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All about schizophrenia
Let’s look at what schizophrenia is, and how to cope and ...
Family and friends play an important role supporting someone they care about living with schizophrenia. Here are some things that can help:
Get educated. Learn about schizophrenia.
Look after yourself. Know your own limits and make sure you are engaging in self-care!
Be supportive. This might look like lots of things, such as encouraging independence, having fun together, exploring self-help options, being there to chat, etc.
Join a support group. There are groups for those who are supporting a loved one with a mental health issue. Having the support of those living with similar experiences can really help.
Be part of their safety plan. People close to a person experiencing schizophrenia are the most likely to notice early warning signs that something is wrong, or that a relapse might happen. Knowing the triggers and warning signs and what to do can help prevent things escalating.
Here are some things you can do to handle a psychotic episode in the moment.
If you or they are in any immediate danger, contact emergency services
Stay calm, ask questions about what’s going on and listen without judgement
Support them to access support people as soon as possible, e.g. their treating GP
After the crisis has passed, look after yourself and don’t be afraid to access support!
Don’t try to reason with them about hallucinations or delusions and don’t ‘go along with’ hallucinations or delusions
Show concern and empathise with their emotions, e.g. “It sounds like you are feeling really depressed. That must be hard.”
Try to avoid touching them, too much eye contact, sudden movements, making promises you can’t keep, raising your voice or getting into arguments with them
Try to decrease their stress and increase their sense safety – you might ask other people to give you space, or try to find somewhere more private/with less distractions to give them space to calm down
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