Coping and support

Coping with a mental disorder as serious as schizophrenia can be challenging, both for the person with the condition and for friends and family. Here are some ways to cope:

  • Learn about schizophrenia. Education about the disorder can help motivate the person with the disease to stick to the treatment plan. Education can help friends and family understand the disorder and be more compassionate with the person who has it.
  • Join a support group. Support groups for people with schizophrenia can help them reach out to others facing similar challenges. Support groups may also help family and friends cope.
  • Stay focused on goals. Managing schizophrenia is an ongoing process. Keeping treatment goals in mind can help the person with schizophrenia stay motivated. Help your loved one remember to take responsibility for managing the illness and working toward goals.
  • Ask about social services assistance. These services may be able to assist with affordable housing, transportation and other daily activities.
  • Learn relaxation and stress management. The person with schizophrenia and loved ones may benefit from stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.


There's no sure way to prevent schizophrenia. However, early treatment may help get symptoms under control before serious complications develop and may help improve the long-term outlook.

Sticking with the treatment plan can help prevent relapses or worsening of schizophrenia symptoms. In addition, researchers hope that learning more about risk factors for schizophrenia may lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment.