To respond, you first have to understand.
Understanding someone with Schizophrenia can be very difficult, especially when they are in a state of psychosis. Nevertheless, this is an important step towards offering care and support to these individuals. So what is it truly like in the mind of a Schizophrenia patient? What does he hear? What does he see? Is it really as bad as they say? Well, if you have always been curious about this, you have definitely come to the right place.
Reality and fantasy collide
The first thing you need to understand about someone with Schizophrenia is that they have a problem distinguishing between what is real and what is not. In their minds, reality and fantasy collide. They sometimes see things and people who are not there or hear voices that don’t exist.
As such, any caregiver should be careful not to mock them. Such treatment can be very difficult for a patient to bear as what they see and hear is as real to them as your reality is to you. As a caregiver, you should also avoid taking what such patients say personally or trying to convince them that what they are seeing is not real. Both of these actions can have disastrous results.
Beware of depression
It is worth noting that people who have Schizophrenia or any mental health illness that brings about psychosis are prone to depression and suicidal tendencies. As such, any caregiver should take any signs of self-harm very seriously. Aim to have open communication with someone struggling with this condition.
If you feel that they are in danger of causing harm to themselves, contact a qualified health professional. This circumstance can be difficult because it can feel like you are breaching the patient’s trust, but it is necessary. At the end of the day, saving a life is much more important than maintaining trust.
Give them space
People with Schizophrenia tend to love solitude and are not comfortable in large, boisterous events. As such, whenever you are organizing an event with them in mind, you should always keep it small and intimate, with only a few people in attendance. Since they also need routine in their lives, be wary of taking them for spontaneous adventures.
Always make sure to tell them beforehand that you are planning something and what it will entail. Don’t spring surprises on them as this may make them unstable.
Be friendly and supportive
In the same way that you don’t force your friends to do anything, you should especially not force a Schizophrenia patient to do so. Just be friendly and ask them how they feel without being too nosy and aggressive. To an extent, they will feel safe enough to confide in you and trust you. Finally, you should always respect their concerns and requests. If they don’t want you to share with others about their condition, please abide by their wishes.
The Bottom Line
The most important things to have in mind when taking care of someone with Schizophrenia is always to have empathy and compassion. Fundamentally, that is what any human would want.