How Families Are Affected By A Patient’s Schizophrenia

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

How Families Are Affected By A Patient’s Schizophrenia

It can be difficult to cope with a family member’s diagnosis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia causes many alarming symptoms. These symptoms cause the patient to act in an unusual manner. It can also cause a patient to become fearful or act erratically.

Schizophrenia typically shows symptoms in early adulthood. This causes the patient to display a dramatic shift in his or her personality. This dramatic shift can be upsetting for a loved one to see. It can be difficult to know what to do in such an upsetting situation.

What To Do If You Suspect Schizophrenia Or Mental Illness In A Loved One

Be Aware Of The Warning Signs.

It will be important to know the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. The warning signs will help you identify potential symptoms if you are suspicious that your loved one may be suffering from schizophrenia. It will also help you rule out certain suspicions. This can be helpful in understanding the situation.

Consult A Professional.

Before confronting your loved one about your concerns, consult a professional. A mental health professional will be able to help you understand what you are seeing. Sometimes the signs will point to schizophrenia. That does not always mean your loved one is suffering from schizophrenia. He or she may be suffering from something else. A mental health professional will help you understand the warning signs. He or she will also help you with confronting and being supportive of your loved one. This will be important while they come to terms with their condition.

Be Patient And Understanding.

Your loved one is likely going through a lot of mental and emotional issues. It is scary for everyone, but especially for your loved one. It is also a frustrating process to learn how to cope with treatment for this condition. Despite the frustration, it is important to remain supportive, patient, and understanding.

Do Not Take On Too Much.

As someone who loves the patient, you will want to help any way you can. However, as just one person, you will not be able to do it all. Always remember to take care of yourself first. If you need a break, take a break. If you do not know how to be supportive, ask. If you are confused, frustrated, or want to know more, consider seeing a therapist for yourself.

Action Plan For Talking To Your Loved One

It can be scary to deal with suspicions of schizophrenia in a loved one, but it does help to have an action plan for addressing your concerns for him or her. If you feel a loved one may be suffering from schizophrenia, follow this action plan:

  1. Consult with a mental health professional. They will be able to help you develop a plan by talking to you about intervention options. Find a reputable therapist who can help you today, here.
  2. Find peer support. If you noticed a change in the disposition of the patient, it is likely others have noticed as well. Ask your trusted friends and family for some support as you learn to cope with your loved one’s struggles.
  3. Approach patiently and sensitively. The patient probably knows something is wrong. He or she may be afraid or ashamed of what they are going through. Approach the situation sensitively and create a safe and supportive space for the patient.


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