Hi everyone, I have a question in regards to my sister who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and it seems she is currently undergoing a relapse. She is currently under medication (Zyprexa) but due to the changes in her behavior we’ve booked her in for her doctor’s appointment. But the earliest possible time for that is later this week so before then, I wanted to reach out here and ask if anyone had any advice on how I should be interacting with my sister to ensure that she remains feeling safe and supported. Here’s a few scenarios I need some advice on if anyone is able to share anything I will really appreciate it (thank you in advance!):
- There are instances my sister will be laughing uncontrollably or almost hysterically at the things around her. She seems to be amused by the things around her or the things she sees/hears. I’d ask her curiously if she would like to share what she is finding funny as I am interested in what she is experiencing, but she’ll normally answer and say “I’m fine” while continuing to laugh.
I understand it takes time for her to open up to share what she is experience but I was wondering is there anything I can do or try?
- There are moments when she’ll talk about how she is not a human, but an animal. I understand that during the conversation with her, I should be focusing on how she feels, which my family has been doing.
What would be the best way to interact with her about this? Is there anything else we can do?
- There are also instances where she will lock herself in the bedroom or bathroom for long hours. We will check up on her if she stays in the bedroom with her door locked for too long by asking how she is feeling and if she would like to have a chat. But most of the time she insists that she is fine through the locked door. I have noticed when she is in the bathroom she will like to stare at herself in the mirror and say that the one in the mirror is not her.
In the case that she does not come out of her room, I don’t know if it is appropriate to unlock the door to check and see if she is ok as that she might feel it is a breach of her privacy. When we try to ask her how she is feeling she says she is fine. And when we tell her we are worried about her and just want to check up on her she says she’ll open the door but doesn’t.
She seems to like to be alone. We have tried to engage with inviting her out for walks or grocery shopping, but after that she would immediately go lock herself up in a room.
Is it ok of us to open the door to check on her or is there a better approach? I know we have to give her space for her own thoughts, but what is considered enough time by herself in her room?