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How To Deal With Someone With Paranoid Schizophrenia

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Employment And Financial Support

How To Help People With Schizophrenia

Avoid too much stress, including work-related stress. If you’re employed, you may be able to work shorter hours or in a more flexible way.

Under the Equality Act 2010, all employers must make reasonable adjustments for people with disabilities, including people diagnosed with schizophrenia or other mental illnesses.

Several organisations provide support, training and advice for people with schizophrenia who wish to continue working.

Your community mental health team is a good first point of contact to find out what services and support are available for you.

Mental health charities such as Mind or Rethink Mental Illness are also excellent sources of information on training and employment.

If you’re unable to work as a result of your mental illness, you’re entitled to financial support, such as Incapacity Benefit.

Establish A Trusting Interpersonal Relationship

  • Do not reason, argue, or challenge the delusion. Attempting to disprove the delusion is not helpful and will create mistrust.
  • Assure the person that they are safe and no harm will come.Do not leave the person alone use openness and honesty at all times.
  • Encourage the person to verbalize feelings of anxiety, fear, and insecurity offer concern and protection to prevent injury to themselves or others.
  • Convey acceptance of the need for the false belief.
  • Focus on building a trusting relationship with the person, rather than the need to control their symptoms remain calm.

How Is Paranoid Personality Disorder Diagnosed

If a person has symptoms, the doctor will begin an evaluation by performing a complete medical history and physical examination. Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose personality disorders, the doctor might use various diagnostic tests to rule out physical illness as the cause of the symptoms. For example, difficulty hearing or long-lasting substance abuse may be confused with PPD.

If the doctor finds no physical reason for the symptoms, he or she might refer the person to a psychiatrist or psychologist, health care professionals who are specially trained to diagnose and treat mental illnesses. PPD is different from psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, paranoid type or delusional disorder, persecutory type, in that the person with PPD lacks the perceptual distortions or bizarre delusional thinking . Psychiatrists and psychologists use specially designed interview and assessment tools to evaluate a person for a personality disorder.

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How To Deal With Psychosis:

How you respond to a loved one with psychosis can make a big difference in your ability to maintain a relationship with them. Bear with me while I try to explain:

Imagine standing next to your loved one while communicating. Try to see what they are saying through their eyes and not your own. You are by their side listening and not challenging them head-on. Focus on the emotion of the conversation not whether the facts are plausible. When they speak, listen to the themes in what they are saying. There are usually reality-based themes sewn in and that is what you can focus on.

Take Care Of Yourself Too

How to Talk to a Schizophrenic: 12 Steps

As a family member, its important to take care of yourself. Try to maintain your regular schedule and activities, such as your exercise routine and hobbies. Ask another family member or good friend to provide help with caregiving, especially in the early days of your loved one’s illness. If you need help balancing time for self-care with caregiving duties, check out the BC Schizophrenia Societys Family Respite Program.

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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.

Maintain A Diary Of Your Feelings And Emotions

Jotting down your thoughts or feelings in a separate logbook or journal, especially those conjectures that make you paranoid. Give a fresh title to every page that you write. You could begin with a heading like “How to deal with paranoia today?” The idea behind is to recognize or figure out the situations, places and people that might be inciting paranoid thoughts in you. Note down some questions that may help you out with correlating your emotions or feelings to specific circumstances, individuals, social groups, surroundings or places.

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What If My Relative Withdraws From Other People

Your relative may feel that they do not want to see you or other people. Doctors sometimes call this social withdrawal. The following may help.

  • Lower your expectation to a realistic level and do not put too much pressure on them.
  • If this is a recent problem, ask your relative whether there is something bothering them. Let them know that they can come to you if they have any problems they want to talk about.
  • Think about whether your relative might feel unsure in social situations.
  • Take things slowly to help rebuild their confidence. Keep the number of people to a minimum, keep conversations short and avoid issues that can become too emotional. You could try asking them to:
  • buy something from a shop
  • order something from a cafe
  • speak to a visitor
  • sit with a familiar person in a public place.
  • Ask your relative where they would feel most comfortable.
  • If your relative feels low, they may be willing to speak to an emotional support line or their doctor. With the right treatment, they might start to overcome the problems they have been having.
  • You could suggest that your relative tries going to a day centre or a support group with other people who have a mental illness.
  • Is Lying Part Of Mental Illness

    How I Deal With The Symptoms Of Schizophrenia

    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.

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    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.

    Related: 10 Famous People in History Who Had Schizophrenia

    10. Dont use a strong voice. Instead use soft, gentle language, so the person knows youre to be trusted.

    Tip : Prepare For Crisis Situations

    Despite your best efforts to prevent relapse, there may be times when your loved ones condition deteriorates rapidly and hospitalization is required to keep them safe. Having an emergency plan ready for an acute psychotic episode will help you handle the crisis safely and quickly. A good emergency plan for someone with schizophrenia includes:

    • Emergency contact information for your loved ones doctor and therapists.
    • The address and phone number of the hospital you will go to for psychiatric admission.
    • Friends or relatives who will take care of other children or dependents while you deal with the crisis.

