Contrary to the stigma surrounding schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, people who have these disorders can often still live fairly normal lives with the help of proper treatment, including therapies and medication.
We have the tendency to believe that people who are schizophrenic will be violent and that they may cause bodily harm to themselves or others. While in the most extreme cases these assumptions may be true, more often than not, they are far-fetched exaggerations.
The biggest difference between people who have and who do not have schizophrenia is that people with schizophrenia have a difficult time determining what is real and what is not real. With the right combinations of antipsychotic drugs and behavioral, cognitive and family therapies, these discernments between the real and the unreal become easier to make, allowing people with schizophrenia to become more mentally stable and more at peace with themselves and their surroundings. These treated patients can then focus their attention and their energy on being productive in their jobs and day-to-day lives.
Many people who are diagnosed with schizophrenia go on to finish college, hold steady jobs, get married and have families. While focusing on one’s education or job search can be a challenge for someone with someone who has schizophrenia, psychiatrists, psychologists, family members, and friends can and should act as a support system in these endeavors, making these goals more manageable.
Research from psychiatrists has shown that women who have schizophrenia are more likely to get married and start families than are men with schizophrenia, but a number of men do still go on to have families of their own.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember for a person with schizophrenia looking for a relationship is not to avoid social interaction, no matter how much they may want to. With the right balance of medication and therapy, people with schizophrenia should be able to lead fairly normal social lives and should have the desire to form friendships and relationships, normally with people who are especially cognizant and understanding of the schizophrenic individual’s particular needs and desires.
While these success stories are not always the case, they have become more prevalent as science, knowledge and treatment options have advanced and developed. If you are the parent, sibling, or friend of someone dealing with schizophrenia, take heart—there is no good reason not to believe that your loved one will not go on to lead a happy, full life, complete with healthy relationships and tendencies.
Let us support you and your loved one in the battle against psychosis and schizophrenia.