Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The power of a few kind words

This really opened my eyes to how something so seemingly simple could possibly save a person’s life.

A gentleman who addressed our Family to Family class worked as an attorney before scz made it impossible. He refused to take meds, lost his family and ended up on the streets. He told us he had lived on the streets for several years when a policeman held out a hand to help him up and asked him how he was doing. He said it had been so long since anyone had a kind word for him that he decided he needed to change his life.

He now does volunteer work as an advocate for people with brain disorders who are in jail. He takes his meds, he tells his story and he looks for people who will let him help them.

Like pixiecat says, seemingly simple and it changed his life.


Pixelcat, it says it’s not available in my country☹️

I recently told my son that I thought he was the warrior of all warriors to be able to fight this illness and all he has been through in his life. He deals with all of this better than I or any if his other relatives would be able to deal with this. I believe that of anyone who lives with schizophrenia illnesses. Now I’m going to :sob:


That is a powerful and encouraging testimony!

I wish more Psychiatrists took this approach. I’ve found it’s extremely easy to avoid appointments and drop off the radar of treatment with no consequences or indication that they care at all about your well being. It’s a sort of take-it-or-leave-it attitude that, as a patient, makes me feel they are cold and uncaring or just in it for the money. In contrast Psychologists show a higher level of concern, as their treatments are based on relationships and words— not medications.

Simple letters or phone calls or answering machine messages about a missed appointments and other follow up could mean a lot to many people. Handwritten or personal phone calls and messages would be best, as having a SMI can be lonely and isolating, and seeing someone taking a personal interest in you who isn’t family is psychologically impactful.


Thank you for writing about this. I have been disgusted by the drs attitude- they act as if my son has a full understanding of his situation


I am sorry you have dealt with this! I feel my son has run into this also…a sense of blame for not functioning normally.

Even at the special school he tried, there seemed to be a very punitive attitude, as if he had chosen to start having psychosis when he should have been hopping on the school bus and doing all his work.

I am so grateful to the people who understand severe mental illness and take that extra step to reach out. It can be literally life-saving.


I agree totally with the attitude of some doctors. And certainly the rest of the world that doesn’t understand SMI. This is why we must be advocates for our loved ones and to help people learn about SMI. I post articles on my personal Facebook page from time to time that I think may be snippets that people will read and start to see the problems and the needs.

On the main subject of this post “The power of a few kind words”, I always speak politely to my loved one. He did not ask for this illness and even in the times when his thinking and behavior was not rational, I have learned that asking HIS opinion about things, HIS thoughts, etc., is a first step to gaining his trust and getting him to go along with needed treatment. It is the LEAP model…


Politeness cuts both ways, however. I think my encounters with police, doctors, hospital staff and fellow patients might have been far less positive in the events that led to my hospitalization. I credit my parents for raising me with ‘European manners’ and my ability to put myself in other people’s places with better treatment overall.

I realize it’s not always possible to model this behavior in loved ones, but treating them with respect and courtesy as @hope4us suggests, may make them less likely to be belligerent and upset when facing authorities who haven’t had LEAP training.