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Support groups for schizophrenics: The request could not be satisfied


For Friends and Family – NAMI California

Help in a Crisis

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Crisis Text Line: Text NAMI to 741-741 to connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

NAMI HelpLine: Call 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) M–F, 7 a.m.–3 p.m., PT for free mental health information, referrals and support.

Local Support

Our local NAMI affiliates in California offer free support groups and classes for those living with mental health conditions and their families. Find your local affiliate to find out more about how you can find help and hope.

Find Your Local NAMI

NAMI Connection

A confidential support group for adults living with mental health challenges. NAMI Connection offers a safe environment for adults who live with mental health challenges to express themselves without being judged, and provides opportunities to learn positive coping skills and receive support.

  • Meets weekly or monthly for 90 minutes
  • Free group
  • Available in Spanish: NAMI Conexión

Find Your Local NAMI

NAMI Peer-to-Peer

A recovery education course open to anyone experiencing a mental health challenge. The course is designed to encourage growth, healing and recovery among participants by providing information, skills, and guidance.

  • 8 sessions held weekly for 2 hours
  • Free and confidential
  • Available in Spanish: De Persona a Persona de NAMI

Connect with your local NAMI to find a class!

Find Your Local NAMI

NAMI Family-to-Family

This course is designed to help all family members understand and support their loved one with mental illness while maintaining their own well-being. This course includes information on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other mental health conditions.

  • Free group
  • 12-class education program
  • Available in Spanish: NAMI Conexión

Find Your Local NAMI

NAMI Family Support Group

A confidential support group for adults living with mental health challenges. NAMI Connection offers a safe environment for adults who live with mental health challenges to express themselves without being judged, and provides opportunities to learn positive coping skills and receive support.

  • Meets weekly or monthly for 90 minutes
  • Free group
  • Available in Spanish: NAMI Conexión

Find Your Local NAMI

NAMI Basics

A confidential support group for adults living with mental health challenges. NAMI Connection offers a safe environment for adults who live with mental health challenges to express themselves without being judged, and provides opportunities to learn positive coping skills and receive support.

  • Meets weekly or monthly for 90 minutes
  • Free group
  • Available in Spanish: NAMI Conexión

Find Your Local NAMI

NAMI In Our Own Voice

What is NAMI In Our Own Voice?

NAMI In Our Own Voice is a unique presentation in which two trained speakers share their compelling personal stories of living with mental health challenges and achieving recovery.

• NAMI In Our Own Voice is a free presentation designed to shatter negative stereotypes against people with mental illness
• Personal experiences with major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder and other brain disorders are discussed
• NAMI In Our Own Voice demonstrates that recovery is possible
• Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and share their own experiences. This exchange helps combat the stigma and misinformation which surrounds these illnesses

For more information:

• In Our Own Voice Flyer
• NAMI National’s Website
• IOOV Summary of Findings

Find Your Local NAMI

Mental Health 101

Mental Health 101 is devoted to giving individuals an opportunity to learn about mental illness through an informative presentation, short videos, and personal testimonies that represent a variety of cultures, beliefs, and values.

Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of mental illness and are given ideas about how to help themselves, friends or family members who may be in need of support through the lens of their own cultural and personal experience.

The goal of this program is to create a multi-generation of culturally diverse individuals that can help address the stigma associated with mental illness through education, support, and advocacy.

Find Your Local NAMI

Finding A Missing Loved One

The thought of a family member, a friend or someone else you care about going missing can be terrifying. You don’t know where they are, if they’re hurt or if they need help. When this person lives with a mental health condition, the situation may be even more serious. Taking action quickly can make a difference.

Find Your Local NAMI

Find a Support Group

NAMI Elkhart

NAMI Family Support

Every 2nd Monday, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oaklawn, Goshen Campus – Hickory Room

330 Lakeview Dr., Goshen IN

(Enter at the main doors and the receptionist will point you in the right direction)

**Masks & Social Distancing**

Contact Lorie Copeland by email or at (574) 215-1146 with any questions

NAMI Evansville

NAMI Connection: For Adults Living with Mental Illness

Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Ascension St. Vincent Evansville – Rehabilitation Institute,

3rd Floor – Kempf Bipolar Wellness Center Meeting Room

3700 Washington Ave., Evansville, IN

**Masks & Social Distancing**

Contact Larry Back by email or at (812) 897-1694 with any questions

NAMI Greater Indianapolis **No Student Observers**

NAMI Connection: For Adults Living with Mental Illness

Every Thursday, 6:00 p.m.

Community Church of Greenwood

1477 W. Main St., Greenwood, IN

**Masks & Social Distancing**

Contact NAMI Greater Indianapolis via email or at (317) 257-7517 with any questions

NAMI Southeast

NAMI Family Support

Every 2nd Thursday 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 pm

The Clearing House – Board Room

100 E. 2nd Street, Madison, IN

**Masks & Social Distancing**

Contact Pastor Jeff Pflug via email with any questions

NAMI South Central

NAMI Family Support

Every 3rd Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Rockford United Methodist Church

1860 N Ewing Street, Seymour, IN

**Masks & Social Distancing**

Contact Carol Oktavec via email or Sonja Scott via email with any questions

NAMI Family Support

Every 1st Monday, 7:00 p.m. Due to the recent uptick in COVID cases, all in person meetings will be suspended beginning November 2, 2020. We will resume meeting using zoom beginning December 7, 2020.

St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Student Center – Avila Hall

1604 East Lincolnway, Valparaiso, IN

**Masks & Social Distancing**

Contact Vivian Szyndrowski via email with any questions

NAMI Family Support Group – NAMI Wisconsin

What People are Saying about the Program

The most beneficial thing for me was that I am not alone. I found the support group at a time when I really needed it!”


NAMI Family Support Groups are free, confidential and safe 90-minute weekly support groups open to any family or friends of an individual living with a mental health diagnosis. Groups follow a flexible structure without an educational format. Individual join a caring group of peers that offer support through their learned wisdom and participants can share as much or as little personal information as they wish.

Research has shown that having someone to talk to is instrumental in the mental health recovery process. Too often, mental illness is an isolating experience, and not just for the individual but the family member as well. Families often face feelings of guilt and helplessness for their loved ones that can be addressed to a degree by a supportive peer community that offers support, encouragement, and insight. Recovery is possible for individuals with a mental health diagnosis, especially with the support of family and friends. NAMI Family Support Group are informal sources of support and guidance. Groups do not recommend or endorse any medications or other medical therapies.

Program Goals

To support and empower. The goal of NAMI Family Support Group is to offer a regularly occurring opportunity to share the challenges and successes of supporting a loved one with a mental health condition and receive support and informal recommendations through a truly peer environment. Groups offers respect, understanding, encouragement and hope.

Who Leads the Program

A NAMI Family Support Group facilitator is a trained NAMI leader. They play an important role in ensuring that all participants feel welcomed and supported. NAMI Family Support Group facilitators are uniquely qualified to lead support groups because they love and support a person living with a mental health condition. Facilitators therefore can empathize with and encourage those who are just beginning, or continuing their journey with a loved one. A NAMI Family Support Group facilitator ensures that the group shares responsibility for maintaining guidelines, sustains clear participant boundaries, clarifies goals, and reinforces communication skills that encourage group participation.

What People are Saying about the Program

The most beneficial thing for me was that I am not alone. I found the support group at a time when I really needed it!”

How to Find the Program in your Community

Find your Local NAMI
If you do not have a NAMI affiliate in your county, please contact our state office at (608) 268-6000 or [email protected]

How to Give Back

NAMI Family Support Group facilitators are volunteers who become certified by attending and graduating from a 2-day training. The training is designed for facilitators to learn and practice specific skills that will guarantee a meaningful support group experience for all participants. After the training, certified facilitators know how to encourage the group to make room for all of its voices; short-circuit personal sagas; engage the group in subjects of collective interest; encourage collective thought; and circumvent negative interactions by identifying common ground for real discussion among group participants. Facilitators make use of the strategies, structures, and processes they have learned from the training events to ensure the group provides a place that is safe and maintains group guidelines. Facilitator trainees are required to go through an application and screening process before being approved to attend a training event.

Support a local NAMI Family Support Group in your community. Our groups utilize volunteers and we are always in need of free spaces to host meetings, promotional assistance and monetary or in-kind donations to offset the costs of resource materials, trainings and refreshments.

Online Support Groups | NAMI Coastal Virginia

 Below are some of the questions we have been asked by our peers and facilitators – if there is something further you’d like information or clarification on, we are happy to answer. Just contact us!

Q: Do I have to use video?

A: Nope! It is recommended, but not required – as long as you are comfortable and able to engage in the group beneficially and productively (we understand wanting to skip getting out of pajamas or brushing your hair!) However, one of the benefits of utilizing the video function – besides feeling as close to an in-person social interaction as possible – is ensured confidentiality for other group participants. In other words, we can see that there is nobody listening in or walking around the room you’re in! Topics of comfort in the digital world are, of course, some new facets that we can discuss and process as a group.


Q: I don’t want my full name displayed – can I edit this?

A: Absolutely! Depending on your connection device, you will most likely be prompted to enter your name upon entering the meeting. You can choose whatever is comfortable for you, whether it be a first name, initial, or (appropriate) nickname. If you do not have this prompt initially, you can click on your name in the Participants list, click more, and either “edit” or “rename.” We will have an additional tech-savvy peer in each meeting, so if you are having any trouble, send a message to the host and we will help out in any way possible.

Q: You said additional tech-savvy peer – who is that?

A: This individual will be sort of like a bonus but silent facilitator. In other words, this individual will be a peer that is affiliated with NAMI Coastal Virginia, has experience with mental health either personally or within their family, and knows their way around Zoom. This is to ensure that participants and facilitators can engage productively, and any technical needs can be taken care of with little to no interruption!

Q: Can anyone join these groups?

A: Our Connections Recovery group is for individuals 18 or older living with a mental health condition – we also have an “under 30” Connections support group that meets the first Wednesday of each month! Family members, caregivers, partners, friends etc. that are 18 or older are welcome to join our Family Support groups.

Helpful Organizations for Schizophrenia

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation



This organization provides information on the latest research into schizophrenia,
its causes, and treatments.

National Alliance on Mental Illness


800-950-NAMI (800-950-6264)

In the Support & Programs area of the website, state and local
chapters, as well as support groups, for people with schizophrenia and their family
and friends are listed.

National Institute of Mental Health



The website features information about schizophrenia, treatment, and mental health

Mental Health America





American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


888-333-AFSP (888-333-2377)

Actavis, Inc. does not review or control the content on the sites to
which these hyperlinks connect. These hyperlinks do not constitute an endorsement
by Actavis, Inc. of the content of any non-Actavis site.

What is the most important information I should know about SAPHRIS?

Elderly people with dementia-related psychosis (having lost touch with reality due
to confusion and memory loss) taking antipsychotic drugs are at an increased risk for
death. SAPHRIS is not approved for treating people with dementia-related psychosis.

SAPHRIS may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Stroke (which can be fatal) in elderly people with dementia

  • Neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS): Call your healthcare provider right away if
    you have high fever; stiff muscles; confusion; changes in pulse, heart rate, or blood pressure;
    or sweating. These can be symptoms of a rare but potentially fatal side effect called NMS. SAPHRIS
    should be stopped if you have NMS

  • Tardive dyskinesia (TD): Tell your healthcare provider if you cannot control the movements
    of your face, tongue, or other body parts. These could be signs of a serious and sometimes permanent
    side effect called TD. Risk of developing TD and the chance that it will become permanent are thought
    to increase the longer a person takes the medicine and the more medicine a person takes over time. TD
    can develop even after a person has been taking the medicine for a short time at low doses. TD may not
    go away, even if you stop taking SAPHRIS. TD may also start after you stop taking SAPHRIS

  • Problems with your metabolism, such as:

    • High blood sugar and diabetes: If you have diabetes or risk factors for diabetes
      (eg, being overweight or family history of diabetes), your blood sugar should be tested before
      you start SAPHRIS and regularly during treatment. Complications of diabetes can be serious and
      even life threatening. Tell your healthcare provider if you have symptoms such as feeling very
      thirsty or very hungry, urinating more than usual, or feeling weak

    • Increased blood cholesterol or triglycerides: Your healthcare provider may decide to
      check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels during treatment

    • Weight gain: Weight gain has been reported with SAPHRIS. Your healthcare provider should check your weight before and regularly during treatment

  • Decreased blood pressure: You may feel lightheaded or faint when you rise too quickly from a sitting
    or lying position. Ask your healthcare provider about ways to reduce feeling dizzy or lightheaded upon standing,
    such as sitting on the edge of the bed for several minutes before getting up in the morning or slowly rising after sitting

  • Falls: SAPHRIS may increase risk of falls, which could cause
    fractures or other injuries

  • Low white blood cell count: Low white blood cell counts have been reported with antipsychotic drugs,
    including SAPHRIS. This may increase your risk of infection. Very low white blood cell counts, which can be fatal,
    have been reported with other antipsychotics

  • Increases in prolactin levels: Tell your healthcare provider if you experience a lack of menstrual periods,
    leaking or enlarged breasts, or impotence, because SAPHRIS may raise the levels of prolactin. The levels may continue
    to be high when SAPHRIS is used over time

  • Seizures

  • Impaired judgment, thinking, and motor skills: Do NOT drive or use dangerous machinery until you know how
    SAPHRIS affects you. SAPHRIS may make you drowsy

  • Increased body temperature: SAPHRIS may make you more sensitive to heat. You may have trouble cooling off.
    Be careful when exercising or when doing things likely to cause dehydration or make you warm

  • Difficulty swallowing: SAPHRIS and medicines like it have been associated with difficulty swallowing

Who should not take SAPHRIS?

Do not take SAPHRIS if you have certain liver problems, or if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Get emergency medical help if you are having an allergic reaction (eg, difficulty breathing; itching; swelling of the face, tongue, or throat; or light-headedness).

What should I tell my healthcare provider before taking SAPHRIS?

Tell your healthcare provider about any medical conditions and if you have or have had:

  • Diabetes or high blood sugar in you or your family

  • High levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, or LDL-cholesterol; or low levels of HDL-cholesterol

  • Seizures or conditions that increase your risk for seizures

  • Low or high blood pressure

  • Low white blood cell count

  • Certain heart problems such as irregular heartbeats or are at risk for these problems, or if you take medicines that can cause irregular heartbeats, because SAPHRIS should be avoided in these circumstances

Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, or if you plan to become pregnant. SAPHRIS may cause harm to your unborn baby. A special program (National Pregnancy Registry for Atypical Antipsychotics) collects information on the safety of antipsychotic drugs, including SAPHRIS, during pregnancy. For information, contact the program at
1-866-961-2388 or http://www.womensmentalhealth.org/clinical-and-research-programs/pregnancyregistry/.

Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines that you take or have recently taken, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, and supplements. SAPHRIS may affect the way other medicines work, and other medicines may affect how SAPHRIS works.

What are possible side effects of SAPHRIS?

  • The most common side effects in adults were sleepiness, dizziness, uncontrolled movements of the body and face, muscle stiffness, weight gain, numbing of the mouth, and restlessness.
    The most common side effects in children (ages 10-17) were sleepiness, dizziness, strange sense of taste, numbing of the mouth, nausea, increased appetite, feeling tired, and weight gain

  • Since FDA approval, patients taking SAPHRIS have reported reactions under the tongue (where you place SAPHRIS), such as sores, oral blisters, peeling/sloughing, or inflammation. Choking has also been reported

Tell your healthcare provider if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. These are not all possible side effects of SAPHRIS.

Please see the full Prescribing Information, including Boxed Warning.

The product information provided in this site is intended only for residents of the United States. The products discussed on
this site may have different product labeling outside of the United States. The health information described on this site is
provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for discussions with a healthcare provider.

The trademarks SAPHRIS, SAPHRIS & Star Design, and Star Design are used by AbbVie under license from Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V.

© 2020 Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V.; used by AbbVie under license.

All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

© 2020 AbbVie. All rights reserved.

SPh49730-v3 12/20

This copay savings card is intended for patients only.

If you are a healthcare professional licensed in Vermont, or a licensed healthcare professional
who regularly practices in Vermont, Allergan corporate policy prohibits you from downloading, printing
or accepting the copay savings card.

By clicking “Confirm” below you confirm that you are neither a healthcare professional licensed in Vermont,
nor a licensed healthcare professional who regularly practices in Vermont.

NAMI Programs::NAMI

NAMI Maryland offers a number of peer-led education and support programs for all those affected by serious mental illnesses.  


Our peer-led education programs give individuals living with mental illness and their families a place to turn, a place to access a strong network of education and support programs presented by trained teachers and facilitators who have “been there.” You benefit from the unique wisdom of their own lived experience with mental illness.


Courses are offered by local NAMI affiliates with training support provided by NAMI Maryland. Please visit our events page or contact you local affiliate for more information.


All of our local affiliates have suspended their in-personal programming.  Many of our affiliates have transitioned their programs to an online platform.  Click here to find a program near you!

If you have questions about the status of NAMI programs in your area, contact your local NAMI affiliate or email [email protected] for more information.




NAMI Family-to-Family is a free eight-week course for family caregivers of individuals with mental illnesses. NAMI-trained family members teach the course and all materials are free for class participants. The curriculum focuses on schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and borderline personality disorder, with a new resource on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The course discusses treatment for these illnesses and teaches the knowledge and skills that family members need to cope with the challenges of living with a relative with a mental illness.





NAMI Family Support Groups are for relatives, caregivers, and others involved with individuals with mental illness. The support groups are run by local affiliates and have facilitators trained by NAMI in order to provide a structure which encourages full group participation. Support groups provide a caring atmosphere for individuals to share their common experiences and assist individuals in developing the skills for understanding and the strengths needed to cope.



NAMI Basics is a free, signature education program for parents and caregivers of children and adolescents who are experiencing symptoms of mental illness prior to the age of 13 years. NAMI-trained parents and caregivers teach the 6-week course and all materials are free for participants. The course focuses on ADHD, ODD, CD, Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Schizophrenia, OCD and Substance Use Disorders. During the six weeks topics such as brain development, current research, treatment, resources in the community and crisis and relapse prevention are discussed. Participants that complete the course leave with the fundamentals to care for their family and children with mental illness. Last year, 99% of participants said they would recommend this program to other parents.


NAMI Family & Friends is a 4-hours seminar that informs and supports people who have loved ones with a mental health condition.  Participants learn about diagnoses, treatment, recovery, communication strategies, crisis preparation and NAMI resources.  Seminar leaders have personal experience with mental health conditions in their families.






NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a free course consisting of eight two-hour classes and is taught by a team of trained mentors who are experienced at living well with mental illness.  NAMI Peer-to-Peer is a class for adults with mental health conditions.  The course is designed to encourage growth, healing, and recovery among participants.





NAMI Connection is a 90-minute support group run by persons who live with mental illness for other persons who live with mental illness. The program includes NAMI-trained peer facilitators and employs principles of support designed to empower its members. This program focuses on allowing all participants to share their experiences and learn from each other in a safe and confidential environment. NAMI Connection is not illness-specific, and welcomes persons with all psychiatric diagnoses.





NAMI In Our Own Voice is a presentation about living with mental illness by intensively trained individuals who tell their stories to educate the community, providers and others living with mental illness.



NAMI Ending the Silence is a presentation designed for middle and high school students, school staff, and parents or guardians of middle or high school aged youth.  Audiences learn about the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, how to recognize the early warning signs and the importance of acknowledging those warning signs.





Never thought of yourself as an advocate? Want to make a positive change in mental health services? Grassroots advocacy is simple; you don’t have to know about policies or politics. It’s about using your voice to influence policy makers and make a difference. Turn your passion and your lived experience into a positive voice for mental health with the NAMI Smarts for Advocacy grassroots advocacy training.




NAMI Homefront is a 6-session adaptation of the Evidence-Based NAMI Family-to-Family Program created specifically for the families of Service Members and Veterans dealing with mental illness. NAMI Maryland was selected to pilot this program because of the success we have had reaching military families.


NAMI Homefront focuses on the unique needs of military and veteran communities, such as post-deployment and post-discharge transitions. The course is designed to help family members understand and support their loved one while maintaining their own well-being.


NAMI is pleased to join the #FirstRespondersFirst initiative to support frontline health care and public safety professionals facing the adverse mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This community-centered initiative is called NAMI Frontline Wellness.  Click here for more information.


Mental Health supporting groups in Orlando at NAMI

Free Individual and Family Support Groups 

These free 90-minute meetings are for adults (18 years+) living with mental illness and their families, friends, and caregivers. These meetings are peer-led, confidential, and free. Participants are able to connect and relate with others, learn from each other’s experiences, share valuable coping strategies, and offer each other encouragement and understanding.

These meetings take place in person and virtually via Zoom so that you can receive support your way.

 Drop-in – you do not need to make a reservation or call ahead to attend.

We are excited to announce that our continued virtual support groups will have new links each week for our attendees through Zoom. Check our site each Friday for new links to participate in these free support groups.

If you’re interested in attending, please give our office a call to obtain the password needed to enter both virtual support groups.


NAMI Greater Orlando Virtual Support Groups

Every Thursday of the month | 6:30 PM |

Topic: CSG 

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 986 0676 6166

Call the office for the password. 407-253-1900


1st Monday of the month | 6:30 PM

Topic: FSG

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID:871 4666 0582

Call the office for the password. 407-253-1900


NAMI Greater Orlando In-Person Support Groups

Connection Recovery Support Group
For adults (18 years+) living with mental illness

Every Tuesday of the month | 6:30 PM
Asbury United Methodist Church | Room 14

220 West Horatio Ave | Room 14 | Maitland, FL 32751

2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month | 6:30 PM
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church | Building C, Room C-206

4851 S Apopka-Vineland Rd | Bldg C, Room C-206 | Orlando, FL 32819


NAMI Family Support Groups
For family members, caregivers, or friends of people living with a mental illness

2nd Monday of the month | 10:00 AM
NAMIGO Office 

300 Crown Oak Centre Dr. | Longwood, FL, 32750

Every Tuesday of the month | 6:30 PM
Asbury United Methodist Church | Room 15

220 West Horatio Ave | Room 15 | Maitland, FL 32751

2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month | 6:30 PM
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church | Building C, Room 208

4851 S Apopka-Vineland Rd | Bldg C, Room C-208 | Orlando, FL 32819

Other Area Support Groups

  • NAMI Volusia County, Flagler & St. Johns
    | 904.794.3822
  • NAMI Space Coast
    | 321.453.4462
  • Central Florida Bipolar Support
    This independent group is open to anyone living with bipolar disorder.
    Contact | [email protected]
  • Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) Central Florida Group
    Free and confidential depression and bipolar support group for individuals living with depression and bipolar disorder. Also provides free and confidential support for family and friends of individuals living with depression and bipolar disorder.

Orange County Location
Renaissance Community Senior Center | Tuscany Room | 3800 S Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando, FL 32829
1st & 3rd Monday of the month | 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Seminole County Location
St. Stephen Lutheran Church | Parish Hall | 2140 W. State Road 434 Longwood, FL 32779
1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.

Osceola County Location
Community-Based Care | 5th Floor Conference Room | 111 E Monument Ave., Kissimmee, FL 34741
2nd & 4th Thursday of the month | 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm.
RSVP to Mark: 321-402-4975 | Email: [email protected]

 Info | [email protected] | 321.444.0832

  • Mental Health Association of Central Florida
    This nonprofit offers free support groups to the public, ranging from a focus on specific diagnoses to expressive arts.
    Info | 407.898.0110
  • Recovery International
    This group is based on the Recovery International Method, a system of cognitive-behavioral techniques developed by neuropsychiatrist Abraham Low, MD.
    Contact | Mary Reetz: 407.660.2003
  • Suicide Anonymous Online Support Group
    Based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, this program is designed to help people with suicidal preoccupation and behavior. This is done by providing a safe environment where members can freely share their suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies, help prevent suicides and provide each other with ways of support and healing from these destructive patterns. Because of the anonymity and non-professional status of twelve-step programs, members can share their stories without fear of being judged or being committed to psychiatric hospitals.
    Info | Subscribe
  • Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide (HALOS)
    East Orlando / 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month
    Peer-led open support group.
    Info | David Zampella: 407.947.8683
  • Healing After a Loved One’s Suicide (HALOS)
    Winter Park / 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month
    Peer-led open support group
    Info | Diana Bjorkman Wade, Ph.D.: 321.663.4703


If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis, please seek help.
Contact National Suicide Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (8255) today!



90,000 “I love him very much anyway.” What helps relatives of people with mental disorders not to go crazy / Names

Veronika Ulasevich Author

Nina’s son hears voices, they persuade him to go out of the window. Jan’s dad, too, can commit suicide at any moment due to depression, which has been going on for many years. In the past, Lyudmila’s son was professionally engaged in hand-to-hand combat until he suffered a head injury and was diagnosed with a personality disorder. Sasha’s father suffers from schizophrenia, and his mother is also about to go crazy from constant stress.

All these people are united by one pain – how to help loved ones cope with the disease and not go crazy themselves. Previously, they had nowhere to turn for help. Now relatives of people with mental disorders can get a free consultation with a psychotherapist and talk to each other in a mutual help group at the Open Soul Club House. For such classes to take place regularly, the Clubhouse needs your help.

“Shiza hit”

In a spacious room, around a wide table, filled with cups and saucers with goodies, ten people perched.Someone fiddles with a skirt, someone quickly writes something down, someone nervously gnaws at a pen, someone looks at the wall, and someone at the phone. All these people are of different ages and they all do not know each other. One thing unites them – they are all very shy. When I introduce myself as a journalist, fear and doubt appear on their faces. Maybe it’s better to leave?

This is just the second meeting of a self-help group for relatives of people with mental disorders in the Minsk Open Soul Club House. People come here for two hours to speak out and express emotions, exchange experiences and just relax before returning home to sick relatives.

The clubhouse began to hold meetings of a self-help group for relatives of people with mental disorders this year. Two specialists joined the initiative and agreed to work for several months for free. However, in order for the self-help group to meet regularly, the club house needs to find funds to pay specialists. And this is not easy, because the Club House exists only at the expense of benefactors.

When the composition of the self-help group becomes more or less permanent, the meetings will be held in a closed format.Plus, participants will be able to support each other around the clock and communicate with each other in a vibe chat. Until the group is completed, not only relatives of people with mental disorders can come to classes, but also everyone who wants to. For example, today Dmitry dropped in at the meeting. He himself has a mental disorder. The man hopes that after communicating with a psychotherapist and relatives of people like himself, he will be able to find a common language with loved ones.

I could not believe that this very “shiz” would directly affect my life.

To relieve the tension of all those present at the meeting, psychotherapist Sergey Sokolov first invites you to get to know each other. And immediately establishes clear rules: you cannot interrupt, insult each other and give advice if they are not asked.

The most courageous woman is over sixty years old. Her name is Lucy and her son has been suffering from schizophrenia for more than ten years. Mom looks miserable and tortured. She admits that she tries not to miss a single event that can somehow help her survive her son’s illness.True, no matter what she does and where she goes, despair does not go away:

– Everywhere they say that parents should live their own lives, but for some reason this does not inspire me. The church generally said: the more problems here, the better it will be there, and points a finger at the ceiling. – When my child got sick, I was in shock. Previously, everyone rushed with the expression “shiza hit”, and it seemed to me that this was something terrible. I could not believe that this very “shiz” would directly affect my life. Then I talked with the parents of the same children as my son, I realized that there are a lot of such children.But for some reason this did not make it easier.

Illustration: Anastasia Kovalevskaya for Names

Lyusa’s friend Nina has the same problem – her son has been sick with schizophrenia for ten years already. A woman reacts very emotionally to any little thing that in one way or another concerns her child or his diagnosis. And then, in the presence of strangers, she gives vent to emotions and begins to cry loudly.

– I cry all the time. What else remains? Earlier there was a hope that the son would recover and go to work.But this did not happen. It’s so hard to see him as a young guy who doesn’t go anywhere and doesn’t want anything from life. But most of all I am afraid when he talks to himself. Earlier, because of these voices, he almost jumped out of the window.

– The fact that you have anxiety about your son when he talks to himself is understandable. Moreover, the situation is aggravated by previous negative experience. Try to listen to your son more attentively, omitting unnecessary emotions. What state and mood is he in now and is there a danger to his life? Often the voices turn out to be not as scary and dangerous as we imagine them to be, – explains the psychotherapist.

Illustration: Anastasia Kovalevskaya for Names

– Where can you find an understanding listener like yourself? – Dima with schizophrenia enters the conversation. He knows firsthand what voices are and what they are. – I will listen to myself, without offending, and I will give the correct advice. Nobody understands better than himself. Prophet Muhammad also heard voices, and out of it, how many good things came out.

Dima looks about forty years old. Tall, thin, pensive face and naive kind blue eyes.Twenty years ago, a man had an accident and was seriously injured. Because of this, he became depressed, had to quit his job, then – to be treated in a mental hospital. As a result, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Due to illness, Dima had serious conflicts with relatives. Before her death, my mother wrote an inheritance for his sister. And now Dima’s sister, together with her roommate, are trying with all their might to get him out of the apartment. A man is looking for support at such meetings.

Periods of remission and hard kickbacks

Fragile dark-haired Yana , twenty-five, barely breathes with excitement.She cannot find the right words to share her story with completely strangers. For about a minute, she gathers her thoughts, breathes deeply, takes a sip of water and gives:

– My dad is depressed and it hasn’t ended in years. It is very difficult to see it, even though we do not live together. When I meet, I notice that he sometimes gets better. But as soon as I start to think that everything is fine and life has improved, he is having a hard rollback.

Illustration: Anastasia Kovalevskaya for Names

A modest tear rolls down the girl’s cheek.She recalls that dad wanted to be treated and asked to be taken to the hospital himself. At first, the treatment helped. And then the man decided that he could cope on his own, without doctors and pills. As a result, he still suffers himself and brings his loved ones to nervous breakdowns. The daughter does not know how to help her father, and from this she suffers even more.

– At first glance, depression seems to be easy. But a person can commit suicide at any moment. But, at least, it is not so embarrassing to talk about depression in society, compared to schizophrenia – Nina is trying to draw attention to her grief.

– For understanding people, there is nothing shameful about depression or schizophrenia. These are the same diseases as diabetes. They need to be treated and lived with. Why bury yourself and think this is the end? Yes, the situation is not easy, but such a state is not endless, there are periods of remission, when a person is easier and more cheerful – 70-year-old Valentina is the most optimistic of all. Her blond hair is pulled back in a bun and she is wearing trendy jeans and a sweater. Valentina’s daughter has also been suffering from schizophrenia for a long time, but this does not prevent the woman from looking quite inspired and in love with life.With her optimism, she tries to cheer up and infect everyone present. She urges Yana not to despair and asks her about her feelings for her father.

– I still love him very much, – the girl answers confidently.

– My father is also ill – he has schizophrenia. And I also love him very much, – decides to support Yana, 25-year-old Sasha , a former student of the Faculty of Geography of the Belarusian State University. The guy admits that it is very difficult for him to talk about his father’s diagnosis, that his mouth is dry and his palms are sweating.

Illustration: Anastasia Kovalevskaya for Names

Sasha says that dad can have a long remission until stress or alcohol again provokes the development of the disease. The guy worries about his mother, who lives side by side with his father and from everything that he sees, he can also go crazy. For a young man, dad’s illness does not pass without a trace – it is more and more difficult for him to cope with feelings and emotions. “What if I’m sick myself?” – such thoughts, at times, become intrusive and finally finish off the guy.

Psychotherapist Sergei Sokolov is convinced that it is very important to talk about feelings for sick relatives at self-help groups. In addition to shame, family members with mental disorders often have fear for their loved ones, as they can harm themselves. And relatives can get angry at people with a mental diagnosis and try to console them with the words “pull yourself together, rag” or send them to the doctor again.

So, healthy people are in constant stress, which needs to be dealt with somehow.Otherwise, the so-called psychosomatosis may occur – diseases of the internal organs that develop against the background of neurotic disorders or stress.

The first thing to understand is that you need to rebuild your whole life to suit a person with a mental disorder.

– How to deal with this stress? – is interested in Lyudmila . Her son is 29 years old, six of whom are sick. He was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder after a head injury. Previously, he was professionally engaged in hand-to-hand combat, rocked twice a day in the gym, he was respected at work and appreciated by his friends.Lyudmila loves to talk about her son in the past, share his successes and praise good character traits. But when it comes to the state of her son at the moment, the woman’s eyes immediately fade, and her story becomes crumpled and inhibited.

– You have to go to the bathhouse to relax, – Dima tries to defuse the atmosphere.

– The first thing to understand is that you need to rebuild your whole life for a person with a mental disorder. Decide if you are ready for this, if you have the resources for this.If not, then you should think about the help of neuropsychiatric boarding schools. If you have the strength, then visit these psychotherapeutic groups and relieve stress here, and not at home, – Sergei Sokolov answers the question. – Speak out, exchange experiences, learn from each other. Any physical activity relieves stress well, the same aerobics.

Support group

– The most common reason for quarrels between our wards and relatives is employment. The loved ones of people with mental disorders see that their relatives withdraw into themselves and stop communicating with friends and acquaintances.Not fully understanding the specifics of the disease, relatives begin to press: go outside, do not lie on the bed idle, get a job. Because of this, the condition of people with a diagnosis is only getting worse, – the head of the Club House Pavel Lotvin draws attention to the problems of the wards. – Sometimes the person with the disorder declares that he wants to commit suicide. In such cases, strong emotions from relatives only exacerbate the situation.

.Pasha and demons. For many years, a young teacher with bipolar disorder was afraid to be treated, and now he is happy and helps others.

So that there are fewer such conflicts in families and that relatives listen to each other’s peculiarities and needs – this is why the Clubhouse launched classes with psychotherapists for close people with psychiatric diagnoses.

The program of such classes includes three directions. First, the educational part in the format of popular science lectures. This is where people can get information about mental disorders, symptoms and possible treatment options. Secondly, practical seminars at which people will consider specific situations from life and analyze what is the norm and what is pathology. The third area is classes on emotional response, support groups for working through emotions, identifying the causes of shame, guilt and understanding how to build relationships without harming yourself.

– The effectiveness of the rehabilitation of people with mental disorders without working with their families is very low. In my practice, I come across cases when people are discharged from the hospital with improvements, they stay at home for several weeks and return to the hospital, sometimes even with a worse condition than in the previous hospitalization, – clinical psychologist Ekaterina Akhmatova emphasizes the need to work with relatives of people with disorders. – In fact, a favorable environment for recovery should develop at home, but this is not always the case.The point is that people with disorders are differently made. For example, they have a low need for communication, they quickly get tired of it, they do not understand humor and wordy messages well. This is rarely considered in their families. As a result, relationships lead to information overload. There is a desire to retire and move away.

Illustration: Anastasia Kovalevskaya for Names

With all this, the specialist emphasizes, most of the relatives of people with a diagnosis are very much involved in the illness of a loved one, and not one person, but the whole family begins to get sick.Therefore, families need help.

The main problem of relatives of people with mental disorders can be briefly described as follows: they do not know how to talk about themselves. They can talk for hours about their loved ones, doctors, medicines. But simple questions cause difficulties: What is happening now? What does this mean to me? How do I feel about this? What do I feel? What do I think now? And in the end, everything is simple: if you do not know how to help yourself, you cannot help another.

Self-digging is a mental mental chewing gum that is traumatic in itself.

– Mutual help classes are needed in order to learn to pay attention to oneself, to learn to understand oneself, to learn to talk about oneself, – Ekaterina Akhmatova is convinced. – Do not forget that introspection and self-examination are two different things. Self-digging is a mental mental gum that is traumatic in itself. I want the meetings of patients’ relatives to become constructive and correspond to their name “Mutual Aid”, and not turn into a “Let’s Cry” club.

Along with the relatives of people with mental disorders, psychotherapists work with the wards of the Club House themselves. In the classroom, they also talk about conflicts with loved ones.

– This is how psychotherapy is established from two sides. We hope that this will bear fruit and the children with the diagnosis will come to us in a good mood and without complaints about their relatives, ”says Pavel Lotvin. Moreover, there is already a positive experience to be proud of.

Illustration: Anastasia Kovalevskaya for Names

For example, the story of Marina Alekseevna , who attended the first self-help group.The worried woman spoke of several attempts at suicide of her son. Previously, the guy studied to be a programmer, now he is 29 years old, and he has paranoid schizophrenia. Recently, a young man was treated in a psychiatric hospital, after which he does not want to communicate with anyone and leave the house. Mom thought that the son was up to something again.

