My new friend/almost boyfriend w/ schizophrenia seemed to be having a paranoid episode last night. He wasn't totally distrustful of me, but I was trying to be very careful in my responses and it was over the phone. This is the first time I've experienced this v(with him). He's recentlly taken a job with shift work hours and his meds are screwed up, so I'm not surprised.
But does anyone with or without Schizophrenia have any suggestions about how I should handle my interactions with him?
FYI I have well-managed bipolar disorder and know a lot about MI, but not about this.
As someone who has made a basic recovery from schizoaffective its hard to say. In the past before my recovery if someone told me I was psychotic or manic and should speak to my psychiatrist I would. It depends on the level of judgment and self awareness the person has, in general or especially during psychotic episodes. Its best to speak to them by phone in case they would react in a destructive manner and try to talk to them in a supportive way and encourage them to speak to their psychiatrist. The key is not to emotionally react which can be difficult. If they are seriously psychotic and you are highly concerned they might act on any ideas you could as a last resort call their psychiatrist or family member who can act to help them. Their psychiatrist by law can't discuss them with you but they would act on their own but as I said that would be last resort.
I'm like ILADVOCATE and have Schizophrenia and if someone would tell me I was psychotic or paranoid or whatever I would try to listen to them since when you are psychotic you typically lose insight and I've known this for a long time. Like I was told before I should go into the hospital's psych unit based on what I was doing and how I was feeling and I was actually going to admit myself but at that particular time I couldn't because of my living circumstances and I didn't have a regular psychiatrist at the time, it's a long story anyway.. So see, there's two people here with the disorder of this type who will listen to other people and seek out help if the people think they're not themselves, so it's not impossible that your boyfriend might as well. Unfortunately however he might take offense to it or something or not believe you and just follow ILADVOCATE's advice on handling the situation, I was just posting so you could see that there's other people out there with Schizophrenia disorders who will seek help if they can when they're told they should.
The one things you should have while responding to paranoid Conversations is patients. You must listen to what he has to say first and then when he accuses you of anything support him tenderly, that nobody's going to hurt him and that you would do nothing to hurt him too. If he's a serious case he won't go for logical conversations because paranoid patients have their own logic for everything. They may become like a very imaginative baby so you have to support them that way. They will believe that they are sick at first and that's when you must make him take the medications. But if he becomes more sick he won't want to treat himself. Possibly he'd think he's being kept from some important truth by means of these medications. Always treat him with respect and love. Show that you care. You said u had Bipolar Disorder. I will advise u to never get angry with him, always be patient.
My suggestion is as long as he is not threatening to hurt himself of others, I would wait until morning and encourage him to see his psychiatrist to get his meds adjusted. If he is not taking his meds, that is one reason why he is having these episodes.
If he is threatening to hurt someone, you need to call your local mental health crisis hotline. They are well equipped to handle this sort of emergency. I don't usually recommend calling 911 because the police can be nasty (unless they have a gun or are driving)
When a patient is compliant with their medications, they can usually take an extra dose, as prescribed by their doctor ( for me it was a Benadryl or an extra 1/2 dose of anti psychotic) and I was able to calm down and go to sleep after the psychotic episode had passed.
Like others have said, you can't deal with this alone. But you have a special compassion since you have dealt with mental illness yourself. God Bless you
If things aren't too out of hand, I'm good at listening to people I trust. If someone I trust tells me I'm acting paranoid, I'll respect what they're telling me and do whatever is written on my relapse prevention plan. If he's not out of hand, you can talk to him and reassure him that everything will be ok and that he's safe. If he trusts you, he'll most likely listen to you and if yuo tell him that he needs help, he might seek more treatment. If he's very psychotic, then it's not so easy.
A few years ago my doctor and I filled out a relapse prevention plan, we signed it and I was given a copy to take home. People I trust also have a copy. It has a list of all my early warning signs/risk factors and what to do when I start experiencing them. It also tells me what to do if my symptoms get more severe. If I'm at a point where I can't recognize that I need help, it tells what sort of action needs to be taken by people who can help me. Basically, it's like an asthma action plan, but for people with schizophrenia. I'm pretty good at following it and it has helped to prevent things from getting out of hand.
You might want to talk to his doctor about writing a relapse prevention plan. It really helps to avoid risk factors and get on top of an issue before becomes a crisis.
Can anyone offer any advise to me. My boyfriend of 3 years has expereinced pyschotic episodes. The first one was 2 years ago whilst we were on holiday. It lasted 3 days and it was the first time I had ever witnessed anything like that. My boyfriend was terrified - we literally had to stay in the hotel room because he could hear voices - which were saying they were gonna beat him up. Voices also say he is ugly. 2nd one happened in May in Majorca - he didnt tell me a the time and I hadno idea how he was feeling but he made an appt to see his GP when he got home. Since then he has seen a psychiatrist who has referred him for cbt. The after a minor disagreement on the phone last week he has told me he does not want me in his life. He said some horrible hurtful things to me (which is totally out of character) and refuses to answer my calls or txts. Think its important to say that we have spoke every day for the last 3 years and he has been the most loveliest boyfriend who would never hurt me. This behaviour is so out of character and I dont know what to do. He has also told me he is visiting a friend over the other side of the country - but I know he his at home on his own. Im so worried about him -
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