Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

How to respond to delusions


@Windyhill63 - Sarcosine can also help people with sz. It’s advertised on this site and can be bought at brainvitaminz (the admin here recommends to purchase from them as they are more related to the brain vs like a exercise website) . I put it in my sons smoothies which he occasionally drinks. Ends up - I drink them too and I believe the sarcosine has helped me for mild depression. I take it daily. It tastes like a sweetener.


Agree. I was told the same phrase, he is not in danger of hurting himself or others, even though he was talking nonsense and admitted he tore off the door. I did not want to press charges as he does not belong in jail and that was worst place. I cannot tell you how frustrated his therapist and myself were when again nothing happened. This unfair law needs to be addressed so family members can have some authority to help their loved ones.
I will not give up!


So wrong. Your son’s violance resulting in property damage is probable cause for involuntary committment. Please call your county mental health dept. or crisis center. The Sheriff is wrong and he needs to be educated about the criteria for committment.


I TOTALLY agree with you. I was on the phone with his therapist and she said the same thing. “What the hell does it take to get someone help”?
Now he is on the streets and MAD at me for calling but takes NO responsibility for what he did. This is PURE Craziness!! Nobody wants to help these people but quick to incarcerate them.
US caregivers need to keep shouting as loud as possible to our courts and government to change this law to help our loved ones. No common sense!!
We are worried sick for him but still refuses any kind of help or meds.


I am so sorry things have not gone well to get help for your son. It is a struggle to try to navigate the problems in getting someone help who doesn’t see they need help. The two times I successfully was able to time it right to get the police to my home during a threat, she was committed. However, there were many, many other times, when she wasn’t. She had to be threatening in a way that seemed like harm to self or others (one time it was a statement about not wanting to live like this anymore, and the other time was a comment about everyone in this house should be dead). I called 911 quickly after those comments, and during the police interview, she again repeated them. Most of the time when in a strong psychosis, she stays on the same rant for at least 15 minutes. The verbal threats were enough. But the threats HAVE to be repeated to the responding officers. The officers can’t just take our word for it that a threat happened.

Also two other times she was arrested for a felony (later dropped) and while jail is not where we want our loved ones, the psychologist in our county jail evaluates each person being released that seems to have mental troubles, and both times she was involuntarily committed straight from jail.

I was wishy washy at first during this illness about taking a stance to get her committed but I will do it again if needed. If she commits a crime, I won’t hesitate either to ask the judge or DA to get her a mental evaluation.

Perhaps my story will help you when next you have to call an officer.


Catherine thank you for sharing! This is good information. I agree with you when you say to appear interested and empathetic. It does keep the situation calm. It has allowed my son to trust in me.


Hi Rose,

It’s interesting that you say that your son won’t remember after the episode passes. My son doesn’t remember his episode. The nurse called it decompensating. Is that normal for them not to remember?
Thank you for sharing. Hoping all the best for you and your son.


you’re very welcomed…I am glad it helps…


Forgive my ignorance, I’m trying to learn about all this in greater depth. What is LEAP?


LEAP is a way to communicate with our loved ones. Dr. Xavier Amador’s explains this reflective communication style in his book I’m Not sick, I Don’t Need Help!
L- Listen
E- Empathize
A- Agree
P- Partner

It’s a good book to help you understand this illness and how to help your loved one get help. My son still hasn’t gone to get help yet, but he is doing better with us because of our new approach to relating to him.


Once I started to really listen --get beyond the strange way he presents himself in conversation, I found there were more things we could agree on. For example, while I harbor no delusions about being spied upon or evil intent from shadowy people, I could acknowledge the threat is very real. Improbable, but yes it can and does happen. Then we talked about why it happens. And he began to relax. We talk more. Some days it is a bit of a challenge but MI people are not dumb. I have come to appreciate some of his unique ideas. I realize my portion of the conversation is not to correct irrational thinking or even agree with him but to make him feel safe and wanted. Of course the nature of the delusion matters. If anyone is in danger because of the delusion, all bets are off.


It is a very good book to read @Cyberwings . I think it has wide uses in life and especially helped me with my daughter to get her talking to me.

www. youtube .com/watch?v=Lstn6WNnCRc
www. youtube .com/watch?v=VxiBgq5G-cI

Those are two of his videos.


I found this article “How to Respond to Disturbing Beliefs” somewhere (credits are in the document)Responding to disturbing beliefs - handout (1).pdf (46.0 KB)


Also, the NAMI Advocate Winter 2018 edition has a really good article on CBT with directions for delusions.


I to have done the same thing begging the sheriff to take my son to the ER. I do not understand how parents and love ones can not force the needed treatment for their kids. I have been trying desperately to get help for him and to get an official diagnosis. The last 3 years have been an emotional roller coaster trying to get my boy back but it just gets worse. Everyone says stop trying because you can not do anything, he will have to get help on his own. Stop trying to pay for his bills so he don’t live on the streets. This is so easy for others to say when they are not dealing with a child you have loved all their lives. My son showed signs of this disease at 27 and has many delusions. One delusion he can not get rid of is a demon or snake in his stomach. He doesn’t eat hardly at all and is just bones. Why doesn’t the government visit this epidemic and try to assist the family members towards needed intervention to force needed treatment. I am frustrated and feel helpless as a mother. Sorry just venting.


It is possible that where you live, you could petition the courts for an involuntary assessment and hold. Here it is called ex-parte. NAMI could help you if you contact them. If your son is severely underweight despite you helping him to live, it seems legally that would qualify for involuntary hold. That is the beginning of a long road to try and get him medicated, it took me 3 years, 4 prior hospitalizations, and an arrest with a court order to get my daughter on a long acting injectible recently: BUT the recent judge may not have ordered it IF there hadn’t been 4 prior hospitalizations and a diagnosis already done in the past.

I have supported my adult daughter 3 years despite advice to stop spending my time and money on her (by my sister, her brothers, co-workers, etc.) BUT I couldn’t abandon her. I understand your feelings.


Thank You for your understanding and support.


It is a crazy system that does not help/assist these people, makes NO sense at all. If 1 is not well enough to take care of themselves, they certainly cannot make the call to get help or ask for it as they don’t even think they are sick. Vicious cycle and so unmoral to treat people like this. My son weighed 280 and is now down to about 160 in less then a year, I have pointed this out as well, still no go. His therapist has called the sheriff and explained how concerned she is, still no go, his probation officer has gone out of his way to assist and still nothing. He is delusional, paranoid and hallucinating that the cops are following him, harassing him, and circling him. Gee, what do you think one would do that is sick and paranoid already and in his mind perceives a threat that is really not there… NOT a good situation and Prevention and proactive is what we need not wait for them to do something and then try to take care of it. ER, jail, etc. are all traumatizing to them. We need a system that addresses these issues before they escalate for all involved. Where is COMMON SENSE these days??? I am so disgusted with this nonsense.


I helps to know I/we are not alone. Thank you for this sight, I am now able to discuss the issues I have kept to myself. I have accepted this illness now but still want to fix it like any one dealing with a loved one. This has been the worst thing I have ever had to deal with. I thought some of the events in my life have been challenging but this is the worst. Thank the lord there is a place to go who shares the same pain. God Bless!


Yes, it absolutely IS the worst. It is a daily struggle, a daily grief. And basically, almost no one understands except another affected by severe mental illness in their family.