In fact, the woman’s guesses were not confirmed. The head of the club house Pavel invited the young man to a psychoanalysis class. The guy agreed.At a meeting with a psychologist, he explained that he needed time to recover from the hospital, but his mother did not understand him. A little later, the guy plans to get a job at least part-time. The specialist invited him to calmly talk with his mother and give his reasons.

Marina Alekseevna came to the next meeting inspired. She said that conflicts with her son no longer arise. She realized that he had no signs of suicidal behavior and that she needed to confide in him. As soon as the young man felt support, he began to visit the Club House and even invited his mother to go to the theater.

Now, due to the coronavirus, self-help group classes are being held remotely. As soon as the epidemiological situation permits, the meetings will return to their previous format. Not only the wards of the Club House and their relatives can join the classes, but also everyone who wishes. Groups are free.

If you need support, please contact the Club House at +375447798824 (A1) and sign up for a meeting of a self-help group. Anonymity is guaranteed.

How can you help

The Clubhouse helps people with mental disorders return to normal life.The wards of the Club House prepare their own food, learn to use a computer, play musical instruments and learn English. They organize support and self-help groups. Employees of the Club House help them find a job, a lawyer advises wards about their rights and opportunities.

Now relatives of people with mental disorders can also receive help.

But for the Clubhouse to continue working, your support is needed! NAMES collect funds for the salaries of a project manager, social worker, social worker, lawyer, psychiatrist and psychologist, for rent, communication services, and the Internet.

Friends, support this important project! For 177 people – the wards of the project – this is the only place where they can get help

Press the Help button and subscribe to a monthly subscription – the amount you have chosen will be debited from the card automatically once a month, that is, your help to the project will become permanent (if you wish, you can unsubscribe at any time). Or make a one-time translation. Even a small amount can be a big help if each of us does the translation.

New treatment for schizophrenia will be available in Russia – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

An innovative drug for the treatment of schizophrenia has been registered in Russia. Thanks to the new unique formula, the drug effectively affects such manifestations of the disease, which until now doctors practically could not cope with.

Since Soviet times, fear and suspicion towards patients with mental disorders have become deeply rooted in many. And today we often treat people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia with caution and prejudice.It is customary to be afraid of mental illness: it is not by chance that, even having felt that something was wrong, many people prefer to get away from the problem, not to seek medical help, so as not to be registered. As a result, very often treatment begins at a late stage of the disease.

The reality of these problems was shown by a recent poll by VTsIOM “The Social Image of Schizophrenia: Popular Areas of Support for Patients’ Relatives”. The majority of respondents – mostly of the older generation – said they treat people with mental disorders with compassion (38 percent) and pity (34 percent).But one in four (26 percent) of the respondents admitted that they are afraid of people with mental disorders, and one in five (18 percent) mentioned that they do not trust them. Nine percent of the respondents believe that our society treats such people with contempt.

The poll showed a high awareness of Russians about schizophrenia, sociologists emphasized in their comments. 20 percent of those surveyed say they are well aware of the symptoms of the disease, another 70 percent have information in general terms.Every fifth person knows about people with such a diagnosis in his environment (20 percent).

According to the respondents, the main problems faced by people with mental disorders are difficulties in finding a job (40 percent), provision of necessary medicines (33 percent), insufficient qualifications of medical personnel (31 percent), as well as negative attitudes from the society (31 percent). The most alarming fact revealed in the survey: respondents who indicated the presence of relatives with a diagnosis of schizophrenia ranked difficulties with medications first on the scale of difficulties (45 percent).That is why it is so important to develop new drugs that allow patients to be in remission for a long time, to maintain normal ties with society and loved ones.

The survey participants, who indicated the presence of relatives with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, ranked difficulties with medications in the first place in the scale of difficulties.

– The first alarming signs in my son appeared in kindergarten, we turned to psychologists, and they said that it was hyperactivity, prescribed light sedatives, – says Inna, mother of a 22-year-old patient.- In adolescence, his oddities, some obsessive ideas, experts attributed to puberty, and later he himself began to hide hallucinations. Several times he was in different hospitals, until in one of them the doctor collected a detailed history of the disease and made the correct diagnosis. As a result, treatment began only at the age of 20. But the son does not consider himself sick, he is not aggressive, on the contrary, he is very kind, seeks to help both me and the people around him, he can just come up on the street and offer, for example, to bring a heavy load.

Why mental disorders occur, science is not exactly known. Severe stress, drug use, and alcohol can provoke the disease, but schizophrenia develops in quite prosperous people. Moreover, many very gifted, brilliant personalities suffered from it: Isaac Newton, Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Vrubel, Van Gogh, Robert Schumann, Nobel laureate John Nash … one percent of the world’s population, – explained the professor of the Department of Psychiatry of the Faculty of Additional Professional Education of the Russian National Research Medical University named afterN.I. Pirogov Petr Morozov. – This is a severe chronic and disabling mental illness. Doctors are well aware of its signs. ” relatives, until recently did not exist, but it is these manifestations of the disease that push up to 60 percent of patients out of society, turning them into outcasts.

Therefore, when in the 90s the search for a new molecule of the drug began in the scientific department of a Hungarian pharmaceutical company, the task was set ambitious: to ensure that it works in a comprehensive manner – against all manifestations of the disease. It took about 20 years to solve this problem.

New opportunities make it possible to qualitatively improve the well-being of patients in general, make life easier for them and their families

– Since its foundation in 1901, our company has been engaged in the development and production of drugs for the treatment of disorders of the central nervous system, among other therapeutic areas, – said the general Director of Gedeon Richter Gabor Orban.- We invest 10 percent of the proceeds in research and development. Our drugs for the treatment of cerebrovascular accidents and mental disorders are well known and have been used for decades all over the world. And now Hungarian scientists have developed a drug with a completely different mechanism of action compared to the drugs of the previous generation. The new drug was approved by the US FDA in 2015. Two years later, the drug was registered and began to be used in Eastern Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Poland, Romania).In Bulgaria, he was included in the insurance program. Today it is also available to patients in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Great Britain.

“Innovative development is in demand on the world market,” said Gabor Orban. He also said that the other day it was approved in the United States for the treatment of another complex and common mental illness.

“I am confident that by actively cooperating with the medical community, public and patient organizations, we will be able to make society more tolerant of patients with mental disorders.Moreover, the new opportunities make it possible to qualitatively improve the well-being of patients and, in general, to make life easier for them and their families. We are especially pleased that we can change the lives of millions of patients and their families for the better. To understand all the possibilities of the new development, we continue its post-registration research “, – says the company’s representative in Russia, Dr. Attila Varadi.

” The doll says to kill mom “: stories of parents whose children are sick with schizophrenia

According to the WHO, 20 million people with schizophrenia live in the world.Children are a minority among them, although this disease in rare cases can develop even at the age of five. We spoke with moms of children diagnosed with this mental disorder about the first signs of illness, acceptance and stigmatization.

“Why are you pushing your special children, they have nothing to do here”

Mom Anna and son Yegor

I began to notice the first manifestations of the disease in my son from the age of two, maybe a little earlier.Yegor had a developmental delay: he later began to hold his head, later turn over and sit down, did not walk for a long time, he played very stereotypically: he built everything in rows. I did not contact the children, I did not look into the eyes. We went to the doctors, they suspected autism, they sent me for tests many times, but the diagnosis was not confirmed.

After the fourth grade, Yegor’s academic performance dropped, anxiety increased, he had no friends, and he began to gnaw his hands from his nerves. The psychiatrist recommended studying at home.The son became calmer. This continued until the age of twelve. As adolescence approached, he began to sleep poorly, to talk to someone, to yell at someone. When asked who he was talking to, Yegor went into another room. We associated this with difficult relationships with peers, but, as the doctors later explained, this is a manifestation of the disease: the son hears voices in his head.

In May 2019, Yegor had a severe seizure: he did not sleep all night – he seems to fall asleep, he is dreaming of something terrible, gets up, walks in circles, glass eyes, talking to someone.Will lie down for an hour and again. This lasted three or four days, and I took him to the doctor for an examination. Our district psychiatrists do not make serious diagnoses. If there is a suspicion of the same schizophrenia, they are sent to the Novosibirsk neuropsychiatric dispensary. They looked at us there and put us in a hospital at the dispensary. Egor was observed by psychiatrists, psychotherapists, child psychologists for several weeks, and as a result, the commission diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia.

For me, my son’s diagnosis came as a shock. I remember going out into the street, holding my son by the hand and thinking: “Lord, what am I going to do with this.” I somehow never read about schizophrenia, I just knew that there is such a disease. Doctors constantly told me that Yegor has autistic behavior and autistic traits, so I mostly studied information about autism. Now the understanding has come to me that this is just a diagnosis and they live with it.

The main manifestation of the disease is voices. A male voice speaks to Yegor and tells him the rules of behavior.The son often laughs with himself. Yegor says that he has a mess in his head. When doctors ask him if there is a feeling that he is being watched, he says that there is. If you ask your son about this, he is alarmed. He doesn’t like being talked about. For example, when Yegor is at his grandmother’s and after work I ask how their day went, he leaves for another room. The son is convinced that he is being scolded, although no one has ever scolded him.

He doesn’t share anything at all, he rarely talks to me.Only by what the son speaks to the voices, I can determine what is inside Yegor, what worries and worries him.

I didn’t try to explain to him what kind of illness he had, maybe a little later. Yegor himself considers himself a healthy person, he has no criticism of his condition. Sometimes he asks me: “Mom, why are people looking at me, am I a fool?”

We have a strong psychological connection with him, I see that he trusts me and loves me, but does not feel any emotions.Let’s say I hit, well, it hurts, I scream, and he asks: “Why are you shouting?” She will never regret, pet, hug and express her feelings. Yegor has no compassion or pity, and his main emotion is fear. He is afraid of people, darkness, heights, insects, the subway.

The son’s logic is peculiar, he can ask a question from two parts, and they will not be connected with each other in meaning. It’s hard to explain, but you immediately realize that something is wrong. Yegor’s drawings are schematic, a person is a square with two sticks-hands.The son cannot read fiction stories at all, he does not understand the meaning of the text: he sees letters, but there is no information for him. With a literature teacher, we developed an algorithm: we read a paragraph, and immediately write a plan. The son studies only encyclopedias. His handwriting is quite specific: there are no spaces between words, hyphens, punctuation marks and capital letters, and the letters themselves are of different heights.

Yegor takes antipsychotics every day, and, on the one hand, medications help him: his son no longer has glass eyes, a meaningful look, he understands the questions that are asked to him.Although he occasionally slips into a state of delirium, he speaks with voices again.

A big lack of taking pills – the son’s motivation to do something is gradually fading away. You offer something, he refuses and can just lie there all day and watch TV. The doctors said: either constant attacks, or like this. The son himself forgets to take medication, so I even have alarm clocks. I buy medicines at my own expense. At the Novosibirsk neuropsychiatric dispensary, we were told that all people with schizophrenia, regardless of whether they have a disability or not, should receive treatment free of charge.In our city of Berdsk, we were told that we could not receive medicine without disability, even despite the diagnosis. So now we are applying for a disability.

In addition to drug treatment, twice a week, the son goes to a psychologist and speech therapist, once every three months we attend classes in a rehabilitation center: we work with a defectologist, attends canistherapy (a method of rehabilitation with specially trained dogs. – Approx. Ed. ) to relieve anxiety.

Outwardly, the son is not very different from other children: he grows a mustache, a beard breaks through, he looks like a typical fourteen-year-old teenager.But in fact, he has a development of nine to ten years. The attending physician says that children with schizophrenia during the period of remission can function normally in society, but when I look at this society, it becomes scary for me to live.

Until the fifth grade, my son studied in a regular school, and at parent meetings there were constant conflicts, a couple of mothers told me: “Why are you pushing your special children, they have nothing to do here, take Yegor home.”

Recently there was an incident in a store: I put on a mask, but my son did not, I walked in front and did not pay attention. And I hear the cashier shouting to the whole store: “Young man, why are you without a mask, because of you, we will pay a fine!” The son hates when they raise his voice, he answers her: “Why are you shouting at me?” People began to point fingers at Yegor.

I am now totally tired of the fact that I have to be on the lookout and protect my child.And there is also a feeling that I do not belong to myself. I am a single organism with my son, but I am no longer as a person. I tried to communicate with a psychologist, it helps me, lets go, but not for long. There is no escape from the feeling of a vicious circle.

My mother helps me a lot, she is my main support. Yegor’s father can also stay with him while I am at work, but he refuses to give pills, for example, because he is afraid that he will confuse something. On VKontakte I communicate with other mothers of special children, it is very important to know that you are not alone.

I often think about the future of my son, I understand that it is not eternal, and we have already discussed this topic with my ex-husband. We agreed that he would not leave Yegor alone. If I understand that it’s really hard, I’ll probably have to put my son in a closed ward, but I try not to think about it while I manage it myself.

Topic details

“I wondered how best to die”: stories of adolescents with mental disabilities

“I wondered how best to die”: stories of teens with mental disabilities

“The doll says: kill your mother”

Mom Irina and daughter Dasha

Dasha came to us from an orphanage at the age of eight, she already had a mental disability.A child from the age of three is registered with a psychiatrist, but doctors never talked about schizophrenia. By the time I was eleven, I got tired, and it became hard with my daughter. I constantly repeated to her: “Well, what are you telling me some kind of nonsense.” We came to the doctor with complaints of behavior, and suddenly the psychiatrist for some reason starts asking Dasha strange questions: “Do they come to you, can you hear a voice?” And suddenly the daughter begins to tell: “Yes, a doll comes to me, she tells me different things.” My hair is on end, I wave my hand, interrupt: “Doctor, these are telephones, cartoons” – and the doctor told me: “No, I will continue.”The psychiatrist asks: “What does this doll tell you?” Dasha replies: “Kill mom.”

She never told me about this, although she is very sociable, from morning to evening she can tell something. The doctor also asked her daughter around, and as a result, Dasha was admitted to the hospital for a month. She was reviewed by several specialists – psychiatrist, psychologist, defectologist – and more than once, they observed her condition at regular intervals and diagnosed schizophrenia.

I did not know anything about schizophrenia and was terrified, and I could only say: “Well, we lived with her for several years, is it not dangerous?” It’s just that schizophrenia is one of the few diseases that gives the right to abandon a child right away, because the diagnosis is dangerous and it is not a fact that the parent will cope.But we got a soft, humane version.

Much that I attributed to mental retardation turned out to be a manifestation of schizophrenia. Dasha’s sentences are not connected in meaning at all. For example, she suggests, “Mommy, let’s talk.” And he begins: “I want a doll, he hit me on the head, and the bird is flying over there” – and so for several hours in a row. You try to direct her thoughts in one direction, but the daughter quickly gets off the topic.

You ask her: “Dasha, why is the squirrel gnawing nuts?” – she replies: “Because she is red.”

That is, there is no logic, it cannot make any conclusions. Dasha’s delirium is both domestic and completely fantasy. I told my daughter about her mother, but she distorted the information: “And you know, I have a mother, Vera, she gave birth to me, then she died, then she gave birth again.” Even a day of harmless delirium is hard, the brain just smokes, so maybe it’s wrong, for the last year and a half I’ve just slowed it down, I said: “Dash, stop it”.

Also, Dasha sometimes gets aggression. Doctors tell us that this happens with schizophrenia. She picks at her pants, spoils things, somehow took a knife and carefully, while no one sees, cut the furniture in the kitchen. With a pencil or something sharp in her room, where it is difficult to see, different words are neatly scrawled – names, something else. And since our house is completely wooden, this is, of course, serious damage.

Previously, we lived in another region, and there the psychiatrist could not help us in any way – he simply did not prescribe anything, I suspect that he had no experience, and he was afraid of a serious illness.We moved, and I directly bow to the local specialists who have found us a competent treatment: Dasha’s aggression has decreased, delirium remains, but now there is much less of it. We have been taking prescribed medications for the second year and have even reduced the doses. We buy tablets at our own expense. Also, the correctional school, where Dasha studies, provided us with a speech therapist and a psychologist, but according to the diagnosis they do not offer us specialists, they say, if you want, look for yourself.

Topic details

“I am compared to a dangerous, rabid beast”: how people with schizophrenia live in Russia

“I am compared to a dangerous, rabid beast”: how people with schizophrenia live in Russia

When they ask me what they thought when they took Dasha, I am surprised.Maybe in two weeks of dating, a cool specialist would identify a mental disorder, but I don’t. I flew to the district psychiatrist with bulging eyes and told her that we had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. And the man was surprised, although for two years he watched her once a month

We also talked with the director of the orphanage where Dasha lived, and when my daughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia, I called the director, and she told me: “Isn’t it true, after all? We took her to psychiatrists for several years and listed her symptoms, but we were denied this diagnosis. “

Now my daughter is twelve years old, she moved to the sixth grade, she is studying for fours and fives. She adores school and, in general, loves government agencies, educators and teachers. She has a fine ear, she performs at school concerts, an assistant in everyday life. Teachers say that perhaps Dasha will learn to sew and be able to earn money. The employment of such people exists, but it seems to me that this is still some kind of fantasy. It will be hard for my daughter without help.

My husband supports me very much, without him I would not have coped.Mom only recently with difficulty accepted the fact of Dasha’s schizophrenia, and her great-grandmother worked in a correctional school for thirty years, so she took the diagnosis calmly. Old friends stayed with us, our children communicate well. I hope that my experience will be useful to someone. I had a quirk that you can not give Dasha drugs, we are superheroes and we can handle it ourselves, but it is necessary to be treated.

Why is childhood schizophrenia more severe than adult schizophrenia, and how is it treated?

Ivan Martynikhin

Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, member of the board and executive committee of the Russian Society of Psychiatrists, Associate Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Narcology of the First St.Petersburg State Medical University named after Academician I.P.Pavlova

Schizophrenia is usually a disease of adults, although it begins at a relatively young age – from 18 to 30 years. Early-onset schizophrenia is divided into two types: schizophrenia in adolescents from 14 to 18 years old and schizophrenia with very early onset – before the age of 13.

Why is it mainly an adult disease? There are four main clinical manifestations of this disease: delirium, hallucinations, disorganized thinking and mental automatism, when it seems to the patient that mental processes do not belong to him, they are imposed and controlled by someone from the outside: the devil, robots, zombies.To identify these symptoms, a person must have a sufficiently mature mental activity, he must clearly distinguish between fantasy and reality, and children do not always know how. In addition, mature speech is needed to assess delusional judgments.

It is believed that the earlier schizophrenia is diagnosed, the worse the prognosis and severe course of . I watched for a long time a young man who fell ill at the age of fourteen: he became tougher, rude to his parents, ceased to be interested in studies and other activities, although before that he was an excellent student, began to spend a lot of time at home, killed animals, did not communicate with anyone, painted some kind of scribble.

His parents were against observation by a psychiatrist, but since they were elderly, they died soon after. And after eighteen years, due to the fact that he did not study, did not work and could not serve himself, his sister looked after him. Once he was rude to her and ended up in a psychiatric hospital, where I met him. He communicated with the deities inside the head, wrote letters to them, considered himself their chosen one, against the background of treatment, these symptoms disappeared, but apatho-abulic syndrome began: with good intellectual abilities – the patient was erudite enough, played chess, knew historical events – he was absolutely indifferent to what was happening around him, he lay for days on end.The nurses even had instructions on how to feed him: take him by the hand and lead him to the dining room. Such phenomena are characteristic of the early onset of schizophrenia.

In Russia, I observe overdiagnosis of schizophrenia. Many people with autism, bipolar affective, obsessive-compulsive, borderline disorder are diagnosed with schizophrenia. There is very little modern scientific literature about this disease in children. I know patients who have been treated for schizophrenia for a long time, but upon close examination, they turn out to be people with autism.And among them, some were diagnosed in childhood, as a result of which time for special education and habilitation was lost.

Misdiagnosis is very dangerous for the patient. With long-term use of neuroleptics in sufficiently large doses, a problem arises: the more a person takes them, the more dopamine receptors they act on are formed in the brain. When trying to stop drugs or reduce their dose, there are too many hungry dopamine receptors, anxiety and psychotic states begin, and often for doctors they serve as confirmation of schizophrenia.Although in fact it can be caused by inappropriate treatment.

Many medications give positive results in the short term, and parents are happy, but after a while we can observe a negative outcome. I have a serious patient with mental retardation and autism who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, although he just had periods of aggression that could be stopped by antipsychotics periodically, not constantly. After six years of continuous therapy, when my mother began to cancel the medications, the young man stopped talking, could not walk, he was literally twisted.

Sometimes, for certain internal reasons, the patients themselves and their families are looking for a difficult diagnosis like schizophrenia. Recently, a mother with a teenager turned to me – the boy complained about the voices, and his mother tried to convince me: “This is schizophrenia, it is treated with antipsychotics, you need to release your son from school, let him stay at home.” When I started asking the boy about hallucinations, he immediately took offense at me, as if I devalue his symptoms and do not trust him.

A person with schizophrenia perceives his delusions as reality and does not go to complain to doctors.

And here a teenager walks with his mother to all the specialists, actively talks about himself. The sick, on the contrary, are opposed to doctors, because they allegedly try to attribute to them a disease that people think they do not have.

Disputes over diagnoses are not as important as the selection of medicines and their doses. The main treatment for schizophrenia is based on taking antipsychotics (neuroleptics), which remove delusions and hallucinations and generally improve the prognosis of the disease.

The notion that all people with schizophrenia are aggressive is partly a myth. On the contrary, such people are harmless, in need of protection. In schizophrenia, aggression can be associated with hallucinatory symptoms: a person imagined that someone was pursuing him, for example. But again, this is important to distinguish from situations when the child wants to attract attention or is unable to express desires and emotions in another way, cannot rationally cope with them.

The first warning signs of the disease are many: normal development up to any age, then a change in character, habitual pattern of behavior, signs that a person is hallucinating or talking without an interlocutor, although in any case a psychiatrist should watch.Parents, if they suspect something, do not need to guess, but need to seek qualified help.

Alexey Fedorov

Psychiatrist, psychotherapist in the center of rehabilitation treatment “Children’s Psychiatry” named after S.S. Mnukhin and the medical center “Dynasty”

There is no diagnosis of childhood schizophrenia, but children and adults with this disease still differ. Children do not have a clear ideological delusional structure, in contrast to adults who can delusion so convincingly – you will not guess.In addition, since the personality is still being formed in childhood, schizophrenia is a more traumatic, destructive and disabling process for children, it will be more difficult for a child with schizophrenia to adapt in society – to communicate with peers, and then build stable connections with people.

Schizophrenia in children is a rather rare disease; up to ten such patients pass through us a year. The diagnosis is very stigmatizing, and we are always very careful about making it. On an outpatient basis, it is very difficult to identify schizophrenia: there should be observation of a teenager, his behavior, condition for two to three months, and only then the medical commission makes a diagnosis.

The most frequent age of schizophrenia among children is twelve or fourteen years old; in ten years of practice, I once observed a case of the disease in a six-year-old child.

In our department there was a child who did not know how to cut his toenails, his mother did it for him, “after all, the boy is sick.” You can pay attention to the child in different ways: wipe the bottom and spoon-feed or communicate as with an equal person, respect and accept for who he is .Children with schizophrenia need not only medication, but also psychotherapeutic treatment. The pills take away the symptoms, but they give nothing in return. The ability to express feelings in such children suffers, so there must be family psychotherapy and creativity – dancing, music, painting. For example, we visit the Hermitage with patients.

If the treatment and psychotherapy are well chosen and the adolescent himself criticizes what he is sick with, there is a chance that he will be an active member of society. If a teenager closes in, withdraws into himself, is secretive, refuses to do what he was doing before, this is a reason to be wary, although only a specialist can distinguish this behavior from puberty.

Unfortunately, in Russia there is stigmatization of both mental illness and psychiatrists and psychotherapists. When a child develops some kind of mental disorder, the parents go to a neurologist. If the doctor is competent, then he will gently refer to a psychiatrist, to which the parents are indignant: “Our child, is that crazy ?!” – and do not go to the doctor.

