinations that were constant.

End of Feb 2008 she started staying up all night. Manic. Crying one minute, laughing for two hours at a time. Put her in partial hosp. that was one week. Meds were Zoloft and risperdal. Zoloft made her manic and risperdal caused leg jerks and hand tremor. Stopped both.

Psychosis with her is thinking Aliens are capturing her, boyfriend which is high school musical boy (Troy) is breaking up with her. Constant arguements with him. She now thinks she is a spy kid. She is stuck in some video game and can not get out. She cries they will not let her out.

Doc and myself have tried every drug class at baby amounts with bad effects. She is not on Abilify and saw my daughter for the first time last week. Then that night tongue clicking and worming started. He told me to lower it. Psychotic again. Pees herself has no idea I am in the room half the time. Wants to ride in the car constantly. Waiting for this new level of Abilify to hopefully level out. She is in there and I had her one day out of 5 months very sad. Frustrating. She has never had health problems due to the Down Syndrome. Very high functioning. Smart. Then this. She talks to these pretend world people fromt he moment she wakes until she goes to sleep. She has never spoke to real people like this. Ever. She has real intellectual conversations. I think it is because she is some how controlling both sides.

So strange. She is in this other world that she has everything and sometimes like I said she cries for them to let her out. She wants her life back. Breaks my heart , can not put a bandaid on it.

Anyone else have a special needs child with schizophrenia also?

Karen (please do not email unless it is related to this post).

Life after schizophrenia - Keith - Jun 6th 2008

Hi, my names keith. I was diagnosed with drug induced schizophrenia when I was 21 at university. I'm now 28 and believe I've made a full recovery. I have a good job as a chemical engineer and I'm planning on starting my own business in my spare time. I was given a bleak outlook when I was first diagnosed and told that I wouldn't de able to live the life i was meant to. I relapsed twice during a five year period after my first episode. I refused to believe I was ill and didn't take my medication. After my second relapse I stopped talking for 6 weeks. I didn't say a word to anyone. I tried committing suicide twice. I became very ill again. I don't know whether I should be saying this but my parents convinced a local GP to prescribe my medication to my parents. My parents then put the rispiredone in my food, tea, any anything else they could get me to eat or drink. I was totally unaware of this and didn't even notice myself getting better. After twelve months I started to look for a job. When I found one relating to my career I had to go for a medical and found out through a letter from my GP what had been going on. I felt totally relieved and ever since I've been taking my medication religously.

I think there's two reasons why I recovered. Firstly because I was taking my medication whether it was without my knowledge or willingly. Secondly becuase my parents made me talk about my problems. I found a real friend in my dad. The more I talked about my problems and thoughts the easier it was to deal with them, until eventually they seemed insignificant.

I'm by no means cured, but from the outside people who don't know me think I'm completely normal and have no idea. I don't normally write on websites, but unfortunately because of the stigma surrounding schizophrenia theres no other way to tell my story. I've been reading other people's stories on this site and I just want to wish everyone the best and I want you to know there is life after schizophrenia.

Dear Belinda - Zorica - May 31st 2008

Dear Belinda

it is obvious that we are going throug same hell.

I am not so strong to  cope with all this what happened to my son last year.

i also have ayounger son who is 13 and I am not sure how much he understands and how I am going protect him in this situation.

I am a single mom (widowed) and migrant and I do not know what to do in a situation when my son refuses any help.

I wish miracle for all of us. It is so painful.

I wish I can talk to you more about this but there are little chances for it.

I wish all of you who read this all te best.

My 22 old son stoped his medication - Zorica - May 31st 2008

My 22 years old son was hospitalised in Novembar 2007 and since then he was coping well.For lastu 3 weeks he stoped his seroquel medication and i can notice a change in his behaviour.

The worst is that he refuses any help.

19 year old daughter - Elizabeth - May 22nd 2008

How sad this is. How much work is being done on new medications??

22 yr old son with (I think) schizophrenia - Belinda - May 5th 2008

I am so afraid. My son suffered a psychotic episode at the end of March and has not completly recovered yet! He is in a psychiatric hospital. He is currently taking 800 mg of saroquel (sp). His life, and mine, have changed. I am so sad and scared. I believe he has been having auditory hullicinations for some time but has been able to function until last month. He signed a lease on an apartment and everything fell apart. He scares me. He hates me. He thinks that I am the enemy. He doesn't understand that I love him and that I am trying to help him. He has never been violent. He is typically a passive guy. I am worried, though, that when he is released that he will come home and try to hurt me or my 12 year old duaghter. Should I be worried?

