Clients' social isolation prompted me to research ways to alleviate it

What do you think - do you agree with this Nurse’s evaluation?


While working in the community with people who have schizophrenia, it became clear that the symptoms of their condition were not as distressing as their lack of social support.

I think it’s half the symptoms, half the lack of support. Sometimes stigma from others and what it causes can be worse than the actual symptoms to which we are accostumed, I believe, at least from my experience.

For a time there it was difficult for me to be aware of symptoms because I lived so long with them not medicated, the relief from medication made be aware of them and notice their absence.

I had excellent care here in Portugal, both from nurses and doctors but sense a lack of support from the general community, like NAMI in the US, we need something like that here.


I would love to think my son was not suffering as much as I think he does.
There never seems to be enough support…

I don’t have schizophrenia but what is generally accepted as a schizophrenia spectrum disorder/illness.
For me,as a chronic patient, my primary area of problem is socialisation and interacting with others, which is tied into long term paranoia and social anxiety that was triggered by poor social interaction skills and negative peer reactions as a child/teenager.
I spend 98+% of the time on my own and most weeks speak less than a handful or two of sentences to other people face to face. The most likely conversation is either at my depot clinic or on the phone dismissing those pesky cold callers.
It was not always like this in that at one point I had a daily drop in to pop into and a befriender and was going to a mental health resource centre.
Now there are now none of those things. The drop in and befriending service were dropped half a decade ago . Those funding the local mental health charity that ran them demanded they be cut or they would withhold further funding. Basically financial tight-fistedness trumped patient needs. A radical restructure of the charity’s service was implemented that was not conducive to the needs of chronic, long term patients . What “drop ins” there are now are once weekly affairs for a couple of hours and invariably time limited. Not really suitable for someone with chronic and enduring problems who needs something on a regular and continuous basis.
The emphasis is on activities in the community but for me (a) Many of the venues for activities are outside my comfort zone geographically and/or (b) involve an interaction with general society that I find hard because of chronic paranoia and social anxiety. With other seriously mentally ill at a drop in I am not that fearful of being mocked and/or treated negatively but the same can not be said of mingling with the general public.
Yesterday after my depot I went for a breakfast at a cafe I use. I sat as usual by myself. It got me out of the flat for a bit longer but that was about it. As I told the person giving my depot I see no point in going out on my own to wander the high street aimlessly window shopping.
It would be different if I still had a befriender or a regular drop in to attend.
I think for many people with chronic serious mental illness the negative social effects are often the most enduring and the ones that are paid least attention to by the mental health professionals.