Your observation is correct. Individuals with schizophrenia are often misunderstood by others. The nature of the disorder is such that depending on the severity of it (in each individual), the difficulty in understanding what that person is going through increases.
At the moment, the understanding is that this disorder is not something that can be "cured" but rather maintained w/ medication. There was research that focused on using specifically tailored video games for those with schizophrenia that showed some actual brain changes over a period of time. No certain conclusions had been reached. As far as I recall, this research was not using participations whose illness was severe.
As far as resources, because it is believed that this is a long life disorder, the health options may be focusing on managing one's symptoms (short term treatment). Perhaps this is due to the nature of the illness and possible cost involved in its treatment/maintenance of symptoms.
When I was in hospital a lot of people received few visitors.
I wondered whether this more stigma or because people live and work away from home? Or do you think both factors are relevant?
Both are relevant. Their obligations as well as their "helplessness" in not being able to really help their loved one/friend along with not understanding (not knowing) how to react. Some other reactions may be - fear, feeling lost at how to reply in the event that the person's thinking/speech is disorganized, they experience delussions, etc.
do you think a lot of people with the diagnosis of sz are isolated out in the community?
Yes. It is possible for a person with the diagnosis to isolate oneself as well as to be isolated by others. Those suffering with schizophrenia had shown to have difficulty in reading outside ques and handling environmental overstimulation.
This would depend on what symptoms the person may be exhibiting as well as the level of understanding of those encountering this person. The more people are educated, the more receptive they may be.
The lack of resources does not make it easy to be immersed in the community either i.e. participating in jobs, social events, and so forth.
I think day centres maybe a lifeline for some people who are isolated?
True. They may be since some families are unable to "care" for their loved ones and/or are not trained to do it appropriately. There is so much one can get from these centers though since they are still a place where the person is in a way "confined" to an extent.
I wonder if a lot of patients have little family contact because of the fact that a lot more people are single and/or divorced as well as those who live and work away from home?
Some have little family contact because their family feels helpless and frustrated. The factors you've mentioned would also count.
I'll be off line now for the day.