16 and schizophrenic - linda - Feb 22nd 2008

My daughter is 16 with this and doesnt really know what to expect. She is feeling really lonely. She is homebound and very very parinoid, has halluc. the whole nine yards but with it enough to know she is looked at as weird. Any advise?  We live in a rural community. It is rare to have this so young and she has all the young teen girl issues as well. Any advise would be appreciated. I feel like I am swimming in mud across an ocean.

schizo - - Feb 8th 2008


Before you reach any conclusion, the best thing would be to get a second opinion from a professional.

Important (make sure) - Jeremy - Jan 11th 2008

Hello, the symptoms of schizophrenia can be mild to severe but one must not quickly jump to the conclusion that some individual has Schizophrenia and the reason is because there are many causes of psychosis. If someone in your family has symptoms of Psychosis and you really want to be sure that it CAN be schizophrenia then I personally suggest that you look at and check for KURT SCHNIEDERS FIRST RANK symptoms. This is a very useful way to see if someone has Schizophrenia. There are about 9 to 11 questions to show the classic symptoms. You can easily find this on the internet and hopefully help you. So make sure by using this. Let me know what you think if you have the time. Thank you.

Editor's Note: (from the Wikipedia article )

(Schnider) was ... concerned with differentiating schizophrenia from other forms of psychosis, by listing the psychotic symptoms that are particularly characteristic of schizophrenia. These have become known as Schneiderian First-Rank Symptoms or simply, first-rank symptoms. These were:

  • Audible thoughts
  • Voices heard arguing
  • Voices heard commenting on one's actions
  • Experience of influences playing on the body
  • Thought withdrawal
  • Thought insertion - Thoughts are ascribed to other people who intrude their thoughts upon the patient
  • Thought diffusion (also called thought broadcast)
  • Delusional perception

The reliability of using first-rank symptoms for the diagnosis of schizophrenia has since been questioned, although the terms might still be used descriptively by mental health professionals who do not use them as diagnostic aids.

A memory device that is frequently used to remember the first rank symptoms is ABCD: Auditory hallucinations, Broadcasting of thought, Controlled thought (delusions of control), Delusional perception.

trying to get a diagnosis - Aria - Dec 29th 2007

I have a 13 year old son who has bipolar disorder with hypo-mania, intermittent explosive disorder and autism. We have seen psychotic breaks with him since he was seven years old, but now that he is thirteen things seem to be getting worse. I have been saying for years that he was on the "hairy edge" of schizophrenia, but now it seems like these symptoms are becoming more pronounced. He hears voices, sees things (most commonly for him demons) and cannot tell the difference between television and reality. He also has paranoid delusions (such as thinking his food was poisoned) and will tell you in a very flat tone things which are extremely odd. Recently, he told his teacher that he knew when she was going to die, and that it would be in a car accident. This was all said in a very flat tone. He also has what I term verbal vomit where he was been yelling racial slurs at the staff at his school who are african american. This is not the way we brought him up, and he is not prejudiced, but there was a child in his class years ago who said them, and that is the only way he would have learned them. I am extremely heart broken by that though, as it is something I was sure we had raised him not be. In fact, when he is himself he will tell you that those things are wrong. His teacher recently said to me that she feels he should be looked at for schiziphrenia. I had him taken to his psychiatrist, but they told me that he could not be schizophrenic, because he hears and sees things and schizophrenics ONLY hear things. They also told me he was too low functioning cognitively to be schizophrenic. I looked on line though, and it does not say in the DSM IV that schiizophrenics ONLY hear things or that you have to be of a certain cognitive level to be schizophrenic. I am wondering though, because of his age, if they are unwilling to diagnose him with this, since he is not an adult yet. However, we have been seeing these signs now for over six years! When I looked at the criteria for schizophrenia, he met everything, so again, my question is, are they afraid to give us this diagnosis due to his age???? My worry is that when we are not here to advocate for him, he will need this to explain his behavior. I am not afraid of the word, afterall, a lot of folks are put off by the word autism, but he has so many labels it does not really matter to me. The point is to find out what he has, so that he can get the appropriate treatment and so that it will serve as a protection after we are no longer here to speak for him. Does anyone have any suggestions??? Thanks.

