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How can I help a spouse who has schizophrenia?

Douglas E. Severance, MD
Family Medicine

If your spouse has schizophrenia, you can help by supporting his or her medical and psychosocial treatments. You can encourage your spouse to stay active and communicate regularly with a doctor, to ensure that relapses don't occur. If problem behaviors appear, such as irritability, delusions, or social withdrawal, encourage your spouse to see a psychiatrist.

You may also benefit from marital or family therapy with your spouse. Group therapy sessions can offer you and your spouse a chance to discuss how the illness affects your marriage and family life. Therapy groups are highly beneficial for those suffering from schizophrenia, and family members often benefit as well. You may also encourage your spouse to attend a peer-to-peer therapy group. The National Alliance on Mental Health states that these groups are immensely helpful for adults living with schizophrenia. Your spouse can learn from others who have successfully managed their illness over time.

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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.