How to get help for paranoid schizophrenia symptoms. The definition of psychosis is that the person has sensory experiences of things that do not exist and/or beliefs with no basis in reality.
This article contains basic instructions and resources for families, loved ones, and those afflicted with schizophrenia, schizophrenia with paranoia, and/or psychosis.
Empathy goes a long way.
If they hear voices or seeing things that you don’t hear or see, that doesn’t mean they are crazy or imagining it, they are literally experiencing a nightmare while awake. To the afflicted, these experiences are very real. They might still have a foot in reality while having the other foot in their dream, so don’t assume they are crazy, but they are experiencing symptoms of a brain illness.
How would you feel though you woke up from a dream and then were told, “There was no dream, you’re crazy. There’s nothing there!” Yet you saw your dream, touched things while you were there, smelled it, heard stuff, interacted with people in your dream. How would you feel if someone else told you that you were just crazy? Told you that you weren’t just there? Let me tell you how you’d feel, pretty insulted.
If a person suffers hearing voices, there are voices there, even though only they can hear them. Don’t call them crazy, just because they hear voices. To say there’s nothing there and they are crazy is nothing short of insulting to the person’s intelligence, and hurtful.
Get them to the doctor.
When the person hears voices or seeing things, it doesn’t mean there’s not still a sane person in there, even though they are being tormented by hallucinations. Ask if they are willing to get help, they very well might agree they need it. If the person agrees, get them to their doctor, or to the emergency room for a doctor on call, as soon as possible.
You might not realize this but there is a very high percentage of mentally ill people in mental hospitals that went there voluntarily, because they realized they needed help. It is always better for the person to cooperate and ask for help. Try giving them the opportunity to agree.
The afflicted refuses help? Call the police.
Living in a psychosis state is very dangerous to both the afflicted and to the people in their path. Try to talk the afflicted person into getting help. If they refuse help, you must protect yourself, your loved ones, and the public from a runaway mind, and call the police.
A person in a state of psychosis that doesn’t recognize they need help is like a person sleepwalking, but with their eyes open. They are dreaming things while awake, and cannot separate the two, they can’t tell the dream from the reality. These people are unpredictable, dangerous, and those who approach should be aware of this.
The afflicted must be kept safe in a controlled environment, like a mental hospital, or even jail, under strict supervision. Police can take them to the hospital, with cuffs on if necessary. There, professional psychiatric doctors and nurses can make sure that the person with the illness gets onto the proper anti-psychotic medications, and stabilizes, under supervision.
Learn all you can about living with the illness.
Did you know that 70% of people diagnosed with Schizophrenia, with proper treatment, medication, and emotional support, recover well enough to live completely normal lives?
Just because a person is mentally ill does not mean they are a lost cause. Healing is possible, even likely.
Explore search engines for crisis centers, crisis lines, support centers, family supports and employment or financial resources in your local area mental health resources, state/provincial mental health resources, and also national mental health resources.
- National Institute of Mental Health – Help For Mental Illnesses – USA
- Canadian Mental Health Association – Resource Archive – Canada
- Mental Health and Wellness – Government of Canada
- How to Help People With Schizophrenia – Article
- Toward Recovery and Well-Being – E book – MentalHealthCommission.ca
It is not easy to support someone with Schizophrenia. It is a hard illness to deal with. As a loved one of someone with Schizophrenia, you probably need encouragement yourself. You yourself might feel hopeless, but it is not hopeless. Healing is possible. It takes time. Talking to someone helps. Call a mental health crisis line. Tell them what you are going through.
The person suffering has been told by people that they are crazy, hopeless, and imagining things. They might even believe it. They may never have hurt anyone in their entire lives, yet they have been shamed. Be supporting, encourage them, help them find hope in healing, as with treatment, they will once again learn how to sort out their scattered thoughts.
There is no shame in loving someone with a mental illness. The person suffering an illness is still valuable and deserves the chance to heal. Be a beacon of hope, patience and support.
Books For Family:
- I Am Not Sick, I Don’t Need Help! How to Help Someone with Mental Illness Accept Treatment. 10th Anniversary Edition.
- Living with Schizophrenia: A Family Guide to Making a Difference (A Johns Hopkins Press Health Book)
Books For People Recovering from Schizophrenia
- How to Live With Schizophrenia
- Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia, Second Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide