Dear Alex: I was diagnosed two years ago with Schizophrenia but I don’t know how to handle it. If anyone has access to a therapist, can they help me?
DISCLAIMER: The following information is from a licensed mental health professional, Tricia Isenstein, not the Lafayette Times Staff.
“Schizophrenia can present differently for each individual. Because it is not very common, you might have to explain more to others what you are experiencing. The first thing to do, is to ensure you have a team of trusted people you can confide in and lean on for support. The school nurse, the school counselors, and the school psychologist should all be on your team! If you don’t feel like you have an adult advocating for your needs at school, be sure to let an adult at the school know this. The more open and honest you are with trusted adults, the better they can help you.
Sometimes we have to advocate for ourselves, even as students. Are there accommodations that you know of that may help you that you could include in a 504 plan? Identify places at school that may help you when you are needing a calm place to go. Let your school counselor know about your thoughts. They are here to help you. It is okay to use extra support at school.
It is very important to have a routine, take your medication as directed, see a therapist regularly, and to speak up to a trusted adult when you are needing extra help. Schizophrenia can be managed with the right support, and people with this diagnosis can live a long and healthy life.”
– Dr. Isenstein