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Struggling? Newly Diagnosed? A Message For Families Of Those With Psychosis!

Disclaimer: This Site is intended to provide general knowledge, and is not intended to serve as medical advice of any sort.  Changes in mental health treatment should never be made without consulting your health care provider.

This has been my doctor’s and family’s approach to helping me with schizoaffective disorder.

It sometimes takes awhile, but my overall message to you, is that psychosis can (and often does) get better!

In the past 20+ years of living with schizoaffective disorder, I can tell you six things (some of these you already know), that have helped the trajectory of my mental illness.

Below are some of the things that my parents were able to do for me…

1) Never compare your loved one’s struggles to anyone else’s hardships, past or present. Their struggles are unique to them, and are more than enough for them to handle!

2) Have your loved one take their medication. It can be difficult for some people with psychosis to recognize that they have an illness. Keep working with the professionals, and depending on how “ill” your loved one is, consider getting on as POA for their health care (for awhile).

3) Validate your loved one’s feelings, but also know that some psychotic symptoms need to be challenged. If you can challenge their symptoms safely and healthily, then you definitely should! Also, it can be quite tricky dealing with religious delusions and hallucinations (with your loved ones), so tread carefully, and allow your loved ones some latitude with carving out a “helpful” belief system.

4) Have your loved one try and follow a schedule. This is a lot more difficult than one might think! I personally have been trying to stick with a schedule for two decades, and with little luck. However, I stay productive (not just busy), so that is important too!

5) Let your loved one know, whether it be through actions and/or words, that they are important in the world, and that they are “loved!” I can’t tell you enough, the difference that this has made for me in my life—knowing that I was loved (while in the midst of so much suffering)—that really has made a difference for me!

6) Don’t preach “recovery” to your loved one—especially if you (and them) are having trouble with some of the earlier suggestions. This could cause a lot of damage to your loved one! Your loved one needs to know the tenets of one through five, and when those are being followed properly, then you can have discussions on where they see themselves in the future, and “they” will formulate what they must do to embark on the road to “recovery.”

I personally am still very symptomatic, but having worked on all of the above, with the professionals, my parents, and a few close friends, I am on the upswing (and, doing quite a bit better than I was when I first presented symptoms).

Best of luck to you (and with time, intentionality, and patience), it will get better…

Blessings!

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