If someone with schizophrenia relies on you for support, knowing how to communicate with them effectively can be beneficial. It is essential to be careful what you say and remember that your experience may not be in line with the reality they are aware of, especially when they are experiencing symptoms. Understanding schizophrenia and knowing what to say can help strengthen your relationship with a loved one struggling with schizophrenia.

Communication Challenges of Schizophrenia

When someone with schizophrenia is disconnected from reality, it can be hard for them to communicate their thoughts and opinions. They may also have difficulty understanding or processing the information given to them in a conversation.

People with schizophrenia often have illogical thought processes or beliefs, which can be a source of distraction. They could even have trouble remembering parts of the conversation, as psychosis interferes with memory.

What to Say

Compassion, empathy, and understanding are essential when communicating with someone who has schizophrenia. It is important to practice active listening by paying attention to their body language to better understand their wants, needs, and feelings. Be patient when they express their beliefs, acknowledging and validating them even if you disagree.

Give them time to process what you are telling them, so they have a better chance of remembering the conversation. This could mean breaking down the discussion into short, clear sentences. If your loved one is experiencing psychosis, seek immediate help for them.

What Not to Say

It is essential never to dismiss your loved one’s symptoms. Telling someone their symptoms are “in their head” will not make them go away. Distorted thoughts and delusions feel very real to those that are experiencing them.

Avoid being judgmental about their experiences or perceptions. If they do not feel like talking, respect that. Make an effort to understand things from their point of view.

During a psychotic episode, do not overwhelm your loved one with directions or requests. If someone close to you is living with schizophrenia, empathy and compassion can be significant elements to improve the lines of communication.

Educating yourself on schizophrenia and what your loved one has to battle every day will give you a great understanding of what to say and what to avoid saying.

People with schizophrenia tend to be detached from reality based on delusions or hallucinations of what they see or hear. It is important not to judge or try to “fix” them. Educating yourself on what your loved one is going through will give you a better idea of how to talk to them. Remaining compassionate and showing empathy is essential. At Alta Loma, we understand the importance of proper communication with someone who has schizophrenia, and we are here to help you. Located in Georgetown, Texas, we can offer you individualized therapy, coping skills, education, medication management, and more in a safe and tranquil environment. Call us at (866) 457-3843 for more information.


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You understand your needs best. If you have found yourself at a crossroads in your treatment and feel like your program options don’t fully understand you or aspects of your recovery, it’s time to contact the specialists at Alta Loma. We will help you craft the ideal care plan and secure the support you need, quickly, to avoid unnecessary problems. At Alta Loma, that’s our mission — to provide each individual with optimum care for the wellbeing they deserve.