Signs Your Partner Has Schizophrenia
If you think you have a spouse with schizophrenia, you are probably looking for some information that confirms your suspicions. Consider the signs below, which may point to a potential schizophrenia diagnosis:
Of course, you should not attempt to diagnose your partner with a severe mental health condition, but the signs above suggest that your partner may be living with schizophrenia. In this case, professional intervention is likely warranted.
Also Try:Is My Boyfriend Schizophrenic Quiz
Relationship Challenges With Mental Health Conditions
- Setting expectations for household duties and other chores may become more challenging.
- Finances can become more complicated if one partner isnt able to work due to symptoms or treatment.
- Communication about emotional and physical needs may become different or strained.
- Medication side effects can cause unexpected behaviors, changes in mood, or changes in libido.
- Treatment plans and setbacks can cause stress for both partners. Guilt, shame, and resentment may become issues.
How To Communicate With Someone With Schizophrenia
While hallucinations and delusions are commonly associated with schizophrenia, this neurological disorder also impacts communication skills.
Some symptoms include:
- troubles relaying thoughts
- thinking difficulties
Schizophrenia is also known to cause a lack of motivation. Your loved one might not seem like theyre interested in or enjoy the activities they normally do. Small, everyday tasks may also be challenging to complete.
Effective communication with someone with schizophrenia relies heavily on education, compassion, and empathy.
Rather than trying to fix this mental health condition, its important to meet your loved one where they are today and assure them youre there for them no matter what challenges they might face.
Here are some ways you can get started:
- Acknowledge what your loved one may be feeling.
- Actively listen to what they express theyre feeling, sensing, or hearing, regardless of whether it makes sense to you.
- Ask them what you can do to help them right now encouragement can help increase motivation.
- Let your loved one know youre there for them whenever theyre ready to talk with you.
- Have patience, and allow extra time for your loved one to gather their thoughts if they wish to speak with you.
Knowing what to say during symptom changes can foster better communication. But its also important to know what not to say to someone with schizophrenia.
For example, you should never:
Also Check: What Is Bipolar Type 1 And 2
Someone I Love Has Been Diagnosed With Schizophrenia How Can I Help
We naturally want to help a loved one who isnt feeling well. How we can or should help may seem fairly obvious when a loved one experiences a physical health problem, but many people say theyre not sure how to best help when a loved one experiences a mental illness like schizophrenia. Here are some tips:
Helping Someone With Schizophrenia Tip : Encourage Treatment And Self
Encouraging treatment and self-help is a cornerstone of helping a loved one with schizophrenia. While medication is an important element of schizophrenia treatment, your loved ones recovery depends on other factors as well. Self-help strategies such as changing to a healthy diet, managing stress, exercising, and seeking social support can have a profound effect on your loved ones symptoms, feelings, and self-esteem. And the more someone does for themselves, the less hopeless and helpless theyll feel, and the more likely their doctor will be able to reduce their medication. Your encouragement and support can be crucial to your loved one starting and continuing a program of self-help.
How Can I Help With Low Motivation
When your relative is unwell, they might feel as though they have no energy or motivation to do the things they used to do. This is common in people with depression and schizophrenia. You may feel frustrated that your relative will not do things to make their situation better.
First, you might want to check whether your relative feels tired. This can be a common side effect of medication. A doctor might be able to suggest some options to help with feeling tired.
Sometimes your relatives low motivation can affect your own motivation. Make sure you take time to do activities you enjoy.
How can I help someone with low motivation?
AcceptanceAccept that this may be a part of your relatives illness, at least for now, and try not to put too much pressure on them.
EncouragementTry to include your relative in daily activities such as shopping or housework. Be careful not to put them under too much pressure to do these things. You might find that it helps just to ask them whether they would like to help.9 If they say no, try:
- not to get upset,
- not to accuse them of being lazy, or
- ask them at different times on the same day.
When you ask them next time, they may say yes.
Organise regular activitiesIf your relative gets into a habit of taking part in a certain activity regularly, they may start to enjoy it. You could suggest activities your relative used to enjoy. Or you could explore new activities. This could include going for a walk, joining a group or club or doing hobbies.
What Is A Delusion
A delusion is a fixed, false belief. A delusion is a symptom of psychosis. No matter what you say, the person believes the delusion. If you insist on correcting the delusion you risk ostracizing them from you and frustrating yourself.
Read this post on 3 Types of Paranoia to understand paranoia better.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Mood Stabilizer For Bipolar
Doing Everything For Them
When your loved one is unable to do chores, errands, or daily tasks, you might try to help by taking over those responsibilities.
But its often more helpful to encourage them to take steps toward doing these things themselves and offering support when needed.
