Use Empathy Not Arguments
Symptoms of schizophrenia like hallucinations or delusions can take some time to stop even when people are receiving treatment and following their treatment plan. As a group, these very distressing symptoms are called psychosis. Many people have a hard time responding to a loved ones hallucinations or delusions. Its best to avoid arguing about these experiences. Remember that delusion are symptoms of schizophreniathey are not thoughts that you can talk someone out of. Telling someone that their experiences arent real or arent true doesnt help when the experiences feel very real to that person! A better approach is to empathize with the feelings that hallucinations or delusions bring upwithout confirming or denying the hallucination or delusion. For example, if a loved one is frustrated or upset when they hear voices, it isnt helpful to say something like, Youre okay! It isnt real. I dont hear anything. Instead, you might say, I can only image how upsetting that voice must be. I can see the voice makes you feel scared. Know that with good treatment and support, symptoms like hallucinations and delusions become much easier for people to manage and lose importance.
How Is The Diagnosis Made
Some of the symptoms that occur in schizophrenia also occur in other mental health conditions such as depression, mania, and dissociative identity disorder, or after taking some street drugs. Therefore, the diagnosis may not be clear at first. As a rule, the symptoms need to be present for several weeks before a doctor will make a firm diagnosis of schizophrenia.
Not all symptoms are present in all cases. Different forms of schizophrenia occur depending upon the main symptoms that develop. For example, people with paranoid schizophrenia mainly have positive symptoms which include delusions that people are trying to harm them. In contrast, some people mainly have negative symptoms and this is classed as simple schizophrenia. In many cases there is a mix of positive and negative symptoms.
Sometimes symptoms develop quickly over a few weeks or so. Family and friends may recognise that the person has a mental health problem. Sometimes symptoms develop slowly over months and the person may gradually become withdrawn, lose friends, jobs, etc, before the condition is recognised.
Linking Emotion And Cognition
One of the paradoxes that emerged from the findings on emotional experience in schizophrenia is a discrepancy between laboratory studies and clinical ratings. Specifically, many people with schizophrenia receive a clinical rating of anhedonia, indicating that they have diminished experience of positive emotion. Yet in the presence of emotionally pleasant things, such as films, pictures, tastes, or just day-to-day life, people with schizophrenia report experiencing as much pleasure as do people without schizophrenia. Drawing upon research on the reward system in humans and animals, argued for the importance of considering the temporal course of pleasure to distinguish anticipatory from in-the-moment pleasure. When people with schizophrenia are presented with pleasurable stimuli either in a lab or in daily life, they can and do derive pleasure from these experiences. However, evidence now supports the contention that people with schizophrenia appear less likely to anticipate that future events will be pleasurable, are less likely to experience pleasure in anticipation of things to come, and thus may be less likely to seek out pleasurable experiences . Other behavioral and fMRI studies also find that people with schizophrenia have difficulties in what we call anticipatory pleasure. This term encompasses both the anticipation of future pleasurable experiences as well as the experience of pleasure in anticipation of future events.
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Take Action If You Think You Or Your Loved One Is In Danger
If you think your loved one is at risk of harming themselves or others and they refuse help, it is possible to have them evaluated by a psychiatrist under the Mental Health Act. This process may involve police and other first responders, and it can be a difficult and stressful process for everyone. But it can also be a necessary step if someone is in danger. You can learn more about the Mental Health Act in the info sheet Families Coping with a Crisis and you can find the Guide to the Mental Health Act at www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2005/MentalHealthGuide.pdf. For a more in-depth discussion of the Mental Health Act, see a video with lawyer and health law consultation Gerrit Clements.
If your loved one says that they have thoughts of ending their life, its important to take action. Call 1-800-SUICIDE at any time or message online at www.crisiscentrechat.ca between noon and 1am. If you think your loved one is in immediate danger, you can always call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room.
Where can I learn more?
- Dealing with Psychosis: A Toolkit for Moving Forward with Your Life is aimed at people experiencing schizophrenia, but it has good information on symptoms and strategies for managing the illness. There is also a chapter for support people
About the author
A Look Inside The Mind Of Schizophrenia
To better understand schizophrenia, its best to learn more about both the science behind the symptoms and the stories of those whove experienced them.
Our understanding of schizophrenia has improved dramatically over the last century.
Advances in medicine have led to a better understanding of how the disorder works, leading to the development of more effective treatments.
But having scientific knowledge of schizophrenia is quite different from knowing how it feels on a personal level.
Approximately 20 million people around the world live with schizophrenia. Theyre the ones who truly understand what the condition feels like from the inside.
Learning more about the scientific evidence behind the major symptoms as well as the deeply personal experiences of some of those whove lived with the disorder may allow you to better understand this challenging and chronic condition.
Schizophrenia is a complex psychological disorder affecting approximately 1.5 million people in the United States. It impairs thoughts, judgment, behavior, and the ability to interpret reality.
Schizophrenia symptoms may be divided into positive, negative, and cognitive symptoms.
Positive symptoms add something extra to how the person felt before onset. These are the symptoms of psychosis we most often associate with schizophrenia, including:
Negative symptoms take away from the individuals personality and may seem less like symptoms of a mental disorder. These may include:
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Encourage Your Loved One To Keep Up With Their Treatment And Recovery Plan
This is very important! You are not responsible for your loved ones treatment , but you can support them. Schizophrenia can make it difficult for people to make and go to appointments and follow their treatment plan. With your loved ones permission, you may choose to help by reminding them of appointments, taking them to appointments, or whatever helps in your situation. If your loved one isnt happy with their treatment or would like to try a new approach, you can encourage them to talk with their care team, like their doctor or mental health teamit can be dangerous to stop or change a treatment without a doctors support.
Treatment can be a difficult area for loved ones. Its hard to see someone you love in pain. You might be scared of the things your loved one is experiencing. You want to help. But in order for any treatment to work, your loved one needs to be active in their care. Forcing or threatening treatment generally doesnt work and can often hurt everyone involved. In most cases, anyone 19 years of age and older and not at risk of harm is free to make their own choices. And their choices may include refusing treatment or choosing a treatment that you disagree with. It helps everyone if you can be respectful and keep honest communication open between you. You can learn more about dealing with this situation in Q& A: An adult in my life seems ill and wont find help. What can I do?.
How Is Schizophrenia Treated
There are different types of treatment available. Medical professionals should work with you to find the right treatment for you. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that you should be offered a combination of medication and talking therapies.
People who live with schizophrenia can respond to treatment differently.
For many treatment helps to reduce symptoms to help make daily life easier. You may find that you need to continue with treatment to keep well. For every 5 people with schizophrenia:
- 1 will get better within 5 years of their first obvious symptoms.
- 3 will get better but will have times when they get worse again.
- 1 will have troublesome symptoms for long periods of time.
What medication should I be offered?
Your doctor may offer you medication known as an antipsychotic. These reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, but dont cure the illness. Your healthcare professionals should work with you to help choose a medication. If you want, your carer can also help you make the decision. Doctors should explain the benefits and side effects of each drug.
In the past, some antipsychotics had negative side effects. Some people find that the side effects of newer antipsychotic drugs are easier to manage.
Your medication should be reviewed at least once a year.
What type of psychosocial treatment will I be offered?
Family intervention is where you and your family work with mental health professionals to help to manage relationships.
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How To Help A Loved One
Try to stay calm and avoid feeling overwhelmed, confused, or fearful of someone experiencing hallucinations or delusions. A tranquil disposition can help the individual connect to reality. Here are some additional tips:
Hallucinations and delusions often come from a place of shame and fear so having a productive conversation can be challenging. Try gently explaining that you cannot see or hear what they are experiencing and need help understanding it.
Try to be sympathetic. Hallucinating is a very consuming experience. Speak slowly and clearly and frequently use the persons name. Managing your own anxiety will encourage the hallucinating person to be more responsive.
Dont argue with the hallucinations or deluded observations. It isnt useful to challenge the person who is struggling. Instead, focus on reality and work to stay engaged with that content.
Ask for help
If you feel ill-equipped to help someone experiencing psychosis, get help. Find out if there is a trusted friend, family member, or community resource you can reach out to. Never make threats and let them know its okay if theyd rather contact that person themselves first.
Tip : Watch For Signs Of Relapse
Stopping medication is the most frequent cause of relapse in schizophrenia, so its extremely important that your family member continues to take all medication as directed. While relapse can occur even if a person is taking medication as prescribed, you may be able to prevent a full-blown crisis by recognizing the warning signs and taking immediate steps.
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Do You Think The Other People Are Very Different
I think because he wanted to get a new challenge in the WRC-Rally.
And another thing is that Skype software was made by the Estonians.
And another thing is that Skype software was made by the Estonians.
Yes, that is another advantage English has which is the majority of software algorithms are coded in English.
English is a good language for to communicate in the common language. We wouldnt be able to do so without that skill even now.
Just curious. Would you prefer raising the flag of the EU more or Estonia if you had the choice? I assume there is no more Estonian currency since the Euro has taken its place.
I would raise an Estonian flag by first. Even though I like the idea that Europeans are friends and solving stuff together though. Yup, Estonians moved to Euros in the 2011.
Interesting. Its like raising the Texas flag first in the US and the idea that all other US states are friends in solving stuff together.
Well I like an international friendship between all the countries a lot though. After all, we all are the children of the planet earth.
Chinas economy is already the largest in terms of GDP and 2nd largest in terms of GDP .
China, in all likely hood will surpass the US in term of GDP, when I dont know. Economic size brings a lot of advantages but that doesnt mean it is game over for the US or the west, one concept in economics that is really important is Comparative Advantage Definition If you can nail that down a comeback is easy.
What Kind Of Symptoms Might People With Schizophrenia Have
People with schizophrenia may have a number of psychotic symptoms. These symptoms can come and go in phases, or they can happen only once or twice in a lifetime. When the illness begins, psychotic symptoms are usually sudden and severe.
During psychotic phases, the person may still understand parts of reality. He or she may lead a somewhat normal life, doing basic activities such as eating, working and getting around. In other cases, the person may be unable to function. Symptoms during psychotic phases include:
- Seeing, hearing, feeling or smelling things that are not real .
- Having strange beliefs that are not based on facts . For example, the person may believe that people can hear his or her thoughts, that he or she is God or the devil, or that people are putting thoughts into his or her head.
- Thinking in a confused way, being unable to make order out of the world, shifting quickly from one thought to the next.
- Having emotions, thoughts and moods that do not fit with events.
People with schizophrenia also may:
- Have a lot of energy or be overly active, or become “catatonic,” a state in which the body becomes rigid and cannot be moved.
- Talk in sentences that do not make sense.
- Not wash or groom.
- Cut themselves off from family, friends and the outside world.
- Be unable to function in school, work, or other activities.
- Lose interest in life.
- Be very sad or have mood swings.
- Have dulled emotions.
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Encourage Them To Schedule Regular Doctor’s Appointments
There are several reasons someone with schizophrenia may not attend doctor’s appointments. Some may not believe that they have an illness or need medical help, while others may realize the need for help but can’t get themselves to make the appointments. And others may be busy and have a hard time attending regular appointments.
Keeping doctor’s appointments is critical, because the sooner the person is treated, the better the outcome, says Krista Baker, a licensed clinical professional counselor and director of operations of the community psychiatry program at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore.
Arguing with your loved one or attempting to convince them to view their symptoms a certain way wont be effective. Instead, remind your loved one how treatment can help them reach whatever goals they may have for their lives, says Baker.
There needs to be a sense of motivation on the persons part, Baker says.
Dr. Moe adds that some people with schizophrenia may find direct, repeated reminders about doctors appointments or medications from family members to be helpful. But others may find this type of reminder to be intrusive or unwanted.
Other ways to support a loved one with schizophrenia include suggesting they use calendar reminders in their smartphones or online healthcare portals to keep track of doctor’s appointments and prescriptions, Moe says. This may allow them to feel more empowered and in control of their healthcare, she says.
What Can I Do To Manage Schizophrenia
People deal with their experience in different ways. You might need to try different things before finding something that works.
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support. Hearing about the experiences of others can help you feel understood. This may help you feel less alone and boost your self-confidence.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area, or get help to set up your own support group if you follow this link:
Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525 for more information.
Recovery colleges are part of the NHS. They offer free courses about mental health to help you manage your experiences. They can help you to take control of your life and become an expert in your own wellbeing and recovery. You can usually self-refer to a recovery college. But the college may tell your care team.
Unfortunately, recovery colleges are not available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google. Or you can call our advice service on 0808 801 0525 for more information.
Peer support through the NHS
- side effects,
- recognising and coping with symptoms,
- what to do in a crisis,
- meeting other people who can support you, and recovery.
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Challenging Or Denying Hallucinations And Delusions
Many people think its best to gently counter hallucinations or delusions by saying something like, Thats not real, or I would see it, too.
Yet these symptoms are very real to them, and denying their reality often just ends up driving them away.
They may decide they cant trust or confide in you since you dont believe them. A lack of trust can make it more difficult to support them and encourage them to get help for symptoms.
Offering support doesnt mean pretending to believe in the hallucinations or delusions. You can simply say:
- It must feel so upsetting to hear those voices.
- That sounds so confusing and stressful.