    Its also wise to go over the emergency plan with your family member. The crisis situation may be less frightening to your loved one if they know what to expect during an emergency.

    10 tips for handling a schizophrenia crisis

  • Remember that you cannot reason with acute psychosis.
  • The person may be terrified by their own feelings of loss of control.
  • Dont express irritation or anger.
  • Speak quietly and calmly, do not shout or threaten the person.
  • Dont use sarcasm as a weapon.
  • Ask any casual visitors to leavethe fewer people the better.
  • Avoid direct, continuous eye contact.
  • Avoid touching the person.
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    Signs That Immediate Medical Attention Is Needed

    If the patient is a danger to himself or others and is unwilling to seek treatment, they can be involuntarily committed to a hospital and held for a period of evaluation usually lasting three to seven days. A court order is required for involuntary commitment to be extended.11

    Film and news media have characterized schizophrenia as a violent condition, however, the majority of people with schizophrenia are not violent. The majority of violent crime is committed by individuals who do not suffer from this disorder. The risk of violence in schizophrenia drops dramatically when treatment is in place.12

    Schizophrenia is associated with a higher risk of suicide. If the patient is suicidal contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK or call 911 immediately.

  • National Institute of Mental Health. Schizophrenia. Available at: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/schizophrenia.shtml Last updated May 2018. Accessed May 13, 2019.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. What is Schizophrenia? Available at: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/schizophrenia/index.shtml. Accessed May 13, 2019.
  • Nitin Gogtay, Nora S. Vyas, Renee Testa, Stephen J. Wood, Christos Pantelis, Age of Onset of Schizophrenia: Perspectives From Structural Neuroimaging Studies, Schizophrenia Bulletin, Volume 37, Issue 3, May 2011, Pages 504513, https://doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbr030.
  • Expert Rev Neurother. 2010 10:13471359. doi:10.1586/ern.10.93.
  • Focus On Their Feelings

    How to Talk to a Schizophrenic: 12 Steps

    Focus on the level of distress they are feeling and offer comfort. It’s possible to recognise their alarm and acknowledge their feelings without agreeing with the reason they feel that way.

    ” deal with the agitation by focusing on the feelings… giving general comforting phrases such as ‘All is well, there is nothing to worry about, you are safe.’ Providing distraction activities can also help to break the cycle of paranoia.”

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    Approaches To Coping With Mental Illness

    Once you have acknowledged the presence of a mental illness, another challenge is learning to cope with it. Here are three different approaches to coping:

    Avoidance:Always avoiding your spouse, avoiding conflict with your spouse or avoiding any painful feelings associated with your spouse. This approach may bring short-term relief, but it usually does not resolve issues and may create other problems, such as:

    • Staying away from home
    • Giving in to your spouse
    • Compulsive behaviour such as substance abuse, workaholism, etc.

    Co-dependency:Constantly trying to rescue and/or control your spouse. This approach may be comfortable at first, but usually leads to frustration, anger and a sense of being defeated and unappreciated:

    • Believing you have the power to save your spouse from the mental illness always putting your spouses needs ahead of your own
    • Nagging
  • Financial mismanagement i.e. spending sprees
  • Severely disruptive or controlling behaviours i.e.
  • Insisting all family members eat only certain foods
  • refusing to let anyone use the phone.
  • Allowing yourself or other members of your family to become a victim of any of these behaviours poses danger and creates an extremely stressful atmosphere for the entire family, including the person with mental illness.

    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.

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    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:

    How To Help Someone Having A Psychotic Episode:

    Mental Health Help : How to Live With a Schizophrenic

    A person with psychosis has a medical condition and is in need of psychiatric treatment. Even if they get treatment, it takes time for psychotic thoughts to resolve. Unfortunately, people in a psychotic episode wont always willingly get treatment. Until they are making decisions that put them or others in danger we cannot force them to get help. At that point, someone can be admitted to the hospital against their will.

    The laws surrounding mandated treatment and hospitalizing against someones will are complicated and differ by state. What I can say in general, is that we may KNOW someone is psychotic and needs help. But even if we know this fact, if they are not willing to get treatment, we are only able to intervene when they get worse. This is extremely difficult and frustrating for everyone involved. Obviously, there are good reasons these laws have passed, however, a consequence is that people can be ill for some time before they get help.

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    How To Treat Paranoid Personality Disorder

    The main drawback of treating PPD is that most affected individuals have difficulty in accepting treatment. However, in general, treatment for this disorder can be very successful.

    Individuals who are willing to go ahead with treatment for PPD can avail talk therapy or psychotherapy . These therapies aim at:

    • Helping the individual cope with the disorder
    • Teaching how to communicate with others in social situations
    • Helping reduce the feelings of paranoia

    Certain medications can also help in the treatment of paranoid personality disorder. Some medications work especially well if the patient has other related conditions like depression and anxiety disorder. Such medications include :

    • Benzodiazepines
    • Antipsychotics

    Combining these medications with talk therapy/psychotherapy can help in managing PPD successfully.

    It is important to avail treatment for paranoid personality disorder to avoid the complications discussed below.

    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?.

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    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.

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