You can also ask if theres anything specific getting in the way of tasks:
- If they havent done laundry because they ran out of laundry soap and feel afraid of leaving the house, you could offer to do a grocery run.
- If they cant prepare meals because a voice threatens them whenever they pick up a knife, you might help them chop a few days worth of vegetables in advance.
You can also offer to help them plan and schedule out weekly responsibilities when you spend time together.
Dealing With A Paranoid Partner
If youre living with a person who is recently diagnosed with paranoia, then get one thing,the journey with them wont be smooth. There will be a time when you would just want to walk out of everything, and there will be a time when you just cant as theyre depended on you.
Under such extreme situations, your patience will be tested time and again. Following things will help you handle the situation in a better way.
You May Like: Can A Panic Attack Mimic A Heart Attack
Know The Signs Of Suicide
Most people with schizophrenia are harmless to others. Theyâre more likely to hurt themselves than anybody else. Sometimes that includes trying to take their own life. You should take any suicidal talk seriously, and pay attention to poems, notes, or any other things your loved one creates that are about death.
Also, be suspicious if they suddenly go from depressed to cheerful. This change could mean they are thinking about suicide. For help on the spot, call your doctor and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
What Is Paranoid Schizophrenia
The term paranoid schizophrenia is an outdated name for a subtype of schizophrenia. Experts no longer use or recognize this term. Instead, experts recognize schizophrenia as a specific disease, which is part of a spectrum of related conditions that involve psychosis.
The American Psychiatric Association removed paranoid schizophrenia from the list of official diagnoses when updating the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition , published in 2013. The World Health Organization removed paranoid schizophrenia from the International Classification of Diseases when updating to the 11th edition in 2019.
Recommended Reading: Does Alcohol Cause Depression Mood Swings
What Not To Say To Someone With Schizophrenia
1. Dont be rude or unsupportive. Instead, be tolerant and listen to what they are saying. If they are being dangerous or inappropriate, do call for help. You dont want to be in a dangerous situation.
2. Dont bully them into doing something they dont want to do. Instead, ask them if there is someone you could call for them. A friend, parent, social worker, or therapist are all good options.
3. Dont interrupt them. Let them talk, even if they are rambling. Having someone listen is being supportive of their condition. According to Dr. Xavier Amador in his book, I Am Not Sick. I Dont Need Help!,stop arguing and start listening to your loved one in a way that leaves him feeling that his point of view is being respected.
4. Dont assume you know what they need. Instead, ask them what they would need to feel better, says the UKs Mental Health Foundation. Perhaps its a glass of water, or sitting down, or having a favorite item nearby. Help them with whatever will help soothe them.
5. Dont second guess or diagnose them. Diagnosis is for doctors. Youre there to be supportive, not give medical judgment.
6. Dont use words that make you seem like an enemy. Dont say, stop that, or Ill call the police, but instead reassure them that you are on their side and that you want to help them.
10. Dont use a strong voice. Instead use soft, gentle language, so the person knows youre to be trusted.
Is Lying Part Of Mental Illness
Lying is deliberately saying something that isnt true. People might lie to:
- cover up events they are ashamed of,
- improve their ego,
- change the behaviour of others.
Lying and mental illness
Lying is common in the general population and people do it for all sorts of reasons. Lying is not a symptom of mental illness. We are not aware of any research that shows whether it is more common for people with mental illnesses to lie.
You might find it helpful to keep a record of your relatives lies or any manipulative behaviour. It may be helpful to a doctor in the future.
If someone has delusional beliefs then they will believe the things they say, even if they sound unusual. These are not lies. We give tips on how to deal with these beliefs at the start of this section.
How to help
Your relative may become defensive if you challenge them about a lie. If you do decide to challenge a lie, it can be helpful to have evidence to show it is a lie. Try to avoid saying youre lying or thats a lie.
If you dont have any evidence, you can try questioning them. But your relative could accuse you of not trusting them. You might find it helpful to assure them that you believe them, but that you are interested to know more detail about the situation because you are worried.
You may feel that your relative lies to get money from you. If you are not willing to give them money, explain your reasons.
You May Like: Paranoid Manic Depressive
Recommended Reading: What Are The Best Treatments For Ptsd
What Causes Paranoid Personality Disorder
While the exact cause of PPD is not yet found, it is believed to be triggered by a combination of biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Paranoid personality disorder is often seen in individuals who have close family members with a history of schizophrenia and other delusional disorders .
Emotional or physical trauma during early childhood is another contributing factor to the development of PPD.
If you think that you are exhibiting symptoms of paranoid personality disorder, it is best to see a doctor.
