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Schizophrenia

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Coping with Schizophrenia
By June Roberts, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 2)

It is extremely important that you, the caregiver, take care of yourself since caring for a loved one with schizophrenia can be very exhausting. You can begin by creating a support team for yourself. Be sure to visit with people who you can really open up to, and who can help lift your mood in return. Go to the movies with friends, or have a certain night when you meet friends at a restaurant and enjoy a good, relaxing meal. You can also help manage your stress level with regular exercise, as well as making sure to minimize your intake of alcohol or other drugs since they tend to decrease the ability to deal with the stress. You’ll run the risk of burnout if you don’t continue to live your own life, so you need to make an effort to follow through with your own activities and hobbies. Most of all, realize that there is only so much that you can do. You can’t talk someone out of mental illness, nor can you cure the condition by yourself, so try hard to not becoming the “rescuer.” Lastly, just be yourself, and do not take anything personally, especially during a loved one’s episodes. Remember that you are not alone as a caregiver, and that you do have different ways in which to reach out and receive the support and guidance that will help you through even the most stressful of situations.

Information, support, and advocacy organizations:

National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
Colonial Place Three
2107 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22201-3042
Phone: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or (703) 524-7600
nami.org

National Mental Health Association (NMHA)
2001 N. Beauregard Street, 12th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone: 1-800-969-6942 or (703) 684-7722
TTY-800-443-5959
nmha.org

National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse
1211 Chestnut Street, Suite 1000
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Phone: 1-800-553-4key (4539) or (215) 751-1810
mhselfhelp.org

National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD)
60 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 404
Great Neck, NY 11021
Phone: (516) 829-0091
Infoline 1-800-829-8289
narsad.org

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