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I have a question about schizophrenia: I have been told it…

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Hi I have a question about schizophrenia: I have been told it burns itself out in your fifties, is that True?
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Answered in 13 hours by:
12/28/2017
LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,059
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
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Hi, thank you for writing. My name is***** appreciate your patience in waiting for a reply. The answer to your query is that this is not true. For most, schizophrenia proves to be a lifelong battle against the symptoms, seeking a balance between controlling them through sustained use of medications and support while optimizing the chance a patient can live a successful, productive life. This definition may vary for people with this diagnosis based on their course of the illness, the severity of their symptoms, their adherence to treatment, and their support. For some (rare), they can learn to "live with" their symptoms and go on to manage life independent of supports like medications and other interventions, but most require ongoing and sustained attempts at keeping their symptoms to a place where they are tolerable. When I speak of symptoms, I mean things like hallucinations, delusions, disorganized thinking, and negative symptoms, like flat affect and diminished emotions.

-Leah

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Do some people recover?

Yes, some people recover, but this does not imply they are cured. It means they get to a point where their symptoms are controlled enough to not interfere in their day-to-day life.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I heard one third of people recover on medication?

So yes, with the right balance of medications and support, many people can have their symptoms controlled enough to function well. But this does not mean they have ZERO symptoms. It also means that they need to say dependant on the medications for the entirety of their life. Unfortunately, this often proves challenging fo people as they begin to feel they can make it without their meds, go off them, and end up relapsing. So the meditations control their symptoms, but don't cure the underlying illness.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
If they stay on medication do some people relapse anyway?

Sometimes. Mental health and the mind are pretty powerful and there can be phases where a person's symptoms or circumstances change enough to overpower their current meds. This is why the treatment for schizophrenia is active and ongoing. It can require tweeks of dosing or of medication combinations based on how a person is doing at any one time. Environmental/External things play in, too. A blow to one's stability in the environment (a move, a trauma, substance use, a large stressor, etc) can throw things back off balance and affect one's recovery.

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Also, people can build a tolerance to psychiatric medications making them less effective over time.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Can these relapses be lengthy?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
a house move can trigger a relapse is that what you mean?

Yes, if they go untreated. Usually, med tweaks and other interventions can help stabilize someone pretty quickly though, although finding the right tweaks can take some trial and error.

Yes, moving could be something that promotes enough stress to throw someone's recovery off balance.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
You say that recovery affects only a certain amount of people so can relapse put them back in the more serious bracket where people don't function well at all?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Is that possible?

Fundamentally, most people who are relapsing are going to be symptomatic and struggling. The degree of that struggle varies person to person but once the relapse gets controlled with medications and intervention, there is no reason to worry that the person can't get back to stable.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
One more question?Is stigma influenced by works of literature?With schizophrenia?I am thinking of Jekyll and Hyde and the mad hatters tea party?

Symptoms of schizophrenia do not necessarily stay stable with time. One's symptoms 10 years from now may be more severe or less severe so it is hard to know if a relapse in and of itself actually makes symptoms worse, or if the nature of the illness affects the severity.

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Whole-heartedly, stigma affects the way our societies perceive mental illness and greatly impacts the chances that people will seek help and even the chances that they will stay engaged with treatment. This also varies culture to culture, where some view mental illness as a weakness that just be kept hidden. That creates an abundance of unnecessary suffering, In contrast to physical illnesses, say cancer. Cancer doesn't carry the stigma although it is just an illness like schizophrenia. if one gets cancer, they seek treatment and take their meds a prescribed. If one comes down with a mental illness, they often try to stay proud by hiding it and feel like they can manage it without help.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
if the illness gets worse over time can the down turn be lengthy?

Assuming treatment is not sought, the downturn could be significant.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Why is it that some people don't function well at all and those who relapse end up being ok?

Schizophrenia severity varies for people and some people are just more resilient than others. People's support system matters a lot too. Some people cope better than others with adversity. some people can handle symptoms when another cannot. This s true for most anything. Darn near everything in life is on a continuum with most being somewhere in the middle but people on both ends as well.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
some relapses cannot be cured?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Also about moving people need to be aware of the dangers?
Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I did an article for my mental health housing association warning that house moves is one of the most stressful things you can do regarding mental health. I'd that valuable?

Relapses can be cured with the proper interventions and medications. i d not mean to imply otherwise.

People should always be aware of stress when they are battling a mental illness as stress is a potentiating factor in nearly all mental health issues. However, life happens. t is just important to not remain compliant and focused on self-care during periods of stress, ands to be proactive and honest about returning/worsening symptoms if they do get aggravated, regardless of the reason.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
The article is here: do you mind taking a look at it to see if you think it is ok?It is very short:https://www.homegroup.org.uk/Media/Features/Features/Mental-health-and-moving-home

Sure, but then I have to run!

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
ok

I think it is great. You are honest and open about the reality of the stressors a move may cause and the importance of a stable living spae. And you address the emotional impacts, which are relatable and understandable. I also like how at the end, you included quotes to show that even when forced with a move, people can still thrive., Perhaps you could conclude your article by making note of your own resilience and willingness to face the unknowns head on, while attending to your needs for self-care and asking for help when you need it. Maybe like "while i prefer the comforts of staying where I am, i know I am strong enough to get through most anything with the right support. So if a move is in my future, I know i can cross that bridge if I come to it."

Nice job!!

-Leah

LeahMSWuofm
LeahMSWuofm, Clinical Social Worker
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1,059
Experience: 10 years post-MSW experience
Verified
LeahMSWuofm and 87 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Can you go through a lengthy recovery period before you relapse?

Yes,

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
I have often felt you go through stress, symptoms, stigma, diagnosis, hospital, deinstitutionalisation, discharge and sheltered accomodation, daycentres, long term symptoms, recovery, and relapse and recovery...I think many peoples story has all this in common?
This is definitely a common story for people with schizophrenia. Mostly, stsying on meds is the key to stability.
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