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When Someone You Love Has SchizophreniaSchizophrenia And Your Family, Sources For Help

M y sister Jess was diagnosed with schizophrenia only a few months ago,” Sarah says. “I've tried to understand what she's going through, but it's really hard. I'm only thirteen.

“I wish things could be like they were before. Jess used to laugh at my jokes and smile all the time. Now she just seems to stare off into space with no expression on her face, or she laughs and talks to herself when she thinks no one's looking

“I live in a small town, and people don't seem to know much about schizophrenia here. People make jokes a lot about ‘psychos’ or say dumb things like, ‘My name is Bob and I'm schizo phrenic — no wait, I'm Fred — no, Bob.’

“My family has kept Jess's problem a secret so far. When people ask me what's wrong with her, I tell them she's just depressed. I feel bad lying, but it's so much easier than telling people she has schizophrenia.

“My parents are going through hell, too. My mother keeps blaming herself for not being a better parent. My dad tries to pretend that noth ing's wrong and keeps saying that Jess would get better if she would just get off her butt and get a job. They also worry about money a lot because the doctor bills are so expensive.

“I feel so alone. When I come home from school, my parents never ask how my day was. They talk only about Jess and how the medicine hasn't been working. I just want all this to end.”

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Science EncyclopediaSchizophrenia