The pattern of recovery varies from person to person.  The important thing to remember is that psychosis is treatable.  Most people recover from psychosis to lead satisfying and productive lives.  "Recovery is Real."

         Guilt Free Bill of Rights 
     For Families and Loved Ones

A right to survive

A right to privacy and lead our lives

A right not to go broke or alter our standard ofliving

A right not to be psychologically abused

A right to express our emotions

A right to respite and vacation

A right to receive help for ourselves

A right to set house rules and be treated with respect and consideration

(Developed by Parents of Thresholds, Chicago Ill.)

                                                FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What do I do when my son/daughter is released from the hospital?

• Before your loved one is released, make sure there are written instruction for treatment, e.g., what medications should be taken and when, who to see for follow-up care and when, and what professionals are available in case of emergency. 

• Believe in your loved one’s ability to recover.  Show support by being kind, available and dependable. 

• Ask what your loved one needs.  Ask if you can help with daily tasks and go to appointments with them.  Respect their boundaries and be patient.  It may take some time for them to feel better. 

• Remember to take care of yourself!

My son/daughter is over the age of 18 and the doctors won’t share information with me regarding their treatment.  What can I do?

Doctors and nurses "BY LAW" are not allowed to talk to you about the situation and are required by law to tell the patient if they talk with you.  If the patient is 18 or over, confidentiality laws protect his/her right to privacy. This means that your relative, partner or friend must authorize the treatment facility to contact or disclose information to you before they are allowed to involve you in these ways.  A separate Release of Confidential Information form must be signed for each admission, and for each individual seeking to be involved in the care. Ask your loved one if they will add you to their list of individuals authorized to speak to their providers.  Staff at the nurse’s station has this form in your loved one's files.  See the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC) website for more information.   

What are the chances of relapse?

Early warning signs of a relapse vary, and sometimes do not come with any warning.  You should schedule a family meeting to come up with a plan of action in the event of relapse.  In the meeting discuss relapses and try to find out what may trigger a relapse.  Remember that stopping treatment is usually followed by a relapse. People with schizophrenia can be affected by arguments, criticism, and sudden increased responsibilities. Come up with some ways to alleviate stress for both you, and your loved one.

How do I explain this condition to family members/friends?

Remember that it's natural to feel embarrassment or shame.  Find people, friends or professionals, who can understand and sympathize. There are many people out there that can and will support you in this struggle.

What do I do if my son/daughter is arrested? 

The FERC Website offers specific information regarding on what to do.  If you find yourself in this situation, please read FERC's, "My Family Member Has Been Arrested - What Do I Do?" for more information. 

Are there co-occurring disorders?

I’ve read horror stories about people with schizophrenia hurting others.  Is my son/daughter dangerous?  Should I be afraid?
The majority of people who have mental health issues are no more violent than anyone else. You may know someone with a mental illness and not even realize it.

What are the chances that my other children will experience psychosis?

While a person may have some of the genes that are associated with increased risk of mental illness - research suggests that only if a person is exposed to specific environmental factors and perceived stresses do the genes become active and thereby further increase the risk for, or trigger, the illness. There is no specific amount of genetic or environmental input that has been identified that will ensure someone will or will not develop schizophrenia.