The Triangle of Mental Health

by Christina Bruni Patient Expert

As a mental health activist, I've developed a three-cornered approach to helping individuals newly-diagnosed with schizophrenia. I call this "The Triangle of Mental Health." It's comprised of these three approaches.

Appropriate Medication

Upwards of 75 to 85 percent of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia will need maintenance medication after their first episode. The dose or type of medication might change over the years linked to a person's needs. Taking medication can halt recurring episodes so that the person is in remission.

Immediate Intervention

I received treatment within 24 hours of my break and three weeks later the symptoms had stopped completely. In the earliest stage, medication coupled with the right kinds of therapy and education about the illness can halt full-blown psychosis.

It's my contention that psychiatrists who are against using psychotropics in the early stage of schizophrenia are complicit in fostering disability. Getting immediate treatment can halt the progression of disability.

Practical Career Counseling

In 1989, my OVR counselor shunted me into a job as a secretary because I was female. No career quiz was given to match me to the right job. It wasn't until 1996 when I had a chance meeting with a therapist, who worked as a career coach in the day, that he gave me true vocational assessment. He told me I'd make a good librarian.

So I went back to school to get a library degree that would guarantee I'd find a job I liked and was good at. Your local public library might have a career services librarian who can give you a career matchmaking quiz and help you find a job. This is what I do for patrons.

Conclusively, here are a few key takeaways about The Triangle of Mental Health:

  • Research your options with due diligence.

  • Arm yourself with knowledge and seek a consultation with a professional as soon as you think something's not right.

  • Maintenance medication can allow a person diagnosed with schizophrenia to be in remission for the long-term or have minimally intrusive symptoms.

  • You might want to steer clear of any provider who uses a cookie-cutter approach to treating you or your loved one. Stereotyping every patient based on the professional's experiences with other patients, who got treatment too late and have chronic conditions, can limit you or your loved one because the doctor doesn't think recovery is possible.

  • Rehabilitation programs should utilize best practices techniques and be time-sensitive. Be wary of "transitional" programs that go on for years and years and could lead to dependence and disability instead.

  • Research, research, research treatment providers, agencies, and options. Get a second opinion on your options if you feel this is warranted.

To learn more about treating Schizophrenia please check out:

Schizophrenia and Medication Part One

Schizophrenia and Medication Part Two

Schizophrenia and Medication Part Three

Schizophrenia Information

Schizophrenia and Employment

Christina Bruni
Meet Our Writer
Christina Bruni

Christina Bruni wrote about schizophrenia for HealthCentral as a Patient Expert. She is a mental health activist and freelance journalist.