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The Journey to Recovery

A diagnosis of schizophrenia is a life-changing event for individuals and their families. Questions rush in: What do we do? How did this happen? How will we cope? Who can help us? Is there a cure?

This booklet is designed to help you, your family or a friend with schizophrenia to understand how schizophrenia can best be treated and managed. Everything will feel pretty chaotic and unpredictable at first. However, with consistent treatment and care, many people can learn to live and work successfully with schizophrenia.

This booklet is an important reference as you navigate the mental health system. You will learn the meaning of new and important medical and technical terms. People in health care have their own words. You need to know them, understand them and be able to use them. It will give you a way to get some control over what is happening to you or around you. You will find a Glossary of Terms at the end of the booklet plus online listings on where to get more information.

You will learn about what experience has shown are the best ways to assess and treat people living with schizophrenia.

You will probably want to read some sections of this booklet several times. It is important that you understand what is happening or should be happening. This is a booklet you will want to carry with you when you visit health care professionals. There will be many things to remember.

This booklet will guide you on the types of health services and support that should be available. Unfortunately, health services and support are not equally accessible throughout Canada, even in many major urban centres. This booklet will help you figure out what services should be available so that you can advocate for those services. And, as you feel stronger, you may decide to help bring some needed services into your community.

Our title, The Journey to Recovery, reflects the hope that many people can and do recover from the illness to attain a quality of life that is meaningful to them. Recovery means different things to different people. It can include: controlling the symptoms of schizophrenia, living independently, having a job, having friends and social support, and quality of life.

Recovery is not the same thing as being cured -- individuals may continue to experience symptoms and require ongoing treatment and supports. Recovery is a continuing journey for individuals, and their families, as they strive to live the most satisfying and productive lives possible within and beyond the illness.

The information here will help you gain some feeling of control. This will give you some very important peace of mind on the journey to recovery.
 

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