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January 13, 2006
Family bonds Boost Recovery
Read more... Schizophrenia Coping
The Schizophrenia Digest is an excellent magazine focused on schizophrenia coping (started by William J. MacPhee). Following is an example of the types of stories they cover - from a recent backissue:
Family Bonds Boost Recovery
Janet D.Grossman, a retired schoolteacher who lives in Sag Harbor on Long Island, recalls a visit that she made with her son, Kurt, to meet a new therapist.
"It was before his first hospitalization. He was 19 then and at a point when he was acting wild, driving at night while wearing dark glasses," she says. "We all went to see this therapist together, Kurt and my husband and me. She kept pushing Kurt with all kinds of questions. He didn’t want to talk. He ended up jumping out the window."
Thankfully, he didn’t go far. "It turned out that there was some kind of balcony there," Janet explains. "Kurt knew that but my husband and I didn’t."
Kurt reacted strongly to an intrusive line of questioning from a person he didn’t even know.His action underscores a recurring theme in the discussion about communication between consumers and their caregivers—what approaches work effectively and which don’t.And if
Just as everyone needs a sense of adequate personal space, so do people with schizophrenia. However, consumers often have heightened sensitivities that mean they need more space and a slower, more measured approach to communications than other people.
A Basis for Hope
Dr. Robert Paul Liberman is a distinguished professor of psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he focuses on communications issues that affect people with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.
Social or communication skills are, he says,“extraordinarily important as a protective factor against disability and for recovery. Fortunately, social skills can be learned. Even the most severely
"The level of a person’s social communication skills is one of the most important predictors of how well a person with a mental disorder does during his or her lifetime coping with their disorder—no matter how serious that disorder is," Dr. Liberman says.
Protective factors such as social competence, a calm and supportive
Having these elements in place eventually helped Kurt establish a stable life. Though he dropped out of the prestigious college he’d been attending when he first fell ill, he earned an associate’s degree in computer technology and has worked in that field.
Communication problems arose when he worked, though, and these led him to make frequent job changes. He is now on disability but he hasn’t let that stall his recovery. Kurt participates regularly in
Read Full Story: Family Bonds Boost Recovery (PDF file)
Posted by szadmin at January 13, 2006 05:34 PM
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