Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advice on dealing with continuous Negativity

It’s been another tiring evening trying to counter the continuous negativity about everything wrong in my sons life. No matter what I say it’s wrong. I’m to blame for everything that is wrong. He’s 37 and still hasn’t grown up. I understand it is the illness but I’ve come to the point of not even wanting to open my mouth because his response will be a slam on me or my thoughts. Any ideas on how to approach him in a different way?

Take him outside for a distraction. Could be just to walk to the corner and back?
Maybe to the grocery store to pick up a bottle of “joy juice” (really is true).

Anything to get out of the house. Even for only a minute to look at the wind in the trees.

I know my house closes in on me when I’ve been cooped up all day inside (always my choice),but it’s killing me with the negative wall squeezing me against the floor and ceiling.

Nothing like a bit of fresh air to slap my head out of a dark corner.

You could try to teach him about negative thinking patterns such as catastrophising, there is a fair bit about this out there on the Internet. This can give him a bit more insight into his thoughts and how to stay positive and communicate well with people. At a certain point negativity becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, people just don’t want to talk to you anymore, I have a close friend whose husband divorced her because of this.

Meditation is another possibility, mindfulness to bring him to the present moment and away from negative thoughts or feelings coming from the past or future, or Buddhist metta meditation to learn to be kinder towards himself and others.

This kind of excessive negativity is often an expression of internal pain, which is another avenue you could try to explore, engage him on what he is feeling and why when he is so negative.

Ultimately he does have to want to change to become more positive though, some people become so entrenched that it’s a deep seated habit like an addiction, and then dragging them out becomes very hard.

If it were me and he was my son I would blame myself for him being the way he is because “MY” delusional belief is that I was god and created all that is wrong in life and that is all the evil that I let out of the box and into this world. and that would include what is affecting your son. Say a prayer if and when you feel helpless because I believe that this moment in time that we do recognize a Higher power that we will reboot our brains to different ways of thinking to better know how to deal with the situation. So just think that you are god and you created the problem so don’t blame the problem and punish it for being what it is and that’s the nature of the beast. This belief helps me endlessly. This is basically my religion.

This is what I do - “I’m sorry you feel that way. I love you. What you are saying is stressing me out, I need a break.” And then I put some space between us.

Another tactic - acknowledge the feeling “I’m sorry you feel that way.” And then change the subject to something completely different and non-confrontational - “What should we have for dinner tonight?”

I would love to take him outside for a walk, but his paranoia prevents him from going outside most of the time. Even to sit on the deck. He believes that all the neighbors are watching him. We live on a very quiet cul-de-sac with plenty of trees and foilage to afford a lot of privacy.
I try to talk to him about what is causing the negativity and to try to look at it differently, but that is usually where it becomes very confrontational. I know that my actions have caused some of his issues, but the past can’t be changed. A fact that he is not able to come to terms with. He continually lives in the past and how it affects him now, rather than moving forward. Again, I understand a lot of that is the illness and I try to make adjustments for that.
@valleypenne. That is what I do. I always tell him that I am sorry that you feel that way and if there is anything that I can do to help you through it, I am there for you, but I need a break from this. It makes him angry and he feels like i am ignoring him, but I have to do that to save my sanity. Changing the subject works most of the time. He either goes with it or walks away, realizing that he has pushed too far. Thanks for making me feel like I am trying in a safe way to get away from the negativity.
Is it common for sz to talk in circles (same thing over and over and over). It continually prevents me from moving the conversation forward. He always expects some new response and I have none.
Thanks to all for listening to my long, long rant.

I don’t know about others, but I experience a lot of the same things with my son dwelling obsessively on things that happened in the past.

When I was becoming very symptomatic my older brother would just ignore my unmedicated rants about reality and religiously and philosophicaly oriented, and I new why he was changing the subject as if it were very un-important for me to even be ranting about. This caused me to realize that I was ill. Even then my family without a father didn’t even know that I was schizophrenic and getting worse for several years there after. So support any thing he says that is associated with proper thinking, and kind of minimize the importance of anything sounding overly delusional.

Thank you. Your past situation actually sounds a bit like how my son’s are now. He chooses not to be medicated because of the side effects of the meds. I didn’t know for a long time what was going on with him and he has steadily been getting worse. This is the first time he was diagnosed with sz (3 months ago) and it actually fits his symptoms way more than bi-polar ever did. I try very hard to only respond to comments that are “associated with proper thinking”. (I like that way better than “normal thinking”). It is hard with the delusions though because a lot of them concern me and I can only ignore them for so long so I find myself trying hard not to do the action that sets off the delusion so that I don’t have to deal with it. Thanks again for your insight from the other side. It helps greatly…

**Exact same thing with my son. He doesn`t live with me however. When he gets bad with me, I take him back home, or hang up the phone, or not call back.
Usually, he is ok after a day or two.
@sohare1981 just had something posted about this in the family section. I copied it out for myself. **

I know I’m a broken record to others on this forum, but Torrey handles this and pretty much everything else about sz in…

At the bedrock, many sz pts come from a belief that life should have been fair, and they’re upset that it isn’t. But, ya know, I’ve been psychotically bipolar since I was a little kid who went through four different mothers in the first year of his life, drank and drugged his way into a gawd awful mess, attempted ICU-wake-up (feh!) suicide twice, and have been in psych lockups 14 times. And what I know now is, SO WHAT.

Things are the way they are, and I do way better when I adjust to that than when I don’t. (But, believe me, I do appreciate how much time and effort it takes to get from there to here.)

@bridgecomet ? I don’ remember posting on the family site ?? What was it I said?

If you need a new angle, there is a book called “I’m not sick, I don’t need help.”

The man who wrote it is the brother of person with Sz and he’s written a lot of resources on how to change the situation through better communication

I hope some of the sites listed will give you some ideas. - under resources are free videos on using LEAP
LEAP is a way of communicating to build trust. Listen-Empathize-Agree-Partner. - Dr. Xavier Amador is a clinical psychologist whose brother had schizophrenia. He is the founder of the LEAP Institute. Wrote the book: I’m Not Sick I Don’t Need Help! Can buy from his website.
Search Xavier Amador and LEAP on and you should find some long videos
Building A Collaborative Relationship “LEAP”

Thank you for letting me post

**So sorry @sohare1981, it was actually Apothesis… **

no problem, I just though it was odd because I normally don’t post on the family thread unless I feel like giving my advice to someone.