don’t argue with someone who is psychotic

Since I began writing this blog I have had several readers reach out to me and ask how to convince their loved one or friend that is experiencing psychosis that what they believe is not real.

Unfortunately, I can only recommend, from my own experience, that you remain patient, empathetic, forgiving, and most importantly, non-confrontational as you gently guide them towards professional treatment. Because the nature of our beliefs or delusions is so powerful and unwavering, to try to convince us otherwise will only lead us deeper into the psychological claws of psychosis and possibly cause us to feel that you may be part of whatever delusions we may be embracing.

I found it interesting that a, first of it’s kind, coping workshop and training for caregivers of the psychotic recommended this very advice. You can watch a video about it in the link below. And remember I am far from a licensed professional. I am happy to offer help, but any advice I may lend is always just my own self-educated and self-experienced opinion.

In this training workshop, experts tell family members to keep their statements short, simple and clear. Speak in a calm voice. Give the person physical space rather than crowding them. Don’t challenge them over the delusions.

Remember, persons suffering from psychosis are most likely terrified and in a constant state of incredible stress. I know it’s extremely difficult because the delusions can be so bizarre and unbelievable, but if it is at all possible, try to put yourself in their shoes. How would you want to be treated if under this same duress?

Caregivers for Schizophrenic Patients Participate in 1st-of-Its-Kind Psychosis Training

3 comments

  1. I would not wanted to be gently guided to professional treatment, which usually means with experimental neurotoxins. Talk therapy might be better, but remember the two components of the work, “therapist” are “the/rapist.”

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  2. This is exactly the kind of site I went to when my best friend had a psychotic break. Reading stories like this as well as other informational materials is how a few of us — people close to her — informally diagnosed her with Delusional Disorder.

    We know we can’t talk her out of her delusions. We’re just trying to figure out how to get her hospitalized and yes, medicated so she can begin to heal. I told the story of my friend’s psychosis at https://youtu.be/MSnigj3SX3Q.

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  3. This is great from someone who’s experienced psychosis. I also had a psychotic depression episode, after which, I studied and became a mental health nurse. I went on to study further about Schizophrenia, interventions, First Aid, and family work for schizophrenia. So from a personal and professional point of view, you are indeed right.

    Do not try to challenge hallucinations or delusions but also don’t collude with the person experiencing it either. You could say calmly and with empathy, something like “I believe/understand you’re hearing voices at the moment but I can’t hear them.”

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