Stay positive

Your attitude towards treatment matters

  • Don’t buy into the stigma of schizophrenia. Many fears about schizophrenia are not based on reality. It’s important to take your illness seriously, but don’t buy into the myth that you can’t get better. Associate with people who see beyond your diagnosis, to the person you really are.

  • Communicate with your doctor. Make sure you’re getting the right dose of medication—not too much, and not too little. It’s not just your doctor’s job to figure out the dosage and drug that’s right for you. Be honest and upfront about side effects, concerns, and other treatment issues.

  • Pursue therapies that teach you how to manage and cope with your symptoms. Don’t rely on medication alone. Supportive therapy can teach you how to challenge delusional beliefs, ignore voices in your head, protect against relapse, and motivate yourself.

  • Set and work toward life goals. Having schizophrenia doesn’t mean you can’t work, have relationships, and get involved in your community. It’s important to set meaningful goals for yourself and participate in your own wellness.

Build a strong support system

Support makes an immense difference in the outlook for schizophrenia—especially the support of family and close friends. When you have people who care about you and are involved in your treatment, you’re more likely to achieve independence and avoid relapse. You can develop and strengthen your support system in many ways:

  • Turn to trusted friends and family members. Your closest friends and family members can help you get the right treatment, keep your symptoms under control, and function well in your community. Tell your loved ones that you may need to call on them in times of need. Most people will be flattered by your request for their help and support.

  • Find ways to stay involved with others. If you’re able to work, continue to do so. If you can’t find a job, consider volunteering. If you’d like to meet more people, consider joining a schizophrenia support group or getting involved with a local church, club, or other organization.

  • Take advantage of support services in your area. Ask your doctor or therapist about services available in your area, contact hospitals and mental health clinics, or see Resources & References section below for links to support services in your country.