Hello Susan Maguire,
The outlook for people with SZ improves over time for most of the people diagnosed with this medical condition. Statistics bear this out: after 25 to 30 years things get better. Unfortunately, not for everyone [for a significant number, though]. In fact, when someone reaches his or her sixties, their psychiatrist may start lowering the dose of the SZ medication if the patient is doing well enough to take this risk. Schizophrenia stabilizes out with continued use of some form of antipsychotic. For most people with SZ, it is never a good idea to discontinue the meds. It is because we take medication that we are able to recover so well.
Susan, I started having some symptoms of sz at about age 10. It gradually got worse over the years and was escalated by an abusive marriage, at which time I was admitted to psych wards a number of times. Now, 14 yrs after being diagnosed, I am getting better. I still take more or less meds as the situation requires, but my social anxiety has disappeared, my paranoia is gone, the voices are gone for the most part, and I am getting more involved in activities and relationships. I think the medication helped bring the positive symptoms under control and I have been working at the negative symptoms. When I turned 50 last year these negative symptoms started fading away, making life much easier. I am going to try living on my own toward the end of this month. (I have been mostly living with my parents for the past 12 yrs.) So yes, you may have to wait a number of years, but I think there is hope things will get better.
For me I have gotten better as I grew older. I was first diagnosed at the age of 23 and I am now 49. I credit my success to finding the correct medication and dosage and having a psychiatrist I trust. I also credit my family with the love and support they have goven to me. No one knows if a relapse will ever occur for me but I will keep onm doing the things I have been doing such as taking my medication as prescribed and letting my psychiatrist know if I experience any changes.
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