One of my family members has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia. We're all feeling pretty out of our depth and were wondering if you have any comments to help us?

One of my family members has recently been diagnosed with schizophrenia. We're all feeling pretty out of our depth and were wondering if you have any comments to help us?

Not being a medical person, it is difficult for me to comment. There was a wonderful film produced, not that long ago, called "A Beautiful Mind" based on the book by Sylvia Nasar. It's a true story and I believe it has almost revolutionised thinking about schizophrenia, and certainly provides a lot of hope. Hope is a "live" message.

Meditation and relaxation techniques could be useful - certainly working with improving self esteem and positive self talk would be very helpful. I have had people who are suffering from schizophrenia attend my seminars after they have received clearance from their doctor that they can do meditation. In addition I received the following communication from somebody who has experienced schizophrenia, which is encouraging:

I have had four brief episodes with the illness and for each encounter I have made a full recovery back to normal health. People who meet me now would have no idea or any inclination about my past association with schizophrenia and those who do know me even find it hard to believe that I ever suffered from such an illness considering my present well-being. Although I rely on a small dose of medication to sustain "normal" regular health, I no longer have the symptoms of the illness. Many people take certain drugs to sustain normal health, even having regular exercise sustains normal health. Having overcome this illness, the most frustrating aspect I find is still being categorised and labelled as a schizophrenic by the doctors and psychiatrists in the field of mental illness. This is very inaccurate, and I will explain why. Health and harmony is the natural state to be. Illness and discord prevents us from keeping that natural state of being, and therefore any illness, no matter what that may be, is something we are not. If we are fortunate, we may suffer for a short duration and recover. If we are unfortunate, we may suffer for a long duration and may never recover, but no matter what length of time it is upon us, we are not that illness, because it is not the natural state of health. You never hear someone who is diagnosed with cancer being called "a cancer." They are addressed as "having cancer" or "suffering from cancer." Just as when we have a cold, you do not label someone as "a cold." They are addressed as "having a cold" or "suffering from a cold." Keeping this in mind, there are many other illnesses that we label and categorize people as. Take diabetes. It would be far more accurate to say, "they have diabetes" or "they suffer from diabetes", rather than to address them as "a diabetic." I have met many people who do and have suffered from schizophrenia, but never in all my life have I ever come across "a schizophrenic." This is an issue that needs to be addressed, because for those of us who have struggled with mental illness, and now lead normal lives; being categorised as a schizophrenic (as opposed to being labelled as a diabetic) can be very offensive and demoralising to who we truly are, for there is so much prejudice and negative stigma, as mental illness is an issue that is shunned and rejected by mainstream society. First and foremost we are a Human Being who may just be struggling with, or may even have overcome, a particular illness that prevents us from normal health. Either way, we are people of equal value, just like anyone else. 

Just recently I have written a book called, "Into The Light Again." I wrote the book to provide hope for those families and individuals still caught in the illness. It gives my personal suggestions from my own experience on how to overcome this horrible nightmare of the mind. These helpful suggestions can also be found on my website UNITY at .

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