Schizophrenia is a serious mental health condition. If you or a loved one has schizophrenia, there are resources available to help treat it.
Schizophrenia can alter the way you or a loved one thinks, behaves, and feels. It can lead to health issues and is associated with higher rates of substance use.
With treatment, you or a loved one who has schizophrenia can live fulfilling lives.
It can be overwhelming when you first notice the signs or get a diagnosis. But there are a lot of resources that can help you understand what schizophrenia is and help connect you or a loved one with treatments or support groups.
One of the first steps you can take is to visit a doctor when you start to develop signs of schizophrenia. A doctor can help connect you with a psychiatrist or other specialist to help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment.
If you don’t have easy access to a doctor, you can take advantage of the following resources to help you find help in your local area.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government website that provides information and resources for a variety of mental health conditions, including schizophrenia.
You can use their Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to find therapists that are local to you that may help.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is another government agency that provides a lot of information about schizophrenia. They also provide help with finding resources that can help get you or a loved one properly diagnosed and treated.
They provide a list of potential
The Schizophrenia Alliance is a self-help group for people living with schizophrenia and related conditions. It started in Detroit and has since spread across the United States and the world. It offers anonymous group meetings with no fees or membership dues.
You can sign up online for their peer support groups.
Help with healthcare costs
Several nonprofit organizations may be able to help connect you with reduced cost or free medication based on need. Some organizations that offer help with prescription drug costs include:
- NeedyMeds: NeedyMeds can help people, with and without insurance, find low cost or free clinics, patient assistance programs, state programs, and offers a free NeedyMeds drug discount card. Their helpline is 800-503-6897.
- RxAssist: RxAssist helps you find information about free and low cost medication programs. You can also use their online patient assistance program center to find other ways to manage your medication costs. They also offer a discount prescription medication card.
- GoodRx: GoodRx allows you to compare drug prices from pharmacies in your area. This includes both pharmacies and mail order companies offering medications in your area.
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance: The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps qualifying people without prescription drug coverage to get their medications for a reduced cost or free. They offer access to both public and private programs.
- PatientAssistance.com: This nonprofit site offers money-saving offers, such as coupons and a search feature for available patient assistance programs.
- RxHope: RxHope provides information on and applications you can download for different programs that can help you pay for specific medications.
In the event of a crisis, there are several options you can choose from. They include:
- 911: Use this if you or a loved one is in immediate danger or require immediate assistance.
- Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741 for 24-hour help to connect with a crisis counselor.
- Lifeline Chat: The Lifeline Chat is a 24-hour website that connects you to a counselor in the event of a crisis.
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Similar to 911, this line is open 24 hours a day but specializes in crisis intervention that you can call or text during a crisis.
Schizophrenia is a mental health condition that affects less than 1% of the population in the United States. It affects how you or a loved one feels, behaves, and thinks. If you’re living with it, you may feel like you’ve lost touch with reality at times.
Symptoms typically fall into one of three different categories:
- Psychotic: People often refer to psychotic symptoms as psychotic episodes. These include symptoms that affect how a person experiences the world, thinks, and acts. It includes hallucinations, delusions, and thought and movement disorders.
- Cognitive: Cognitive symptoms include changes to your concentration, attention, or memory.
- Negative: Negative symptoms typically revolve around withdrawing from social activities, enjoyment, and emotional expressions.
Therapies can help treat these symptoms. However, you may find that recurrent psychotic episodes, drug use, and other issues make treatment adherence difficult.
Family and friends can play an important role in helping to keep you on track with your treatments.
Schizophrenia has two main components for treatment: medication and psychotherapy.
Medication can help treat the symptoms, but they can’t cure schizophrenia.
Currently, doctors prescribe daily antipsychotic medications to help treat the condition. If you or a loved one is starting treatment, shared decision making between a doctor and yourself about the medication
In addition to medication, you or a loved one will likely benefit from psychotherapy. It can include traditional talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Therapy may help keep you or a loved one on track with treatment and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
If you know someone or have a family member living with schizophrenia, there are ways you can get involved.
Some steps you may want to consider include:
- Take time to learn more about schizophrenia and related mental health conditions.
- Encourage them to look for and get treatment.
- Help them follow their treatment plan.
- Listen to and validate their feelings or views without judgment or trying to solve their problem.
- If in doubt, ask them what you can do to help or consider asking a therapist for advice.
- Learn about the early signs of schizophrenia and encourage they get help if you start to see them.
- Try to stay involved in their life and stay connected to them.
- Offer to help them make a crisis plan.
If you’re having a difficult time with your own emotions, stress, and other concerns regarding a loved one’s diagnosis, you may want to consider looking into support groups for you.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) offers a family support group. Their meetings offer family members a chance to be heard and participate with other people who help support loved ones with schizophrenia and other mental health conditions.
If you prefer, you can try to talk with a local doctor or mental health professional. They should be able to provide resources as well as help you connect with any local groups that you may find helpful.
Several resources can help you or a loved one living with schizophrenia find more information about the condition, local or online support groups, and assistance finding and paying for treatments.
Assistance programs can often help you find discounts for the medications needed to treat schizophrenia. Some can also help connect you to local treatment options, such as finding a therapist or psychiatrist.
If you feel more comfortable, you can also talk with a local doctor or therapist about programs in your area. Your local pharmacy may have discount cards you can use.