Page 1

So you know someone who might have or who has schizophrenia. Now what? While caregivers might do a lot to help and treat a schizophrenic patient, it is also very important that their family and friends help them. “I think someone I know might have schizophrenia” An important thing to do if you think someone you know has schizophrenia is to talk to them about your concerns. You cannot force this person into treatment but you can offer support and encourage them to find a qualified doctor or mental health provider. “A schizophrenic person is refusing treatment” People with schizophrenia are likely to resist treatment, because they think their delusions are real. When this is the case, it’s important for a family member or loved one to make sure that this person is safe. In extreme cases they might even need to call the police to take the schizophrenic patient to the hospital and be admitted involuntarily. When they return from the hospital you should encourage them to take their medicine and attend follow-up appointments. If they stop their medication and treatment, their symptoms are likely to become severe and they will become unable to care for themselves. They might end up on the street or in jail. “My schizophrenic friend/family seems to want to move forward with their life but doesn’t know how. How can I help them?” You can help patients by setting realistic goals for them and helping them learn to function in the world. Each step toward these goals should be small and taken one at a time. It’s important to support the patient during this time. It can be harmful to pressure and/or criticize a person suffering from a mental illness. Telling them they are doing something right is the best way to help them move forward. “How do I react when a schizophrenic person is having delusions?” You need to understand that to this person, these beliefs or

This is the chemical formula for love: C8H11NO2+C10H12N 2O+C43H66N12O12S2 dopamine, seratonin, oxytocin. It can be easily manufactured in a lab, but overdosing on any of them can cause schizophrenia, extreme paranoia, and insanity.

hallucinations seem very real. It is not helpful to say they are wrong or imaginary. However going along with the delusions isn’t helpful either. It is better to calmly tell them you see things differently. Acknowledge that everyone has the right to see things in their own way. Being respectful, supportive, and kind without tolerating dangerous or inappropriate behavior is the best way to approach people with schizophrenia.

“Is it dangerous to be around someone with schizophrenia?” People with schizophrenia aren’t usually violent. Nonetheless, some of the symptoms (e.g. delusions of persecution) are associated with violence. People with the disorder are also more prone to substance abuse, which might also increase the chance that a person will become violent. If a person with schizophrenia becomes violent, the violence is usually directed at family members and tends to take place at home. However the risk of violence among people with schizophrenia is still very small and you will not be putting yourself in danger by being near them.

Helping a person with schizophrenia pdf