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Sunday, July 06, 2008 Pamela Gaskill, Community Member, asks

Q: can a person with paranoid schizophrenia live a long life and take good care of themselves?

I' often thought that my mother is schozphrenic.  She thinks people follow her around and watch what she does, she thinks her family of origin have chealted her out of her inheritance, at one time she thought one of her daughters, my sister, plotted to take money from her.  She  very often makes sure to tell others how great she is, she has no empoathy with others.  At times from things she has saiod, I think she hears eople talking about her.  Even with all this, she takes very good care of herself, and held a job for quite a few years and did well at it. I have a difficlt rerlationship with her. I am searching for answers to help me understand her and har effect on me.

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Answers (2)
Robin Cunningham, Health Guide
7/ 6/08 11:09pm




I have good news.


Individuals with schizophrenia, if they get approriate treatment, which includes medications and therapy, can lead full and rewarding lives.  They can also make important contributions to society.


If you'd like a couple of examples, read my bio and that of Christina Bruni, both of which are given on this website, i.e. schizophreniaconnection.  Christina and I both know other individuals that Have done the same.


You might also want to read the book entitled Divided Minds by Pamela Spiro Wagner (who has schizophrenia) and her sister Carolyn S. Spiro (who is a psychiatrist).  You can get it through


There is another book written by a woman who was raised by a mother with schizophrenia.  It won a NAMI [National Alliance on Mental Illness] award about four years ago.  I will try to get the details for you.


Speaking of NAMI, the organization has a wonderful course for family and friends of persons that have a mental illness.  The course is packed with information and compassion.  You can find your local chapter of NAMI by signing on to NAMI National website -


Also please post any additional questions you my have on this website.  Between Christina and I, we may be able to answer a good many of them.  Also, you can post SharePosts on schizophreniaConnection and begin a dialogue with others in your position.


Robin Cunningham

Consumer Expert for SchizophreniaConnection


Christina Bruni, Health Guide
7/ 8/08 6:46pm

Hello Pamela Gaskill,


I second what Robin said: there is good news.


Yet while your mother was able to hold a job, it appears she is having troubles or had troubles.  She may not be receptive to getting treatment, even if treatment helps the majority of people with schizophrenia.


I would suggest, as Robin did, you contact your local NAMI affiliate.


By building a relationship of trust with your mother, you may be able to influence her to seek treatment.  I always recommend the Xavier Amador book I Am Not Sick, I Don't Need Help so that family members can learn how to couch what they say to increase the chance that the loved one will seek help.


Best wishes,


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By Pamela Gaskill, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/26/10, First Published: 07/06/08