The importance of hope

It’s something I learned about recently in one of my neuroscience courses. Back a few decades or so ago only around 30% of people with spinal cord injury that lead to paralysis were able to walk again. Doctors were told to tell their patients they would never walk again, so they couldn’t be held liable if they said the person would walk again and they never did. Due to this the majority of paralyzed people never even tried to walk again…

Then things in the medical field changed as they realized the power of hope…research studies were done examining outcomes of patients who were told they would walk again and lead independent lives, and they did…it was implemented commonly and now 90% of people with spinal cord injury leading to paralysis will be able to walk again, and even the ones that don’t walk again end up making improvements in their situation. A 30% recovery rate jumped to a 90% recovery rate through hope alone…(in case you were wondering there have been no changes or improvements in actual medical treatment of spinal cord injury in that time-shocking and sad but true, so the jump in rate is widely accepted as being due to patients now being encouraged and thus commonly going into physical therapy now and working hard where they wouldn’t have before…)

I firmly believe the same can hold true for schizophrenics…many doctors give such bleak prognoses for schizophrenia, and people give up and think it will never get any better and stop trying to make it better…I think if we change the narrative, things could really look up. Stay hopeful.


thank you I am 63 I am much better


When doctors see a patient at the beginning of their disease of schizophrenia, they are probably seeing the patient at their worst. Its no wonder they give such bleak prognosis to many patients.

I’m just being objective.

No doctor ever told me what I could or could not do. I looked normal at the beginning of my disease and I could talk and think rationally. But if they had known what was really going on in my thick skull with all of the craziest delusions they might have changed their tune and locked me up for a very ;long time and thrown away the key.

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I remember one of the first things my old pdoc said to me. He said,“it hasn’t taken that much medication to correct your illness, because you were less sick to start from.” In other words, my brain was not that damaged by the psychosis. I had a hell of a psychosis though.

My great aunt had a stroke when she was born, and half of her brain died. She got her Masters in Library Science with only half a brain. Maybe that’s where my resilience comes from.


It’s such a good idea that I named myself after it! :grinning:



Do you think it can be taught, or is it inborn?

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I think it can be taught. I’m sure there are a lot of websites that give tips on building resilience.

When I was diagnoses I wasn’t given a prognosis, my pdoc just said something like so we know whats going on, now we have to get you back to where you were before it started. And I am back there now.


I am going to tear the world apart, once I get an opportunity.
Now on top of my illness I am somewhat tired from the workout,
so unfortunately I can’t read your post @Anna
I do hope that I will get a real opportunity one day.

I think it’s both nature and nurture in so much that having the tenacity to keep at life even though you’ve been dealt a bad hand. I’m stubborn and independent like my great aunt. That is probably the hereditary part. If you push hard, work on vocabulary, keep reading, and go to school you will have better results. Although, I’d be flat on my a$$ if my medicine didn’t work, so it’s a three pronged attack: nature, nurture, and medicine.

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I think that pushing hard doesn’t guarantee success, but it is certainly the modus operandi I would recommend.
Also, we have to be fair and say that it is difficult to push hard even for healthy people, and for people with schizophrenia
it is 10 times more difficult, not everyone can manage it.
I think that my case is mostly genetic.


I would say that having hope is a good thing. It’s the only thing that keeps me going some days.
But having sz is very much like having a spinal injury. Your senses are in tact enough to recognize that you are disabled yet there’s nothing that you can do about it.

Never say that @MeghillaGorilla1!
It is true that the disease doesn’t let us operate the way we would want,
it makes us disabled yes, but to say we can do nothing is wrong.
Firstly, we must try to do what we can in the difficult circumstances that we are facing,
and secondly, through venues such as schizophrenia forum we can constantly keep ourselves up to date
with emerging treatments. To say we can do nothing is wrong, although indeed
the disease prevents many people and forum users from functioning properly.

But the point is that people with spinal injury CAN do something about it. No, they can’t heal their spinal cord…but through a lot of hard work they can significantly improve their situation. Many of them can live independently again and carry on with their lives.

It was when they believed they couldn’t do anything about their situation that the majority never walked again. Even the ones who were never able to walk again were able to bring very positive change to their lives when they believed they could improve and didn’t give up at it.


I’m sorry @erez but do you have any idea how disabled I am from this illness?
Do you really believe that they will be able to fix this?
It’s like brain death. I’ve been fighting for years to get back to normal and it’s never ever going to happen man. Face it, were ■■■■■■!

@anna hope is the only thing that keeps me going. In fact it’s all I have left. I am like an eternal reservoir of hope it just never ends. I think it comes out in my personality too. I’ve been sick for a long time. When I get negative and suicidal I try to quickly step away for those thoughts and focus on the future.
The illness is just so yucky and the medication makes me feel crummy too. I don’t know. Today is a very bad day I want to do stuff but my symptoms are flaring up.
I know someone who was paralyzed from the neck down diving into a pool in cancun. It took him years to accept that he would never walk again but finally he did. He is in a better place then I am.
Fighting paralysis is near impossible but fighting psychosis is fighting against your own brain. It’s even harder I think.

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@MeghillaGorilla1 I could have done SO much more if healthy, I believe the disease influenced my functioning
even in the prodromal state, but when I actually developed the disease it grew worse and now I am a complete invalid.
You don’t need to lecture me about the damage this disease does.(I am the lecturer here :innocent:)
Yes, I feel your pain, this disease is causing me enormous pain too.
I have been fighting for years to be normal as well, with decreasing success!( at least cognition and functioning wise, not physically)
And yet, I have heard of some cases that resolved themselves naturally(without extra interventions),
me and I can still get lucky.
Further, regarding whether I believe it will be fixed, well frankly I don’t know, I am not an oracle,
but I am optimistic and believe that the answer is yes, a cure is possible and it’s just a matter of time.
I advise you to be optimistic, and always look at the bright side of life.

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Today is going pretty much the same way for me. I am trying to buckle down anyhow but it is incredibly difficult.

But I know every day won’t be this way…we have our own reasons for hanging in there.

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I wouldn’t say that you are an invalid. I’m sure if you had to you could take care of yourself.
I have to remind myself that i used to struggle before the psychosis. I had anxiety and depression.
The prodromal phase for me was difficulty thinking and concentrating. The doctors thought I had ADHD.
They prescribed me a stimulant and a couple months later I went psychotic.
Anyway let’s stick with hope shall we. Let’s hope that in the near future they crack the lid off sz and give us our lives back. I don’t want to be sitting here in another ten years having an identical discussion when I’m in my 40s

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Its a nice thought but im a realist

This is a well-researched phenomenon in the field of neuroscience…not sure how you get more real than that.

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