Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How can we get them realize it

She had been treated for schizophrenia earlier but it seems that there is a relapse now. The most difficult part is convincing her about it as she is so adamant that what she is saying is the truth and people around her are lying. She has always been isolating herself and never speaks about anything but if she does she just insists that everyone is against her. It’s getting difficult for everyone as she is just not willing to hear.
Anyone any suggestions on how we can get her convinced and understand that what she is saying is just her own hallucinations. Because unless we can get her realize that she is ill it seems it would be difficult to get her treated.
P.S - Her medications have been stopped a few months back on doctor’s suggestion


Oh, my… I feel for you.

I have been trying for 2.5 years to get my daughter to seek help of ANY type. She isolates and won’t see ANY doctor. Her delusions/hallucinations are REAL to her. I understand, and many of us on this site do too.

Dr. Amador’s book “I am not sick, I don’t need help.” is the best help I have found. At least it helps me to communicate with her and to make slow gentle changes in our lives for the better.

I am so sorry that your loved one’s doctor took her off her meds… oh gosh. It really saddens me. I find that upsetting. Sounds like she needs to get back on her meds. The book may help you to help her do that. Good luck.


This is the really frustrating part about Sz and SzA. When they experience delusions, but disregard any evidence or logic which exposes it.
My brother struggled with this for months at a time in obvious ways, but consistently had very convincing delusions for years. I’m not sure if he is still effected by it now, but at least he is able to reason his way through delusional thinking and realize some of his thoughts are misguided by his disorder.
Your loved ones delusions are a very difficult thing. It is common for part of a delusion to include suspicion of family and friends, along with the medical community.

I think my brother had a strange experience of being half-convinced of a delusion and called each of his closest family members to ask us separately what we thought about it. When we each gave similar answers, “That doesn’t seem likely. I doubt any of that is true.” He was honestly surprised, but clearly thought about it at great length.
The biggest factor in that revelation for him was his own need to hear truth from a few different people he knew he could trust.
If he trusted no one, it would have been impossible. If we had been impatient or angry with him about having delusions, it would have betrayed his trust as well.
The major components are two fold:

  1. That the diagnosed person has people close by which they trust.
  2. That those people whom the diagnosed trust understand the diagnosis comes with many complicated and concerning symptoms.

Trust is needed for them to want to talk about their issues.
Understanding is needed to allow that person to talk about issues without feeling judged harshly, or at risk of some kind of reprimand.

Outside of that, it’s really up to the diagnosed person to decide they don’t trust some of the things their imagination conjures up. That’s a hard wall for them to break down.


The BIGGEST mistake our family made with our daughter was to violate her trust and to be harsh with her delusions for the first 6 months she came to live with us. I had the wrong advice to “give her tough love” to change her behavior and that violated her trust in all of us. There was no way to get her to see she was delusional then, and there isn’t now.

At least she will somewhat trust me now. I don’t address her delusions. I am trying to get her to take advice from a doctor about her menstrual cramps (and the doctor knows she is schizophrenic so if she ever agrees, the medicine prescribed is to help the menstrual cramps… (but will include anti-psychotics) trickery, but done with love.)

One other family had their son on meds because of his diabetes. Yes, there was diabetic medicine, but the anti-psychotics were also in his daily medicines. It worked for 5 years until one day someone at the doctors office explained to him during a visit what each med was for and he then stopped taking the anti-psychotics and had terrible trouble thereafter.

Try to be kind. Always.

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Unfortunately, the trickery will play directly into delusions. The most common delusion I read about on the Sz forum and hear from my brother is directed toward medication. It is compounded by the massive volume of false data and psudo-science placed in questionable articles written by average joe and jane types accusing various medications of causing ridiculous side effects.
Personally, I feel like it is a morally sound thing to do. But it accepts risk of some backlash in the form of the DX’d feeling betrayed, despite possibility of years of better quality of life and hope for the future.
Rationally, we know that the DX’d should see the difference in their quality of life in all kinds of good ways on medication. But they often do not associate medication with feeling better and living better, no matter how clear that difference might be.
Delusions are powerful and very convincing because they do not require any evidence and often ignore chronological sequence of events.

This is the challenge of such trickery. That the DX’d might honestly believe that they have spontaneously “gotten over Sz” or that having Sz is not a big deal and doesn’t require treatment. Or worse, that their method of ignoring issues, self medicating, and becoming reclusive cured them.

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Yes. Precisely. Absolutely.

We are about 15 or so years into this journey. There have been hospitalizations, both voluntary and involuntary. Many meds have been tried, adjusted and ultimately discarded.

Their delusions are real ….to them. And if you want them to build trust with you, tricking them into anything even for their own good will validate the delusion everyone is out to hurt/manipulate/abuse them.

Over the years what I have concluded is we expect a person with diminished mental capacity to somehow be reasonable and we get upset when they are not. Then who really is the unreasonable one? So the answer to the question is how can we get them to realize it? We can’t. They have to come to the conclusion themselves and it probably won’t be as we prefer. We also have to realize they may never do so. That being the case, we need to do our best to keep them safe and sober. It is the best chance of some semblance of peace they will get.

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All grear explanations, I feel that I too have seen all of the above with my daughter. She incorporates everything into her version of reality. Getting better in the hospital never helped her see her illness. It is done so wrong. A big group of patients that “teach” each other their own “right” reason of why they are all there. (Apparently the hospital is trying to make money off all of them in the so patients mind). They get clear headed and can see they are better but never associate the meds to being able to think.

My daughter refuses all meds and supplements and in order to prevent her from being evicted bc of all of her streaking, and trespassing, I have been giving her homeopathic medicine. She’s is getting better every day. I don’t know how long I can keep it up, but as long as she is safe with me and normal in her behavior I will be happy.

Interesting you talk about what they pick up from other patients in the hospital. I also have observed such things. I encourage you to try the LEAP approach ( to communication if there is something else you believe will be better for your daughter. I just believe that it has a lot of upside potential for many of us. I’ll also be interested to hear back from you regarding homeopathic options.

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I dont know the answers to anything anymore and maybe never did . My son has schizophrenia and it’s killing me inside. I stay home all of the time afraid to leave him alone longer then to go to work. He is 31 and was diagnosed 2 years ago. There are days I just want to run away but the thought of leaving him behind hurts too much. He is my youngest and only son and I blame myself for this happening to him. If I could make him well again I would give everything I have to see him normal again. Im torn and exhausted depressed alone but mostly I am scared for my son and how society looks at him. He was so bright and handsome and now this. Is there no end to the daily pain I live with and can I ever find a way to make him well again.

allygirl, please don’t blame yourself. None of this is your fault. I have had the same feelings you are having. Her first psychotic break, I cried and kept asking “What have I done to her” over and over again. When we blame ourselves, it weakens the spirit and we need all we have and each other to get through this. We need a strong spirit to help our loved ones too. It can get better. I have found peaceful a new normal for us. It can take awhile, but it can be achieved.

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I understand your feelings totally. I think most of us on this site do. It is a heartbreaking situation for all involved, and especially for the person with severe mental illness. We suffer as we watch our loved ones suffer. Welcome to the site, and I hope you come back for support for yourself, and ideas to improve things one tiny step at a time. In my home, our lives ARE better because of support from others on this site. It takes a long time, and many small steps one after the other to reach some peace and a new normal.

I am so sorry allygirl. My son was diagnosed at age 31. Hang in ,there read the threads, there are a lot of ideas here that have helped many people.

Not to good. He cant stop rambling. He can even if he tried. The isolation is terrible. We were going for a little ride and he has to set a timer that some people use to turn on and off the lights in their house when they are away. He sets it and the power to the garage door wont work until timer turns it back on. Well we were sitting in the car for 40 minutes and nothing again so no ride. This has happened before when he was involuntary in the hospital for 72 hours but refused treatment and he was talking with other patients telling them to refuse so that they could leave too. Very good maniulipuator. :disappointed_relieved:

It’s not your fault, not our fault. I learned that 1% of the population has SZ!! Is that not incredible? Think about your high school graduation class, your neighbors, etc. We are not alone, although in a way that makes this even sadder. I have been told that persons with SZ can gain insight over time. If they ever can get on meds, certain meds can help with that. And others have posted about holistic treatments that they say have helped.


After over 15+ years we have had insight lost it and now are regaining some insight again. Recently it occurred to me his level of insight balances against how much trust he had in me. If you read other posts you will see we are in the ‘umedicated’ game. A bit dicey over the summer but leveling out now. Probably the best tools in our box is LEAP and CBT. And yes, the number of sz patients is incredible. Wish it weren’t.


Thanks for recommending that book you mentioned, by Dr. Amador, even though your reply wasn’t for me. I just signed on a few minutes ago and started to read some of these threads and stumbled on “how can we get them to realize” which is exactly what my biggest concern is. My 23 year old son refuses any medication, and although he is somewhat, and only in some ways, aware of his illness, he believes he does not need treatment in any way. I’m terrified every day of what may happen in the future if he continues to deny the need for professional help and am heartbroken knowing he how he continues to suffer. I will look for this book, and yes, we do understand. Good luck to you both.


We all worry about the future, since our loved ones are wrapped up in their own worlds unable to see present time life, let alone future life. I try to lower my anxiety level with little successes, as it doesn’t help any of us if I am stressed too far. I hope you can too. I use some form of advice from that book almost daily, and it has helped me to accept that my daughter may never see her own illness, but we can find things she DOES want to improve and act on those things. Good luck to you too.

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How do I go about trying the LEAP approach? I’ve looked at the website but not know how best to take in the information?

You would need to read the book. It can be ordered from Amazon, or I think it can be ordered directly from the website. The Leap Institute also offers sponsored classes around the country which are probably primarily geared to professionals. I read the book twice for it to sink in. And then it helps to practice it with another person, if you can. The important thing is that you do not have to be perfect at it to start with the first aspect, the “L” which stands for Listening. The book gives details and examples on how to best do that.

I am so grateful I found this site as I too felt so alone and isolated. There have been so many people who tell me to cut him lose and I cant do that and he is not even my biological son, just somebody we accepted into our family about 7 years ago. He has no family or friends to speak of and very sick and Anosognosia. The hard part is understanding the “Why” are people afflicted with this, and I think how hard it is for us caregivers, then think how awful it is for them to live their life with this. The qualify of life is terrible and my heart aches for him and others suffering from this. On the other side, I have learned so much from reading and educating myself and speaking to anybody who will give me more insight to deal with this. My young man insists they have planted a GPS in his ear and listen and know everything he says and does, that people come around him and spray him with medicine. It goes on and on. He refuses any kind of medication or food as he insists things are added to them and if he accepts meds, then that will mean something is wrong and according to him, nothing is wrong with him. I have read about the LEAP institute and try to implement it. I wrote to them hoping we could go to a training, however it is very expensive and I don’t know too many people who can afford that. Wish it was cheaper to help those in need.