Just got in yesterday from speaking at a Strengthening Families dinner. This is a six-part course for families of people with SZ. It went well, with many of the parents asking questions and expressing their thanks as I finished rambling about my history.
The biggest issue was the one that plagues most of us at some point in our illness and that was non-compliance or refusal to take meds.
Some of them were kind of amazed when I told them about my "conversion" to being a co-opoerative patient. They really wanted to know how I had decided to take meds or what lightening bolt had hit me. I told them to be patient with their sons and daughters and that in time they would take medicine for what ailed them and start the recovery process.
There were some sad cases last night, including one young mother's story of how they had just had their son arrested two days earlier for threatening their lives.
But throughout the evening the words "hope" and "don't give up" were the theme of the instructors and those were the words that they took with them as the course ended.