schizophrenia - lesley - Oct 4th 2007

hi. i am writing to tell you all that i was amazed and touched by all your stories. i am studying nursing at the moment and want to specialise in psych nursing. i was going through this web site as i am currently doing an essay on schizophrenia. i have learnt so much and want to learn more. i have a friend that lives with the illness but didnt fully understand the depth of it. i admire you all, you are all such strong people. thank you for sharing your experiences.

mental disorders/medications/getting off meds - Gloria Sanchez - Aug 25th 2007
Hello, my suggestion is that you speak to your "child" psychiatrist and inform him/her that he/she wants to get off the medications.  If side effects occur like stumbling/eye vision impairment/stomach medication intolerance, etc. any medical problems.  It's time to get off the medications. As a friend of youth, I encourage children to stay in school and learn from experience to help others and adults someone.  There is a high demand for psychologists and other expertise with disorders.  Encouragement and results, proving to them that they are needed with a security is good for them to know.  Exposure to a mental/mental facility is good training to just sit in and listen.  This will keep them from becoming a street bum, etc.  Some doctors just need to retire, and new ones are here.  Even consulting mother to psychiatrist about childhood to adult mental disorders/behaviors are a must for mothers to check up on. Good luck...Gloria Sanchez, tel#760-348-5307. student in research methods in psychology.  Children and adults. Criminal justice studies for children and adults and future lawyer.  I listen to children.  They say the truth because ifs something happened it stays in their minds and they want to say it was wrong what was done to them.  You'll be surprised how many child perverts and non-registered, registered offenders there are.  Gloria.

schizophrenia in children and adults - Gloria Sanchez - Aug 25th 2007
Hello, I am a working volunteer mental/medical/law student in which my specialty will be preventive methods in psychology for students to avoid encarceration or prison term.  Yes, I have heard of many children diagnosed with schizophrenia paranoia.  Mostly, these children have multiple disorders such as undiagnozed bi polar disorder.  It's in the untreated or undiagnosed family tree up there.  Even certain incorrect medications given have detremental outcomes for students such as incorrectly diagnosis of certain temporary disorder. I have found that certain doctors are not specialized with children disorders in family tree or not counseled properly to emphasize with children.  It takes time for kids to trust someone especially a psychiatrist.  Children that are now in their late 40's suffered and it's in the papers.  Child molestations, child abuse by both parents or even other family members in which are heavily medicated for depression or even not treated.  Child abuse and molestation in my opinion has a lot to do with schizophrenia paranoia disorder and child abuse, abandonment, maltreatment of that child as bi polar in the future. Tell me if I have a good opinion. Student.  Gloria Sanchez, psychology/criminal justice/law studies.

In response to Cheryl of 02/07 - Joe - Aug 22nd 2007
Cheryl, I am a therapist and social worker, who has worked with adults with mental illness for over 10 years. There should be county mental health services near where you live. You DO NOT have to be instituationalized to find recovery. In fact, the Recovery Model will encourage you through your own resources and those of others in recovery especially, to discover a life with medications, etc, that you feel is worth living. Dont' give up and I hope you find some peace.  Joe

i'm doing a school profect on schizophrenia - Magi - Apr 19th 2007

right now i am doing a health project on schizophrenia, and i have never known anyone with it, but i have learned a lot on this web site. thank you for having so much information about those kind of diseases on ur web site.

i have it - cheryl - Feb 7th 2007

Im 20 yrs old f..

ive had schitzo for 5 yrs..been to many hospitals.. had problems with cutting and trying to commit suicide.. its been hard.. i have delusions in my head that ppl are plotting some kind of things towards me..i see them talking about me everywhere i go.. i always think everyone int he room islooking and laughing and calling me names.. and planning something to hurt me.. i hear critisizing voices.. not on any meds cuz i cant find a doc anymore..ive been on about 10 different kinds int he past 10 yrs...ive had a rough childhood.. and i seem to be living fine now without meds..but some days i am a difefrent person.. very diffewrent.. i dont know where to go for help anymore.. ive learned to handle it and keep alot in.. sometimes it just comes out though,,,,its very hard ..but with a little mind power.. i can control myself and behappy...but when i relapse.. i am uncontrolable.. i need to get back on my meds.. but i woul dhave to be instatutionalized beforei can..i have to go completely nuts before i can get unfair is tht?

Child Onset Schizophrenia or C.O.S. - Jeff - Nov 18th 2006
It is an amazing journey through life, especially, if your child has C.O.S. I've been watching this "total system failure" for over 9 years and counting. My son is 13 and heading for 20 but the prognosis is poor at best. I won't even plan for his 21st birthday because the "experts" say, by the time he turns twenty, he won't have a brain left. The MRI's taken from C.O.S. research depict a major drop in brain function, between, the ages of 14 to 20 years of age. You really need a lot of luck to find a good doc and or hospital too. This disease will haunt you everywhere you go but there is hope because an early diagnosis can slow the process of brain disintegration down and sometimes out the door to remission. Don't wait for a diagnosis. Make one yourself. If your child has many Axis I disorders with comorbidities like pervasive developmental delay, aspergers syndrome, tourettes syndrome, OCD, conduct disorder and ADHD. Don't delay!!! You must rule out child onset schizophrenia before you can move forward with a complete and competent diagnosis. It maybe a little bit late for me but you still may have a chance for recovery, if, you catch it early.

My Son has Schizophrenia - Maxine - Nov 12th 2006
For the past 11 years, my son has struggled with Schizophrenia, to begin with he was placed on Stelazine and the side effects were intolerable, then lithium, this made him so edgy he became violent to the point of smashing every window in our house, it was terrifying. He is usually a lovable, caring person. He was then placed back on Stelazine which caused awful muscle twitches, these twitches drove him crazy, pardon the pun. He became so desperate after this he decided to come off all medications and I supported him fully. We were both very concerned about the consequences but we didn't know what else we could do. My son felt he needed to get away, perhaps some time out would help, so he traveled up to Brisbane, Australia. While he was there he became very unwell, fortunately he had the insight to recognize he needed to get help. He went to the Brisbane Hospital, and this was when we had a real break through with treatment. My son was treated by a very good doctor, who called me to explain that he was placing my son on Zyprexa, at the time this was a reletaviley new drug, the doctor told me that there were far less side effects and therefore my son should find it much easier to cope with, he also pointed out that the medicine he was given down here in Melbourne Australia, was old fashioned and out of date. I can't tell you how greatful both my son and I have been towards this doctor. Since then my son has not been hospitalized for 6 years, whereas before he was in and out of hospital continuously. More recently he has changed his medication to a new generation drug called Abilify, and this has been remarkable, it doesn't seem to sedate him as much and therefore he finds it much easier to participate in activities he just couldn't manage before. He has recently started a computer course, and has moved away from home and is now living independentley, doing his own shopping and cooking and general house work. We hope the next step may be to take on a small job of some kind to supplement his pension, but it must be something that he wants to do when he feels ready. It's been a very slow step by step process for my son to get this far, but I'm very proud of him for hanging in there as he has. I hope these comments help any of you who may be struggling with this issue, please don't give up there is hope. I think the main thing is to find a good doctor, someone who is up to date with modern treatments and good councelling, also patience is something you need alot of as well. I understand that he will never do as much in life as he may have without his illness, but after 11 years I feel we have finaly made some real progress, and turned the corner so to speak. Maxine Maxine

At Witts End - Tisheye - Oct 31st 2006
i read your letters i know what your going through my son is 29 and he is a schz. he has been in and out of mental hospital the clinic he goes to is not much help his problem also comes along with trying to come up with some kind of drug he can cook up to get high he tries everything and just sits in his room and only comes out to try to find a drug he gets stuff over the counter and he gets crazy but the clinic won't help me because its not illegal but those drugs should be because its hard when you cant get anyone to help you he is on medication but he is still hard to deal with.

