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How can I help a parent who has schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine
One of the best ways to help a parent with an illness like schizophrenia is to be supportive. Educate yourself about the different symptoms of schizophrenia and pay attention to your parent. If his or her hygiene or level of responsibility starts to slip, encourage your parent to discuss this with a doctor. Try to identify the medications your parent is taking, and encourage your parent to take them regularly. Offer to take your parent to the doctor if he or she seem to have trouble getting there regularly. You may also need to manage your parent's finances, if daily life responsibilities become too much to handle. Consider joining a support group for family members of people with schizophrenia. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that many families have great success after attending these groups regularly. In these groups, you may learn how others have handled difficult situations, including relapse.

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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.