Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Feeling lost and unsure how to help

Hello. My partner is in his early 30’s and diagnosed schizophrenic. For years he was an alcoholic and the alcohol seemed to lessen his symptoms but obviously wasn’t good. He’s sober now but is refusing medication because he says it hasn’t worked in the past. He hasn’t tried meds since he was a teen though. I have no idea how to help him. He doesn’t want to get help because he’s too nervous about being taken into care against his will even though I would never let that happen to him. He says he hears voices and sometimes feels like he’s being physically attacked or restrained. It’s so scary when it happens and I just have no idea how to help. I try to remain calm and just give space but idk. He doesn’t beieve he is real or that anything is real so I can’t convince him he’s real and he believes that since nothing is real if he goes to get treatment they just want to silence him. How do I handle that type of behavior? How on earth do you get someone who is paranoid to seek help from people they’re paranoid about?! I feel so lost.

Hi @Rachneedshelp ! Welcome to the forum. Pretty much all of us here are going through what you are going through. There are some very experienced and compassionate caregivers here who you can lean on for advice.
My so is 27 years old, an intelligent beautiful man/child. He refuses to accept that he’s hearing voices. When he’s pacing the hallway ranting he calls it ‘practising speeches’! It is sad to watch him in this state day in and day out.
He does take his meds but the positive symptoms are relentless. If you can somehow convince your loved one to atleast talk to a social worker first, that would be a start. There are lot of people responding well to the right meds. So hang in there!
Empathy, compassion and listening without contradicting has helped me some in my interactions with my son.
Hope this helps! Hugs and wishes to you!

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How wonderful that he was able to conquer his alcoholism. It sounds that he is aware of his personal struggles of hearing voices and paranoid.

One of the best books I’ve read is ‘I don’t need help, I’m not sick’ by Dr. Amador. He uses the LEAP process and the first one is LISTEN. Here is a youtube video you can watch but getting the book and applying it would be most helpful.

Also NAMI offers a Mental Health First Aid class that I’ve found helpful. Get the support you need by contacting NAMI office to see what other resources they have.