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How To Date With Schizophrenia

Aug 3, 2008
Schizophrenia is a common mental disorder characterized by gross distortion of reality, fragmentation of thought, language disturbances, and other troubling symptoms. It usually occurs because of a combination of genetic factors, for example very early damage to the developing fetus, and biochemical abnormalities in the brain. However, it is by no means untreatable. People who suffer from schizophrenia disorder can be cured with the love and care from his relatives and friends. It can be quite difficult for the family and friends, especially because emotional stress, including pressure in a relationship, can worsen the illness. As someone close to the person, you have to learn to cope with his illness if you want to prevent the devastating effects of schizophrenia from happening.

Schizophrenia can be difficult to deal with, not only to the person with the disorder, but also to his families and friends. Often families of the patient find themselves struggling with frustration, guilt, anger, and helplessness. Moreover, they are usually worried about the embarrassment that having people who suffer from schizophrenia family member will cause them.

However, you should never be afraid to communicate and relate to people who suffer from schizophrenia disorder. You are even allowed to have a romantic relationship with them. It is not crazy or stupid as some people might think. After all, although he is a person who suffer from schizophrenia, he too has emotions (although he may rarely show it) and the right to love and be loved by someone. If you find yourself in love with a person with the disorder, do not fall back as it is not something that you should be afraid of.

The main problem of having a relationship with people who suffer from schizophrenia is perhaps relies on you. You may feel embarrassed or find it hard to cope with their unusual behavior, but you should never give up your feelings. It is difficult, yes, but there are several things you can consider if you are in a relationship with people who suffer from schizophrenia.

1. Be patient
When dating a person who suffers from schizophrenia, you have to be patient. A person with the disorder may have troubles expressing their feelings. It may be frustrating to their loved ones, but as a person close to them you have to understand that it is the illness that caused them to behave that way, not because they wanted to. Try your best to cope with it. Patience is once again, the key. Think back to why you decided to be in a relationship with the person in the first place and stay strong.

2. Do not feel embarrassed
There is a stigma in the society and people with mental disorders are well, mental. However, do not carry this stigma with you. People do have problems, whether they like it or not, and schizophrenia just happens to be the problem your partner needs to face. Schizophrenia is nothing to be embarrassed about. Be a good boyfriend or girlfriend and do not let what others think get in the way of caring for the person you love.

3. Lead them
A person diagnosed with schizophrenia will, from time to tame, face hardships because of their illness. Sometimes they may get delusional and find it hard to face reality. When that time comes, it is your job to help them get up their feet, lead them back, and help them recover.

4. Look back into your heart
The last but most important thing is to ask yourself if you really love the person. If you do, then help him cope with his illness. Being in love with a person means that you are willing to stay by his side no matter what happens.
About the Author
Ronen David is the chairman of "Malam" (an Israeli organization supporting and representing those dealing with mental disabilities). He is the author of the "How to Cope With Psychosis & Schizophrenia Self Help Handbook".
Visit his web site and learn Coping With Schizophrenia
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