Dont Miss: Define Emetophobia
Do Listen More Than You Speak
When helping someone with schizophrenia, never assume you know what they need. Dont make decisions or big changes without discussing these changes with them, which can be extremely infuriating. Just because they have schizophrenia does not mean they cant live out their life or make decisions for themselves. Often, this kind of behavior stems from codependency. As a caretaker, it can be easy to become accustomed to helping the person and having them rely on you. But this isnt healthy, and sustaining this kind of behavior can do more harm than good. Be mindful of your intentions and work with the individual instead of trying to take over things for them.
You May Like: What Is The Definition Of Ptsd
Spotting The Signs Of An Acute Schizophrenic Episode
Learning to recognise the signs that you’re becoming unwell can help you manage your illness. Signs can include losing your appetite, feeling anxious or stressed, or having disturbed sleep.
You may also notice some milder symptoms developing, such as:
- feeling suspicious or fearful
- hearing quiet voices now and again
- finding it difficult to concentrate
You may also want to ask someone you trust to tell you if they notice your behaviour changing.
Recognising the initial signs of an acute schizophrenic episode can be useful, as it may be prevented through the use of antipsychotic medicines and extra support.
If you have another acute episode of schizophrenia, your written care plan should be followed, particularly any advance statement or crisis plan.
Your care plan will include the likely signs of a developing relapse and the steps to take, including emergency contact numbers.
Read about treating schizophrenia for information about advance statements.
Assess The Intensity Frequency And Duration Of The Delusion
- Keep a log documenting the intensity, frequency, and duration of a persons delusion.
- Determine if their delusions tend to occur at a certain time of day or are related to certain activities or actions. This can help you look for ways to avoid situations that may trigger paranoia or delusions.
- Some delusions are fleeting and brief, while others are more long lasting and endure over a long period of time.
Don’t Miss: How To Deal With Violent Schizophrenia
What Are The Symptoms
Schizophrenia typically happens in three stages. The active stage of schizophrenia is when symptoms are at their worst. The key symptoms of schizophrenia are:
- Negative symptoms.
Paranoia and what it looks like
Paranoid schizophrenia was once a subtype of this condition because paranoia commonly happens with schizophrenia. Paranoia is a pattern of behavior where a person feels distrustful and suspicious of other people and acts accordingly.
Delusions and hallucinations are the two symptoms that can involve paranoia.
- Delusions. These are persistent false beliefs. A person who has a delusional belief usually won’t change their mind even if faced with strong evidence. Delusions involving paranoia are often “persecutory,” which means a person believes that someone is trying to harm them or negatively affect their life.
- Hallucinations. These are events a person imagines . A person who has a hallucination typically can’t tell that what they’re experiencing isn’t real. These commonly feed into delusions by giving the person additional “evidence” to confirm that someone is trying to harm or upset them.
Lack of insight
Do Explain Your Actions
Again, during an episode, a person with schizophrenia may struggle to understand things like movements. They may feel extremely afraid and paranoid at that moment, so its important to explain your actions with words. If youre pulling out a chair to sit down, tell them that. If youre pulling out your phone to check something, tell them that. Remember that details matter.
Don’t Miss: Can Depression Cause Stomach Pain
How To Communicate With Someone With Schizophrenia: Dos And Donts
Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder that affects a persons ability to think, feel, and behave clearly. A person with schizophrenia may struggle to break down the relationships between thoughts, emotions, and behavior, resulting in impaired perception, inappropriate behavior or feelings, withdrawal from reality, and a sense of mental fragmentation. If you think this sounds complicated, imagine how a person with this disorder feels.
People with schizophrenia rarely have an understanding of or insight into their illness, which can be extremely stressful for the individual and their loved ones. As an outsider, to you it may seem like the person has completely lost touch with reality, but this isnt true. As complex as this disorder is, its important to be mindful of your language when speaking to the individual or talking about their disorder. So what should you not say to someone with schizophrenia? Below are some examples and tips for communication you should keep in mind.
Making Sense Of Events
The key opening for the psychological understanding of paranoia is that such thoughts are individuals attempts to explain their experiences, that is, to make sense of events . The sorts of experiences that are the proximal source of evidence for persecutory delusions are external events and internal feelings.
Clinical experience indicates that ambiguous social information is a particularly important external factor. Such information is likely to be both non-verbal and verbal . Coincidences and negative or irritating events also feature in persecutory ideation.
Unusual or anomalous internal feelings often lead to delusional ideation. For example, the individual might be in a heightened state or aroused feel that certain events are significant experience perceptual anomalies feel that they are not really there and might have illusions and hallucinations . Experiences of this sort can also be caused by use of illicit drugs or sleep deprivation.
Recommended Reading: How Can Binge Eating Disorder Be Treated