Schizophrenic Daughter - - Oct 18th 2006
My heart goes out to those who are dealing with this awful disease. My daughter, now 19, was diagnosed with developmental delays and cerebral atrophy at 18 months and mild mental retardation at 5 years of age. We began taking her to additional specialists at 5 1/2 years of age due to some of her bizarre behaviors. We were told she possibly had Sotos Syndrome and that she was indeed mildly mentally retarded, but that her behavior would taper with age. At age 8 the Dan Marino Clinic diagnosed her with Frontal Lobe Disorder. All the while her behavior was even not consistent with children much younger than her, even for one with mild retardation. At age 10 we began seeking out counselors and pschyiatrist. We were constantly told that although her behavior was sometimes bizarre and she was not growing at an age appropriate social and mental level they all thought she was going to be alright and we should just be patient. Her episodes of acting out movies she had seen as though she was an active participant was chalked up to over active imagination, her inability to socialize was chalked up to shyness, her learning disabilities to mental retardation, her speech deficits to crooked teeth...I could go on all day. When she was 9 she accused a male friend of attempting to sexually abuse her, her step mother of beating her and her father of beating her in the head with a hammer. Needless to say I have over the years developed a good relationship with Child Services. All of these accusations were found to be false...eventually. We continued to carry her to doctors to attempt to gain some insight so that we could assist her in having a productive life. Yet, we always walked away depressed and feeling as though maybe we were crazy, maybe we were making too much of this, maybe it was just what it is and there was nothing to do. Finally at age 14 we moved to another state. We found a doctor who actually saw what we saw and listened to what we were going through, but because of our daughters age he did not want to label her with schizophrenia, therefore the diagnosis was schizo-effective disorder. We were informed that the diagnosis of schizophenia was not generally given to those under 18 years of age unless the child displayed dangerous and / or harmful actions. Alas, at age 17, she punched her pregnant step mother in the stomach, pushed her step sister down a flight of stairs, pulled a knife on her step mother, accused everyone she came in contact with of one thing or another ( with total disregard of what destruction she was causing ), lied constantly about everything, began showing obsessive compulsiive tendancies, basically made all our lives a living hell. Finally, at 17, she was diagnosed as scizophrenic. Her meds were amped up and for the last 2 years she has been on 200mg Zoloft, 30mg Risperdal and 3mg Abilify daily. Although these medications help, they have not afforded her any normalcy in her life, nor in ours. I have been informed that these are the max dosages of these med, more than max for the Zoloft, but what am I to do. I am further frustrated by the new changes in medicaid, which means we now have to find a new doctor for her. I have also been informed that she will get worse. I am a single mother with this daughter, another daughter and my grandmother, with lewys body dementia, in my home. Unfortunatley, since my daughter turned 18 her father has taken a hands off approach. I am determined to keep her out of a mental institution, it has been advised she go, but my heart will not have any part of it. I do not have any idea what I am looking at in the future, quite honestly I have been reluctant to inquire, maybe I should. If anyone is in my position please know that you are not alone, we are out here, living in the solitude afforded those that care for our children with extreme disabilities. The only advice I can offer anyone with this problem is be persistant, you know better than anyone else when something is not right with your children. Do not become complacent as these problems do not go away. You are truly the only advocate your child has, don't be afraid to stand up to those in authority or position and don't take everything your doctor says as the gospel, they do not live with your child you do! If you are someone else who has been through this or have information that you feel may assist me or my daughter then please post that information here. I am always looking for new solutions, ideas, treatments ect.. I wish you all well and hope that your journey is paved with few potholes.

14 year journey - - Jul 13th 2006

My son is 31 and has had Schizophrenia for 14 years. Now he is taking shots after being off medications for 6 horrible months. During that time he said that he was happy. I told him he did not realize how bizarre his behavior was and had delusional thinking. He said at least he did not have any psychotic attacks. Since being on shots and Risperidol he has had two bad psychotic episodes, like panic attacks. He describes them as extreme ecstacy and extreme agony at the same time and feeling very fearful and helpless. Totally drained of energy. The Psychiatrist said he needed more meds and to take a 1/2 miligram of Risperidol if an episode happens again. These scared him to the point of saying that he couldn't live like that and he talked like he would rather not be taking his meds if they made the episodes happen. i am worried that he may stop the meds again and that would be horrible. He may end up as a street person if he does.I cannot continue to help him if he won't stay on his meds. Is it ever possible that if one gets the right medication level that they can never have a psychotic episode again? He acts normal and great on the shots until these episodes occurred. Also, has anyone out there ever heard of a person under 17 getting diagnosed as Schizophrenia? Also, what do we know about causes of the mental illness? Could it be prevented?

Editor's Note: Some answers to your questions: 1) Children can indeed be diagnosed with Schizophrenia. 2) Antipsychotic medication can lessen the intensity and duration of but not entirely prevent future psychotic episodes. 3) It isn't entirely clear at this time whether it is possible to head off Schizophrenia before it develops. Some studies have been done with prophylactic antipsychotic medication given at the first signs of psychosis, but results appear to be mixed so far. Having drugs on board might slow down the conversion to psychosis, but no study to our knowledge has yet established that this is in fact the case. If the effect exists, it is a small one.

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