Alexey Geger

Development Director of the public organization of people with disabilities due to mental disorders “New Opportunities”

You need to understand that schizophrenia is a special disease, surrounded by a mass of myths and prejudices, and when the first episode occurs, the family plunges into panic and stupor, relatives do not know how to behave with a sick relative.You come to any neuropsychiatric hospital, and there in a secluded dark corner hangs an announcement about psychoeducational courses for relatives, which are either held at inconvenient times, for example, on weekdays, at three o’clock in the afternoon, or they are minimized.

Doctors do not receive allowances for these activities, and therefore they have no motivation. Therefore, our organization has created support groups for loved ones of patients with schizophrenia. At them we talk about what schizophrenia is in general, how it proceeds, about treatment, stigmatization, employment, and disability.

Most of those who come to us are mothers of sick children in a depressed state, and at first they complain: “The child refuses to take medications, so I will add, add them.” We stand on the fact that people need to be given maximum responsibility for the disease and its treatment , exclude paternalistic attitudes and overprotection and not concentrate only on the disease. Often the family forgets that their loved one with schizophrenia has a self of their own. Also, during the courses, students are provided with psychological assistance, where specialists tell how to accept the disease and build relationships with the child.

We are located in St. Petersburg, but recently we reached the all-Russian level and even the CIS level: at the same time we conducted classes for people in the classroom and online listeners from Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Makhachkala, Yekaterinburg, and Ukraine.


Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which the patient suffers from hallucinations (most often auditory), his interpretation of reality is distorted, delusions (false fixed beliefs), thinking and behavior disorders begin.A person’s social activity depends on the severity of the disease. Approximately 10% of patients commit suicide, and about 80% experience depression at least once in their life.

The average age of the onset of the disease in men is 18 years, in women – 25. Over the years, the severity of the disease may decrease, the most difficult period is the first 5-10 years.

Contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia is not a multiple personality disorder.

This is a lifelong chronic disease that requires constant treatment: medication and psychotherapy.

Synonyms Russian

Bleuler’s disease, discordant psychosis, schizophrenic psychosis, latent schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia, early dementia.

English synonyms

Schizophrenia, Schizophrenic disorder, Schizophrenic psychosis, Dementia praecox.


12-24 months before the onset of the disease, in some cases, slight distortions of perception, cognitive function may appear, the ability to experience pleasure decreases, difficulties in solving problems, irritability, suspicion, and social isolation are observed.In men, the first symptoms of schizophrenia most often appear at the age of 16-20, in women – at about 25. In childhood and after 45 years, schizophrenia begins extremely rarely.

Symptoms of the disease are divided into groups.

1. Positive symptoms.

  • Delirium – false beliefs. The patient may feel threatened, watched, or persecuted. It may seem to him that excerpts from books, newspapers, films are addressed directly to him. The schizophrenic may believe that others are able to read his thoughts, that thoughts and actions are invested in him by external forces.
  • Hallucinations are images that arise in consciousness. They can be auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory, tactile. The most common in schizophrenia are auditory: the patient can hear voices commenting on his actions, talking to each other, making critical or offensive remarks. Hallucinations can be extremely unpleasant for the patient and even lead to threatening consequences, for example, if voices order him to do something that could harm others.
  • Thought disorder – disorganized thinking with incoherent speech, with constant transitions from one topic to another.
  • Inappropriate behavior can be manifested by childish naivety, stupidity, excitement, inappropriate appearance and actions, unreasonable joy or sadness.

2. Negative symptoms.

  • Loss of interest in daily activities, neglect of personal hygiene.
  • Lack of emotion.
  • Violation of the ability to plan their actions.
  • Social isolation, lack of facial expressions, lack of expression, lack of eye contact when communicating.
  • Poor speech: monosyllabic answers, laconic speech.
  • Problems with comprehending information, abstract thinking, understanding social connections. The ability to solve problems, understand other people’s points of view, analyze their own experience is lost.
  • Disorders of attention, memory.

Symptoms of dysophrenia often lead to impaired socialization of the patient: he may lose his job, family, friends, stop taking care of himself.

It is noteworthy that people with schizophrenia are often unaware of their illness and consider themselves healthy, refusing treatment.

General information about the disease

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which the patient has hallucinations, the interpretation of reality is distorted, delirium is present, thinking, behavior, and social adaptation are disturbed.

Although the causes of the disease have not yet been established, it is known that schizophrenia has a biological basis – damage to the brain structure: an increase in the ventricles of the brain, a decrease in some of its areas, a violation of the activity of biologically active substances (dopamine and glutamate).

It is believed that schizophrenia can be caused by genetic factors and factors affecting the fetus during pregnancy and childbirth:

  • genetic predisposition – if both parents have schizophrenia, the child’s risk of developing schizophrenia is 40%;
  • complications during pregnancy, childbirth or early life, such as maternal malnutrition during pregnancy, influenza carried by a woman in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, Rh incompatibility between the baby and the mother, low birth weight, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) and dr.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disease that must be treated throughout a person’s life. Approximately 1-2 years before the onset of the disease, distortions of perception and thinking of the patient may appear, difficulties in solving problems, irritability, suspicion, and social isolation are observed. The onset of the disease (delusions, hallucinations) is sudden (within weeks or months) or slow (over several years.) The severity of the disease can vary from mild to severe.

Types of schizophrenia: a) episodic – with exacerbations and remissions, b) continuous. The most difficult period of the disease is the first 5-10 years from the onset of schizophrenia, after which approximately 10-year stability begins. Then the severity of the disease can be reduced.

The following forms of schizophrenia are distinguished:

  • paranoid – characterized by delusions and auditory hallucinations, while thinking and the emotional sphere are not affected;
  • disorganized – characterized by disorganized speech, behavior, inadequacy;
  • catatonic – violation of activity – either immobility, or excessive activity and the adoption of pretentious poses;
  • undifferentiated – a combination of various symptoms of the disease;
  • residual – when schizophrenia with pronounced symptoms is followed by a long period of moderately pronounced negative symptoms.

If untreated, schizophrenia can lead to serious mental and behavioral problems:

  • suicide, self-harm, approximately 10% of patients commit suicide;
  • depression – 80% of schizophrenics have it at least once in their life;
  • alcohol, drug abuse;
  • homelessness, asociality;
  • aggressiveness – with delusional ideas of persecution; hallucinations calling for violence and non-adherence to prescribed treatment.

Who is at risk?

  • Having relatives with schizophrenia.
  • Exposed to viruses, toxins, malnutrition (especially in the first and second trimesters) during the mother’s pregnancy.
  • Persons who have experienced severe stressful situations, shocks.
  • Persons whose father’s age at the time of conception was over 60 years old.
  • Taking psychoactive substances.


The diagnosis of “schizophrenia” is made by a psychiatrist on the basis of a long-term comprehensive study of the history of the disease, the mental state of a person, his behavior, symptoms of the disease.There are no changes in analyzes characteristic of schizophrenia.

To rule out other diseases or substance abuse, additional examination may be carried out, including a consultation with a neurologist.

Laboratory research

  • General blood test
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which characterizes the function of the thyroid gland.

In some situations the definition may be shown:

  • Content of drugs and heavy metals in blood and urine
  • The level of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands.With its excess or deficiency in the body, the mental status of a person can change.

Other research methods

  • Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. These studies are performed in order to exclude volumetric formations of the brain, hemorrhages.
  • Electroencephalography (EEG). In some cases, an EEG is required, a test method that evaluates the electrical potentials of the brain.

In all cases, the scope of the examination is determined by the attending physician.


Schizophrenia is a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment, even if symptoms are rare and less severe. Treatment involves taking medications (antipsychotics), psychotherapy and rehabilitation of the schizophrenic.

Hospitalization of the patient in a neuropsychiatric dispensary may be required, especially during exacerbations and attacks of schizophrenia.

Side effects of antipsychotics include weight gain, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.

Rehabilitation of the patient is aimed at socializing the patient, instilling in him social skills, vocational rehabilitation, training.


There is no way to prevent schizophrenia.

People with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia should stop using alcohol, drugs, psychotropic substances; avoid the effects of mental and emotional stress, overwork, lack of sleep.At the first signs of the disease, it is necessary to consult a specialist and begin treatment.

To prevent severe attacks and complications of schizophrenia, the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor should be strictly observed; in order to avoid attacks and exacerbations of the disease, lifelong therapy and periodic stay in a hospital are possible.

Recommended analyzes

  • General blood test
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Cortisol
  • Screening test for the presence of narcotic, psychotropic and potent substances


  • Dan L.Longo, Dennis L. Kasper, J. Larry Jameson, Anthony S. Fauci, Harrison’s principles of internal medicine (18th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Publishing Division, 2011.

How to understand a schizophrenic – MK St. Petersburg


A year ago, Natalia Smirnova (name changed. – Ed. ) , 25-year-old son Oleg (name also changed. – Ed. ) . No bad heredity, no prerequisites.He just called his mother one day and said that they wanted to kill him.

– It was summer. I went on vacation with his younger brother to rest. And Oleg stayed because he worked. When he called, I was thinking about anything but schizophrenia. Bad joke? Drugs? Manipulation to get us back? Not long before that, his younger brother returned from the army, and I noticed how Oleg was jealous of him. Where he works, he certainly could not face any kind of murder and persecution. I tried to explain it to him, laugh, threaten.I even cried, but he did not understand and kept repeating that they wanted to kill him, – recalls Natalya Smirnova.

She urgently returned home. By that time, Oleg had already been taken to the neuropsychiatric dispensary. Breakdown. Pills. Refusal from them. Another breakdown and final diagnosis is schizophrenia.

– Because of the diagnosis, my son had to quit his job, says Natalya Smirnova. – He closed up. I could not tell anyone about what had happened. We lived in a small town (in which one, the woman asked not to name. – Ed. ) . And if someone knew, everyone else would know right away. Oleg was afraid of this. It all seemed to collapse.

In order not to “collapse” with her son, Natalya took him to St. Petersburg – here doctors are better, and getting lost in a big city, where no one knows you, is easier.

– Now he only watches over the Internet how others play computer games. He himself cannot. She goes to the store, is not interested in anything anymore, – the woman says. – And I began to look for at least some information about the disease.But so much is written on the Internet that it is sometimes difficult to make out where the truth is, where the fiction is. I realized that I needed help first, I went to a psychologist. And then I found out about the groups in New Opportunities.

Natalia is the only one of the participants in the meetings in the St. Petersburg branch of the public organization “New Opportunities” who agreed to tell her story. The rest – like her, the relatives of the mentally ill – are scared to entrust their secret to someone.


– In families where a mental disorder occurs, people are faced with the problem of stigmatization (rejection by society. – Ed. ) , which leads to isolation. A person is suddenly left without help, without understanding what to do, who to turn to, what to expect from the future. What we are doing is a small fraction of what is needed, – explains the chairman of the St. Petersburg branch of the New Opportunities organization Kira GEBEL .

In addition to managing a public organization, she is also a psychiatrist, head of the medical and rehabilitation department at the Kashchenko hospital. She admits that today public medicine cannot provide the full range of services to people with mental illnesses.If a patient has an acute attack and needs a call for an ambulance, then yes, they will take it away, treat it. What to do before and after? What to do in remission?

– Information is the first place to start. But psychiatry is not a fashionable topic, it is often hushed up. If they talk about her, then with an ironic or abusive shade, explains Kira Gebel.

The All-Russian Public Organization of Disabled People “New Opportunities” originally appeared in Moscow in 2001.In 2005, a regional branch was opened in St. Petersburg. In addition to full-time support groups for relatives of the mentally ill, doctors and volunteers from New Opportunities conduct an educational group “Standard Deviation” in social networks. The project “Doctor on duty” is also working there. Within its framework, you can anonymously ask a psychiatrist any question.

This year, their organization won a presidential grant and was able to open free, additional classes for those whose loved ones were diagnosed with a psychiatric diagnosis – “schizophrenia”, “schizophrenic conditions”, “bipolar disorder.”Once a week, they are collected and told about the onset of the disease, how the brain works and what biochemical processes occur in it. They learn to recognize the approaching exacerbations, they say how the remission goes, what outcomes can be expected. They explain a lot about drugs, their effect, combination. Provide social and legal advice.

– We have many dispensaries, hospitals, boarding schools, but there are no club houses, medical and educational workshops, housing for those disabled who do not have their own home, – says Kira Gebel, – There are no mobile self-help teams, only an ambulance …There is no one who could control the patient’s path from home to work. Such services exist, for example, in large Canada or small Estonia. Moreover, our hospital beds have decreased, and some day care centers have been closed. Because rehabilitation is not cost-effective. Its effectiveness has not yet been learned to calculate.

Thousands of Petersburgers are essentially alone in their illness. At best, they are helped by relatives who find the strength to be around. But their resources are limited.

The chairman of the St. Petersburg branch of the New Opportunities organization, Kira Gebel, and the organization’s development director, Alexei Geger, understand that it is necessary to save not only the mentally ill themselves, but also their relatives. Photo by the author

– Society is afraid of people with mental disabilities, but statistics show that crimes are more often committed by healthy people than sick people. And to our hospital named after Kashchenko, they periodically bring patients who have been beaten by relatives or neighbors.They are kicked out of their apartments and discharged from ordinary hospitals as soon as possible. And they have nowhere to go, – explains the chairman of New Opportunities.

However, if you believe all the same statistics, almost every fifth citizen can be in the place of such an “outcast” or his relative.

P.S. Those who need help can contact New Opportunities. Meetings for relatives of patients with psychiatric diseases are held once a week on Wednesdays at Kanonerskaya, d.12. You can sign up for them on the website: www.newchoicesspb.ru, or by calling + 7-904-639-08-13.


Chief Psychotherapist of the St. Petersburg Health Committee, Doctor of Medicine, Professor Vladimir KURPATOV:

– We have a similar psychoeducational center at the Kashchenko hospital, classes are being held. On the one hand, this is important and useful, but on the other, it is bad that this center exists there.Young, able-bodied people who have just encountered some problems will not come to the place where patients with severe diagnoses lie, they will simply be afraid.

Why should psychotherapy centers be deployed on the territory of a psychiatric hospital, I do not understand at all. And it is our city that suffers from this. It is wiser to open them at polyclinics. I have spoken about this more than once in the Healthcare Committee, wrote papers, but the problem is not being solved.

In St. Petersburg there are 200 thousand people with severe psychiatric diagnoses, and in borderline conditions – 500 thousand.And helping this half a million people in our country is very ineffective. We can say that the psychotherapeutic service in the city shrinks like pebbled skin. It is becoming less accessible, the number of specialists and offices is decreasing. The preventive direction of medicine is in a terrible enclosure. Priorities are given to high-tech treatment methods when hospitalization is already needed. The situation is the same in psychiatry. The chief psychiatrist of Moscow, Georgy Kostyuk, recently announced the following figures: in 2002, there were 360 ​​people with mental disabilities across the country per 100 thousand of the population, and this year there are already 720.Disability is increasing, while detection is decreasing.

Of course, in such a situation, informational and educational activities are needed. And there can be a big return from public organizations, the main thing is that everything there is professionally organized.


Director of the Phoenix social rehabilitation club Olga RYABOVA:

– I have been working with mentally disabled people for over 20 years. Our organization appeared on the initiative of relatives of psychiatric patients, and five relatives and five people with diagnoses actually work in it.The fact that we are doing this is a reaction to the official position that such patients only need a hospital that looks like a prison.

No, they also need to feel like people, be busy with something, express themselves, just communicate with someone, be friends and love. Because they have already lost everything – school or job, often family, friends. They are not invited to the holidays, they are shunned. But many were successful before illness, defended dissertations, had good positions.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, we had support from the West, where public care for psychiatric patients is better developed.We didn’t swim in money, but we had at least some means. Now the West has turned its back on us, because the sanctions, and, for example, the Americans are already scared to contact us. And in Russia you can’t get through to money. The funds we apply to work with other categories of those in need. Now there is even discrimination within the community: downs, autists are good patients, and schizophrenics are bad, about whom we endlessly hear all kinds of crap. Our wards are on the last lines in the fundraising ratings.

90,000 10 questions about schizophrenia – Gazeta.Ru

Are people with schizophrenia dangerous? Are they violent? Hear voices? Are they isolated from society? Gazeta.Ru answers the questions that are formed by the widespread myths about schizophrenia. This material is conceived as an educational program with the aim of destigmatizing the diagnosis of schizophrenia. With its help, we would like to convey the thesis that the diagnosis of “schizophrenia” is not the final sentence, and ordinary life is possible with it.

1. Who is to blame for a person developing schizophrenia?

Medicine does not yet know what causes the disorder.It is assumed that this is a coincidence of genetic factors, violations of chemical processes in the brain and environmental influences.

Scientists cannot consider and evaluate the processes that take place in the brain of people diagnosed with schizophrenia. But the studies that are already available have shown that in this disease there are problems in the work of neurotransmitters, mainly dopamine. These are substances through which impulses are transmitted from one nerve cell to another. The brain and central nervous system are also slightly altered in this disorder.But how these changes affect and when they develop is still unknown.

2. Can I somehow understand whether I or my loved one has schizophrenia?

It is rather difficult to diagnose schizophrenia in oneself: people with a mental disorder often do not realize that something is wrong with them. The relatives and friends of the sick person often turn to specialists, who notice changes in behavior, thinking, habits, and reactions.

The first signs of the disease cannot always be recognized precisely as pathological.A person can joke strangely, move away from people and the professional community. He can talk about unusual feelings and experiences, share unusual ideas and try to implement them. In general terms, his behavior can be described as follows: an introverted eccentric, convinced of his inventions. Perhaps this is just a temporary condition caused by some kind of experience or stress. But sometimes schizophrenia begins with such unobvious symptoms.

3. How do people behave when they definitely have schizophrenia?

The disease manifests itself in different ways, in different combinations of symptoms and complaints.If relatives or the person himself notice that his (her) condition has signs of a mental disorder, then you need to contact a specialist – only he will be able to diagnose and distinguish one disease from another with similar symptoms.

In general, symptoms of schizophrenia may include:

Delirium. A person begins to think that something is happening that is related to him or to the world around him: as if someone is watching him, persecuting him, trying to harm him, slander him, offend him.A schizophrenic patient may think that someone has written down thoughts, conversations, texts, tasks in his head and made him think, pronounce, solve. He is sure that those around him also hear what is going on in his head, and tries to communicate on this topic. Some “appear” information that something tragic, dangerous is about to happen in the country, in the world, on Earth. The most important thing is that a person sincerely believes in the reality of all this.

Hallucinations. These are false auditory, tactile, visual sensations.A person with schizophrenia lives them, for him they are real.

Negative symptoms. What is listed above is called productive symptoms – they were brought by the disease, this is its product. Negative symptoms – those that the disease takes away, minus from the life of the sick person. The liveliness of movements, energy, will, the desire to do something, to communicate disappear. A schizophrenic patient may not want anything, he (she) is not interested in anything, he (she) ceases to take care of himself and observe the simplest hygiene.

Thinking and speech disorders. To others, they look like a salad of thoughts and words. The sick person can ask questions to himself or receive them from others, begin to answer and get confused in words.

Unusual behavior. Childhood, antics, frozen postures, or, conversely, fussy and meaningless movements, which often do not combine with the situation, or with the environment, or with tasks, become characteristic of a person.

4. So, if my friend shows these signs, then he (she) …?

Not always.Yes, and one symptom from this description, and a combination of several may indicate schizophrenia, but in the same way they can be disguised as manifestations of a completely different disorder.



A non-specialist cannot suspect schizophrenia in a person. Even experienced professionals carry out many examinations and tests before making a diagnosis. Therefore, the best tactic in this case is to convince to visit a specialist.

5. It seems that this happened to my loved one. Is he going to be sent to a mental hospital now?

Optional. Schizophrenia can proceed in different ways, many are successfully treated only at home, on an outpatient basis. If your loved one’s behavior has changed and has become a cause for concern, then do not come up with diagnoses, and even more so do not voice the assumption to strangers. Talk to the person himself, find out what he feels and what worries him. And together with him, make an appointment with a specialist, if you understand that he is:

– became suspicious, listens to something, checks something;
– suddenly loses the thought or thread of conversation, breaks off speech in mid-sentence or does not complete the case;
– has problems with social adaptation (cannot perform the simplest actions – for example, buy groceries in a store).

Unfortunately, the circumstances of the disease are such that from the very beginning the sick person needs help and support from relatives and friends. And it starts with the need to convince him to go to a specialist.

You may have watched the movie A Beautiful Mind. It was created based on the life story of a real American mathematician, scientist and professor at Princeton University, John Nash. He had schizophrenia, which caused his strange behavior, but did not lead to a loss of the ability to think scientifically.The film shows well how the support of loved ones helped John Nash.

This is, of course, a separate example, but it shows that it is wrong to equate schizophrenia with a complete loss of reason. The disease can proceed in different ways, the treatment can be so effective that a person will live almost the same way as before.

6. Registration

It’s not a shame. This is correct and necessary: ​​everyone should receive treatment for their disease. Help with schizophrenia is provided by a specialist, and accounting is a diary for observing the course of the disease.It has long been understood abroad: only treatment and control help many people with schizophrenia avoid difficult life situations (vagrancy, alcohol or drug abuse), notice a relapse in time (return of symptoms) and return to remission.

7. So now all your life on pills?

That would be perfect! If loved ones can convince a person with schizophrenia to take medication prescribed by a specialist and come on time for a check-up, then you can take control of the symptoms and prevent relapse.

8. What does “under control” mean? Don’t pills heal?

To control means with the help of drugs and additional methods (psychotherapy, for example) to make the symptoms of the disease as little as possible affect life. This is called remission. With a favorable course of the disease, remission on drugs may be such that a person will remain in society, will live almost the same way as before the diagnosis.



Some people with this condition manage to control their medication and treatment themselves.But still, most need support from loved ones, compassion without obsession and excessive anxiety. In practice, this can be a donated pill box, in which the desired drug is put in advance. Or creating a calm atmosphere in the house and visiting a psychotherapist together. Or daily walks and the organization of participation in household chores, so that a person does not feel excluded from family life and does not focus on experiences.

9. When can a person be considered healthy?

Schizophrenia has not yet been cured.And there are many such diseases that with the help of drugs can only be brought into remission: for example, diabetes mellitus or hypertension – people have to take drugs all their lives, but no one considers them flawed.

And, of course, the scientific world is looking for, developing, testing drugs that can act as efficiently as possible. For example, in Russia there is a drug from the pharmaceutical company Gedeon Richter, which can help fight productive and negative symptoms and make it possible to live more harmoniously in society.

10. They say that people with such a diagnosis can suddenly attack, try to kill, do they become strong like animals?

There are factors that can lead to an outbreak of aggression. But this does not mean that the sick are just waiting for someone to attack. If you have to deal with this, then protect the patient (close the windows, turn off the gas, take away knives and matches, etc.), yourself, family members, animals and call an ambulance, telling what is happening. There is no need to argue with the patient, mock, demand to calm down or remember the techniques of martial arts.Maintain self-control and speak in a calm voice.

According to various data obtained by foreign researchers, people with schizophrenia commit from 5 to 10% of crimes associated with aggression or violence. The rest of these crimes are committed by people without this diagnosis.

Material prepared with the support of Gedeon Richter.


1. Schizophrenia. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/schizophrenia/symptoms-causes/syc-20354443
2.What Is Schizophrenia? https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/what-is-schizophrenia
3. Expert Q & A: Schizophrenia https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/schizophrenia/expert-q- and-a
4. Violence and schizophrenia: Examining the evidence https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/violence-and-schizophrenia-examining-the-evidence / BEC530F212F98C0400D3D32CB2710BA9
5. Violence and mental illness: an overview https: // pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16946914/

90,000 Psychiatric Education Program for Relatives

Mental illness, like any other chronic illness, can be the cause of a family crisis. A severe mental disorder imposes restrictions on the organization of family life, requires a change in the usual way of life of all its members, adherence to a special regime, makes them abandon pleasant habits, change plans for the future, redistribute responsibilities, not to mention feelings of uncertainty, helplessness, fear, and the patient, and his relatives.The burden of care and responsibility for the future of a loved one falls on the relatives of a sick person.

“When my son got sick, it became the main concern in my life. Taking care of him filled everything. At the same time, my situation was aggravated by sudden attacks of anxiety, fear, insecurity, depression, associated with only one thing: what is ahead? I still have a lot of everyday problems, I meet with outright bureaucracy, when I want to get something for myself or my son, sometimes I have to be both a lawyer and a human rights activist – all this deprives me of strength and energy ”(K.D., 70 years old)

Mentally ill people and their relatives are often socially isolated. And this leads to a reduction in ties with the broader social environment, which is one of the most important factors that reduce the quality of family life.

