Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Appeasing him without agreeing directly

Last night my son said he heard a psychic message saying the word Afghanistan to him, he said it was to,warn him he was going to be kidnapped and taken there and used in the trafficking trade.
I said I believed he heard it but it wasn’t a message it was how he interpreted it,
Anyway he was a bit hurt at that, he told me that meant I was suggesting he was “ mentally ill”. So I asked him what would he like me to say , anyway it seemed better if agreed that he was getting these messages and it wasn’t him but it was someone sending them.

It’s difficult to do though isn’t it, to a 25 year old young man. My MIL had dementia for 10years and we had to agree and go along with her delusions but that wasn’t so hard she was old and totoall different scenario, he’s my child, young man.

I tried the usual well I respect you belief that but…
Anyway any others experiences like this. Thanks

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Yep, every day…

So how do you respond without being condescending to it, my son picks up my tone very easily as he knows me so well.

i calmly listen and simply say, “it is really nothing to worry about” “I dont believe it will happen if they try I will protect you”: If extreme like my wife below, just play along, blow it off and not let it bother you at all.

Yes your wife is extreme, sorry you all go through this. Since he’s been on meds he’s calm, beefed though he was angry, animated etc.

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Now that my son is on medication and is getting more and more clear, I don’t appease. I tell him the truth, that his mind is playing tricks on him and it’s a symptom of his mental illness. I use the actual terminology (hallucination, paranoia, etc.) I remind him that the meds are working to lessen the symptoms, but the symptoms may still occur here and there. Believe me, they do…

I feel like I need to be as straight and truthful as possible with my son now. He has a long road ahead of him and he needs to understand his illness, so he can stay safe after we are gone. He doesn’t like his diagnosis. Nobody would, but it’s his reality.


Similar here, but my son still has little insight, it seems to upset him when I say its his mind playing tricks etc, and its a symptom, he just still says he doesnt need them etc etc.
I pray one day he will be able to talk realistically about it to me.

How old is your son?

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My son still has limited insight as well, and he sometimes dismisses what I’m saying, but I still say the words “mental illness” and “schizophrenia” anyways. I figure the more I say these words, in a matter-of-fact way, the greater the chances it will stick. He used to deny and react with anger, but not anymore. I suppose it’s because he’s heard the language multiple times and from multiple people, before, during, and after multiple hospitalizations.

Of the 4 doctors my son has worked with over the last year and a half, 3 of them openly told him he has Schizophrenia, and 1 of them didn’t (for program philosophical reasons I think). That 4th doctor has just recently also made the diagnosis, but has only written it on paper. Different doctors have different philosophies about what to tell patients, but I prefer honesty, especially since my son has such a history of non-compliance.

My son is 21 and he was diagnosed by doctor #1 a little over a year ago, after experiencing symptoms for about a year.

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I wonder how different it is here in the UK.
I’ve alwys told my son the truth , have never lied, he has been diagnosed with delusional disorder. The first two doctors when in hospital just had it as psychosis NOS, it was after work OJ with the dr in community this came to be.

Do,the doctors in the USA use the diagnoses codes of Lcd-10 f220 when categorising these illnesses?

I have no idea about codes used here in the states, to identify a diagnosis, but you reminded me that my son also had the diagnosis of Psychosis NOS from the very first doctor (a 5th doctor), when he had his first major break. He carried this diagnosis for 7 months. Then Sz.

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How is your son coping now, what’s his day to day routine etc?

I recommend you read this document:


Thank you , very helpful tool.

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This week I tried "let me make sure I understand you correctly. You are saying …
It does let him feel listened to. It’s better than tuning out. I can’t tell you how much just talking in a low voice when he is yelling helps him calm down. I hope it continues to work.


This may not be the best way to handle it but sometimes I assign additional work after listening to how the message came to be and what he thinks it means. I ask, what should we do from here. Lets think about it for a while and discuss it later. I hope he moves on to something easier, but if not, I have a break. See, I am not really helping him, I am helping me because there are times I just can’t deal…so maybe not the best overall, but I can regroup and go on.


I think you are actually helping your son too, you are doing all you can, I don’t think really there is a clear cut way to help them sometimes,

I have too asked him why and he will come up with a few answers, because he can’t yet read minds, because he is catholic, because they want to use him in the trafficking trade, because he said something (he said he had done something ) but he hand not . In fact he recalls things he has said and worries about them and truth is, I don’t think he has even said those things he worries about.

Thank you for your experience , another tactic I shall try. :slightly_smiling_face: