Get information and advice - Sibling FAQs - Will my sister ever get better?
My half-sister has schizophrenia and is in hospital again – this is the third time this year. Will she ever get better?
The short answer is yes, however, mental illness is very complicated and just as the symptoms and behaviors can vary so can responses to medication and treatment. Often it is a case of trying alternatives until something is found that suits that person at that time. Schizophrenia is best treated using a combination of medication and talking therapies. When people are first diagnosed with schizophrenia one of their first priorities may be finding the right treatment.
It is likely that they will need to consider medication with their doctor. The most common medications used to control the symptoms of schizophrenia are antipsychotics. Newer antipsychotics (often referred to as atypicals) are specialised enough to be able to deal with both positive and negative symptoms (see A siblings introduction to mental illness)
The symptoms of schizophrenia can also be treated with talking therapies. Cognitive therapy has helped many people deal with hearing voices.
People may also find that they do have to adjust their lifestyles and try to avoid too many stressful situations or periods of high activity, but equally many people go on to live very ordinary and fulfilling lives despite their mental illness diagnosis.
There is a lot of information on the Siblings Network area that can help you to both understand more about your sisters situation and how you can help her and come to terms with what is happening yourself. Many people report to us that just finding other people who have similar experiences is a great help and enables them to cope better.
You might also want to find out as much as possible about the illness and then be able to work with the mental health professionals involved with your sister (with her permission of course) to try and get a more effective course of treatment identified.
For more information please see our Schizophrenia factsheet
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays