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Mental Illness Guide: Care, Support, and Education
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Welcome to the Mental Illness Guide. The information on this website is intended to provide those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder and their family members with information that can be helpful in understanding the illness, getting support and finding out about resources.

Featured Articles

Whether you need help meeting new friends, solving problems with medications, or want to know how to talk with the treatment team, we want to help. Our staff will periodically select articles that address these and other special issues, and you can find them here. 

Click on the link(s) below to read featured articles that may be of special interest to you.

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A Medicine Side Effect Check List

bullet About Taking Medications
bullet Weight Gain and How to Manage Your Weight
bullet Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
bullet Healthy Lifestyle
bullet Your "Whole" Health
bullet A Journey to Recovery - Sobriety
bullet Pictures of the Brain of a Person with Schizophrenia
bulletSome information about Nightmares
bullet Some recommended books
bullet Working With Families
bullet Restoring Strengths and Abilities
bullet Alternatives to Hospitals
bullet Social Firms
bullet Vocational Services

Previously Featured Articles

What's Happening

We are always looking for better ways to serve your needs, and for new information that may be of interest to you. As we post happenings on this website, you will find them here.

How Serious Mental Illness and Drug Abuse are Related

Substance abuse can be linked with symptoms of serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. But it can be difficult to determine if the drug abuse is causing symptoms of serious mental illness, or if the serious mental illness is causing the drug abuse.

People with serious mental illness are at greater risk of substance abuse. The reason isn't clear. But people with serious mental illness may use alcohol or drugs to try to relieve or reduce symptoms of the illness. Unfortunately, substance abuse can actually add to symptoms and make treatment difficult.

It is important to correctly diagnose and treat substance abuse and mental illness. If symptoms of mental illness are caused by substance abuse, they usually reduce within weeks after the person stops taking the substance. But it may take up to 6 months for all of the effects of the substance to go away. Sometimes the effects of drug use never fully disappear. Some people who have taken the hallucinogen LSD experience flashbacks for the rest of their lives. Ecstasy is another drug that may cause long-term mental effects.

It's not always possible to wait to get treatment to see if the mental illness symptoms will go away when the person stops using the substance. The suffering caused by the mental illness and the risk of harm to self or others may require quick treatment with medication and counseling. It's often helpful for the person to work with a professional with knowledge in both substance abuse and mental illness.

For more information go to Treating Serious Mental Illness and Substance Abuse