How do I tell a family member I have SZ?

How do I explain to my grandmother I have SZ and what it is without making her scared of me? My grandmother’s is loving, but she can be judgmental too. She doesn’t understand mental illnesses that well, either. I want to be able to visit her and her to be cautious of me just in case, but I don’t want to scare her.

My only thoughts are do you really need to tell her?

I know there’s a possibility that my grandmother might know that I suffer a mental illness but I know for sure that my grandfather does not know as he wouldn’t be able to handle this knowledge in a adultly manner. He’s a little different.

But I know that for me at least no one needs to know necessarily that I have sz for me to be able to visit them.

If you really miss her and love her so much and would like to visit her, I wouldn’t tell her. That is my own way of thinking. But there is no right OR wrong in telling or not telling. She might find out. Believe me when I say this unless one has a family member with mental illness most people know very little about the illness. I was in medical profession and so is my husband . When our son had his first psychotic episode We didn’t know much. Our son was living at that time in his college town and We thought it was drug induced psychosis. We did 2 family interventions costing few thousands all because We had no idea. We have no history in our family so it’s difficult to know details. Also everyone is different. Good luck.

I think wanting to be open with your grandmother is great. Has she given you reason in the past to think that she would not be supportive or open to trying to understand. Sometimes people can surprise when given the opportunity to learn.

I would print off some things about schizophrenia and mental illness. Nothing long and in-depth, just the basics. She may already be more aware then you think. Mental illness is not uncommon just because people don’t talk about it. The statistics is what… 1 in 3 people? So chances are she has encountered it at some point in her lifetime.

Maybe you can win her over with your behavior.

FYI my son’s grand Mother doesn’t know that he has schizophrenia. It’s been 4 years and my husband is a physician and it’s his Mom who doesn’t know. My son has been ill for over 4 years.

I never had to tell anyone in my family about my mental illness. Years of instability and symptoms told them for me.

Does she need to know the exact details of the diagnosis? Maybe hint at schizophrenia but just describe it as a problem with the chemistry in your system, lay on the tech talk and bring up a lot about neurology and biochemistry. She won’t likely understand but she’ll realize that there is a medical problem. The stigma of the word schizophrenia won’t scare her off.