Our Readers' Lives with Schizophrenia

Chapter 10. Returning Home

Updated: Oct. 24, 2000


The Importance of Work

Reba, mother of Eric:
My son is totally disabled from schizophrenia. However, I feel if his diagnosis had been made sooner, his case may not have ended up to be this severe. He is an artist and likes to sell his artwork on the street near his group home. He can make a few extra dollars per month but basically lives on a small amount of disability. Even though he would love to work for his living, he has accepted the fact that he will not be able to work in the future, nor will he be able to get married and have a family.

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Family Support

Reba, mother of Eric:
Each time I looked for help in my state, I went down a dead-end street. I felt a great deal of frustration when I realized that my son would receive the medical attention and housing needs from another state. The distance makes it difficult for me to participate actively in his day program or in group counselling sessions which would be helpful to him. Financial burdens are overwhelming because I am constantly sending him things he personally needs. Our phone bills are astronomical but I feel it is important to keep in touch on a weekly basis and offer my support by phone. The only support I receive is from my son's social workers and medical team.

Public awareness needs to be raised for victims of mental illness as well as families of those who suffer. This illness not only affects the patient, but also the family. In addition to the exhaustion one can experience trying to help our loved one, we also have to find the strength to fight social stigmatism and uneducated, narrow-minded attitudes. The most informative information I have reviewed has come from this website, for which I am very grateful. Reading each person's experience has helped me greatly and to each person, I am thankful for their contribution.

[Oct. 19, 2000]
When my son came home, I tried to keep it as calm as possible, but it didn't always turn out that way. My son had a lot of hatred against me because he felt he didn't need to be there.

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