Diagnosis of a mental disorder often leads to “feelings of guilt and shame” in the patient’s relatives, many of them hide the very fact of the presence of a mentally ill person in the family, they are afraid that someone will find out about the relative’s illness.

“It took me 20 years before I could talk to someone other than the district psychiatrist and openly say that my son has schizophrenia” (E.G., 65 years old)

To make it easier for relatives of mentally ill people to cope with emerging problems, they need information about the illness of a loved one, methods of treatment, the system of organizing psychiatric and social assistance, and forms of assistance directly in the community.They can get this information in psychiatric literacy courses.

Psychiatric education as a form of informational and socio-psychological support for relatives of patients and the patients themselves began to be actively introduced in our country. As a rule, mental health education programs combine two components – informational and socio-psychological support.

Psychiatric education serves as the basis:

· understanding the illness of a loved one and helping him to cope with it
· prevention of exacerbations and repeated hospitalizations;
· early seeking help in case of exacerbation of the disease;

In our organization, a psychiatric education program for relatives of mentally ill patients has been carried out since 1996.The tasks that we solve by conducting classes with relatives are as follows:

1. instilling a scientifically grounded idea of ​​mental illness, their nature, possible manifestations, course, prognosis, system of care and observation of patients, alternatives to drug treatment, tactics of modern social rehabilitation measures;
2. prevention of disease recurrence;
3. Improving patient compliance and understanding of the importance of psychosocial programs;
4.developing and maintaining realistic expectations regarding the mental state and social functioning of the patient;
5. search for peace of mind through knowledge and mutual emotional support;
6. Reducing social exclusion and isolation, creating a natural network of social support
7. Overcoming feelings of guilt, powerlessness, shame, despair associated with the disease;
8. Creation of an atmosphere of empathy and informed optimism for each participant.

Working with relatives of mentally ill people involves less sparing than with patients, discussing issues of prognosis, long-term maintenance treatment, stigma, and disability.In the classroom, other tasks are also solved: we pay attention to the development of problem-solving skills, communication with medical personnel and in the family.

When conducting an educational program for relatives of mentally ill patients, an interactive learning model is used (exchange of views, experiences, encouragement to be active in the process of conducting classes, expression of feelings, support). In the classroom, a friendly atmosphere, respectful attitude is maintained, the expectations and individual needs of the program participants are always taken into account.

Classes have a clear structure – each lesson begins with a greeting, identifying participants’ requests on the topic of the lesson (15 min). This is followed by the main part in the form of a lecture, a message (1 – 1.5 hours). This part of the lesson is accompanied by the exchange of the experience of the listeners, during the message they can ask a question, exchange opinions. At the end of the lesson, its results are summed up, a repetition of the passed, a short discussion (15 min.) Is carried out.

Leaders of classes (doctors, psychologists, social workers) present the material in a simple and understandable language for the audience.The group consists of 12 – 15 listeners. Classes are held once a week, in the evening. The course of study is usually three months.

Basic training for relatives of patients with chronic mental illness, as well as the content of the lessons (in the form of lectures) are presented below.

1st lesson. Acquaintance. Goals and objectives of the mental health education program. Determination of information requests of relatives of patients.Determination of the rules for conducting classes. A conversation about the family, its functions, problems arising from the illness of one of its members with a mental disorder, about helping the family during this period.

From the lecture “Family and mental disorder: what can help the family in overcoming the disease”: “The family meets the disease earlier than the doctor – even at the stage of pre-symptoms and the first, so-called latent, unclear symptoms. The reaction to the onset of the disease depends on the severity and speed of its development, ideas about it and prejudices.In acute – sudden onset, the period of uncertainty in terms of establishing a diagnosis is small. With its slow development, this period, which is very disturbing for loved ones, can stretch for months and even years Read more

From the lecture “Family and mental illness: what can help the family to overcome the disease”: “There is no need to rush. The recovery process can take a long time. Getting more rest is very important. Everything will fall into place over time.Keep calm. Excessive enthusiasm is normal. Try to temper it. Showing disagreement is also normal. Try to take it calmly as well “ Read more

2nd lesson. Psychiatry as a medical discipline. Classification of mental disorders, their prevalence, causes, course, prognosis.

From the lecture “Psychiatry, its boundaries, problems and tasks”: All attempts to draw a clear line between the concepts of mental norm and pathology have so far been unsuccessful.Therefore, psychiatrists conclude about the absence or presence of such a pathology in a particular person, based on the experience of their work, the study of the features of the manifestations of the disease, the patterns of its development and course in many patients, as well as on the results of additional studies, and, when pathology is detected, characterize it as a mental disorder, mental illness, symptom or syndrome . Read more

3rd lesson. Symptoms and syndromes of mental illness.

You will learn about the manifestations of mental disorders in lecture “The main symptoms and syndromes of mental disorders” .

From the lecture: Speaking about depression , we, first of all, mean the following manifestations.

1. Decreased mood, feeling of depression, depression, melancholy, in severe cases felt physically as heaviness, or chest pain. This is an extremely painful condition for a person.

2. Decrease in mental activity (thoughts become poorer, shorter, vague). A person in this state does not answer questions immediately – after a pause, gives short, monosyllabic answers, speaks slowly, in a low voice. Quite often, patients with depression note that they find it difficult to delve into the meaning of the question asked to them, the essence of what they have read, they complain of a decrease in memory. Such patients find it difficult to make decisions, cannot switch to new activities.

3. Motor inhibition – patients experience weakness, lethargy, muscle relaxation, talk about fatigue, their movements are slowed down, constrained. Read more

4th lesson. Schizophrenia: clinic, course, prognosis.

From lecture “Some of the most common mental disorders: schizophrenia, affective diseases, neurotic disorders, disorders associated with external factors” : Schizophrenia is the most important clinical and social problem of psychiatry worldwide: it affects about 1 % of the world’s population, and every year 2 million people are registered in the world.new cases of the disease. In terms of prevalence, schizophrenia is one of the first places among mental illnesses and is the most common cause of disability. Read more

5th lesson. Identification of signs of recurrence of the disease . The concept of “handwriting of relapse” (a purely personal combination of harbingers of relapse), the necessary actions at an early, middle or late stage of relapse.

How to communicate with a family member with a mental disorder, you can learn in the lecture “How to cope with loved ones with everyday problems that arise when living together with a mentally ill person.”

From the lecture: An important point that stabilizes the condition of a sick person is maintaining a familiar, simple life routine in the house, for example, a stable rise time in the morning, sleep time, and meal times. You need to create a calm, consistent, predictable life as much as possible. This will enable the sick person to cope with feelings of anxiety, confusion, to understand what and at what time you expect from him and what, in turn, to expect from you. Read more.

6th lesson Treatment of schizophrenia.

From lecture “Modern therapy of schizophrenia : The main pharmacological action of antipsychotics is blocking dopamine receptors, which results in the normalization of the activity of the dopamine system of brain cells, namely, a decrease in this activity to the optimal level. Clinically, i.e. at the level of symptoms of the disease, this corresponds to a noticeable decrease or complete disappearance of the productive symptoms of the disease (delirium, hallucinations, catatonic symptoms, excitement, attacks of aggression).The ability of antipsychotics to suppress, in whole or in part, such manifestations of psychosis as delusions, hallucinations, catatonic symptoms, is called antipsychotic action. Read more

7th lesson. Treatment of affective disorders.

From the lecture “Treatment of affective disorders . Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders ”: Treatment of a depressive state involves the prescription of antidepressants – drugs that increase mood.Their effect is due to the influence on various neurotransmitter systems and, first of all, on the norepinephrine and serotonin systems. Read more

From the lecture “Treatment of affective disorders . Psychotherapy for Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders ”:… Psychotherapy for people with schizophrenia or mood disorders can target different levels of functioning. First, with the help of special psychotherapeutic and training techniques, it is possible to influence the basic mental – cognitive (cognitive) functions: attention, memory, thinking. Read more

8th lesson. Psychological problems in families, ways to solve them.

From a thematic lecture: Feeling imaginary guilt, relatives seek to atone for it and behave in such a way as if they caused harm to the patient. Many fear the exposure of what they believe they did wrong, and fearfully await public accusations. They painfully decide whether they are to blame and to what extent. This leads to an endless search for someone who is still guilty of the illness of a relative, this kind of removes some of the guilt from them.The search for the guilty person does not allow one to survive grief, loss. They remain and do not allow to accept the situation as it is, to live calmly and to solve constructively. Read more .

9th lesson. Modern system of psychiatric and social assistance.

You can read about how psychiatric care is arranged, its capabilities, and current development trends in lecture “Psychiatric care: history and current state”.

From the lecture: In many regions, organizational forms have already been created and are functioning that bring the provision of psychiatric care closer to the place of residence of the population (i.e., create the foundations of a community-oriented psychiatric service). These include: home hospitals, offices (departments, centers) for helping people with crisis conditions and suicidal behavior, hotlines, centers for social and psychological assistance, speech therapy offices, centers for speech pathology and neurorehabilitation, psychotherapeutic centers and offices, offices family medical and psychological counseling, counseling “Marriage and Family”, hostels for people with mental disorders who have lost social ties, institutions for psychosocial and labor rehabilitation. Read more

10th and 11th lessons. General overview of legislation related to the provision of mental health care. Rights and benefits of the mentally ill.

We recommend reading the following thematic lectures: “General overview of legislation on mental health care. Compulsory medical measures “ and ” Involuntary (compulsory) hospitalization of citizens in a psychiatric hospital “

From the lecture: ” General overview of legislation on mental health care.Compulsory measures of a medical nature “ ” Everyone has the right to health protection and medical assistance “- this is how Article 41 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation says. This right of every citizen of Russia and a person on its territory requires proper legislative regulation. The main normative act regulating this range of legal relations on the territory of the Russian Federation is the Fundamentals of the legislation of the Russian Federation on the protection of citizens’ health. read more .

From the lecture: “Involuntary (compulsory) hospitalization of citizens in a psychiatric hospital” Article 29 of the Law of the Russian Federation “On psychiatric care and guarantees of citizens’ rights during its provision” defines the grounds for placing a citizen in a psychiatric hospital. The structure of this article includes three criteria required for involuntary (compulsory) hospitalization in a psychiatric hospital. read more.

12th lesson (final). Psychosocial rehabilitation: basic concepts, forms and methods of work. Family assistance in patient rehabilitation. Community organizations, support groups, other community resources . Parting. Obtaining books, brochures intended for help users. Tea drinking.

You can get acquainted with the basic principles, methods and types of psychosocial rehabilitation in the thematic lecture “Psychosocial rehabilitation: a modern approach”.

From the lecture: Rehabilitation in patients with mental disorders, as well as in somatic diseases, is recommended to begin with stabilization of the state and weakening of pathological manifestations. For example, the rehabilitation of a patient with schizophrenia should be started when the severity of symptoms such as delusional ideas, hallucinations, thinking disorders, etc. has decreased.But even if the symptoms of the disease remain, rehabilitation can be carried out within the patient’s ability to succumb to learning and respond to psychosocial interventions.Read more

In our experience, after the patients’ relatives undergo a psychoeducation course, their knowledge in the field of psychiatry increases, the skills of effective communication with the patient are formed, the social network expands, and, which is very important, there is a general idea of ​​their own psychological problems and a request for help in their decision. Therefore, after completing a course of psychoeducation, depending on the nature of the problems and the degree of readiness (motivation) to solve them, we offer relatives short-term forms of psychological assistance (psychological counseling, trainings) or long-term psychotherapy.

Here are some comments from parents participating in the family psychiatric education program.

“I have been participating in an educational program in psychiatry for several months and I realized that the feelings I experienced were a normal reaction to my daughter’s illness: I was very afraid if I was ill myself. Now I have someone to talk to, they understand me, I do not feel such loneliness as before. And the most important thing is that every time I come to class, I learn something important and new for myself. “
(I.G., 62 years old).

“The neighbors do not understand me and are afraid of my son. Now I sometimes tell them about psychiatry, about how people like my sick son are treated in England. They are surprised and even once, when my son got sick again, they asked how to help me. ”
(T.S., 52 years old).

“I take advice. Earlier it seemed to me that nothing changes in my wife’s illness.