How can I help a friend who might have schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
If someone you know appears to have symptoms of schizophrenia, talk to a mental health professional right away. You may be relieved if you are told that the person does not appear to be mentally ill. On the other hand, you may be assisting your friend by helping him begin the road to recovery. Before you talk to a doctor or psychiatrist, be prepared to answer questions about any unusual symptoms you've noticed. Write down anything that has concerned you about your friend's behavior. Think about whether your friend has faced a major challenge or life transition lately that might cause strange emotions or behaviors. Better yet, invite your friend to come along to the appointment. Let him know how concerned you are. Don't be afraid to ask the doctor how you can help and support your friend. Remember that consistent treatment with medication and therapy is the best way for a person with schizophrenia to live a long and healthy life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.